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Alien Technology Enables Improved "Vein-to-Vein" Blood Bag Tracking Efficiency

Alien Technology solutions partner Aifos Solutions provides a complete UHF RFID visibility solution to increase security and improve efficiency of blood bags within blood banks .
May 18, 2010—e from a technology vendor.

MORGAN HILL, CA, May 18, 2010—Alien Technology, an industry leader in UHF Gen 2 radio frequency identification (RFID) products and services, and Barcelona, Spain based integrator partner Aifos Solutions, today announced the successful implementation of a UHF RFID based hemo-derivative blood bag tracking application. The solution dramatically improves upon efficiency, reduces errors, enhances visibility, and bolsters security within the supply chain at the Blood and Tissue Bank of Balearic Islands in Mallorca, at a fraction of the cost of alternative RFID tag solutions.

Great strides have been made with UHF RFID over the years, positioning the technology in favorable light in what was once considered an unachievable application, namely placement of UHF tags on liquids such as blood bags. Today, however, these hurdles have been easily overcome, and UHF RFID performance far surpasses all other RFID tag technology options at a fraction of the cost. The ultra high performance of UHF RFID enables more accurate inventories and improved read speeds at further read distances than was previously possible using HF RFID technology. Today, high density containers with over 80 blood bags each are virtually instantaneously read, even on liquids in high moisture, frozen environments.

Explains Joan Xiol, Managing Director of Aifos, "One issue with using RFID to track blood/hemo-derivative bags has been how and where one could apply an RFID inlay on the plasma bag without any contaminants leeching into the blood itself. We found the correct solution to eliminate any contamination. Additionally, the inlay label needed to survive long durations at freezing temperatures (-35ºC) when the plasma bags are kept in the storage chamber. The tagged plasma bag must be readable both in a liquid and frozen state -- this was the second greatest challenge in this application. We are proud to say that we have solved both of these challenges and have installed the world's first such whole vein-to-vein tracking solution at the Blood and Tissue Bank of Balearic Islands in Mallorca (FBSTIB)."

Josep Muncunill, MD and CEO of FBSTIB, states during the interview, "The solution foremost adheres to the international ISBT128 data integrity standard governing blood bag labeling. Maintaining inventory control, security and plasma quality accuracy has always been a challenge for blood banks. Bar codes are currently still being used, but oftentimes, the bar code label is crumpled or covered in a thick layer of ice during quarantine, making the plasma bag unreadable. When we have thirty to forty thousand plasma bags in our inventory chamber and a medical emergency requires us to find the correct plasma bag as quickly as possible, the quality and speed of our data capture system is of the utmost importance. We required a method to both reduce time consumption and labor intensivity in order to track down the correct plasma or very unique hematite bags in inventory. Aifos' solution of applying a low cost Alien Technology UHF inlay onto each bag has greatly simplified both our in ventory control process, security and quality management systems."

Adds Stephen Crocker, Director EMEA/India for Alien Technology, "Alien®'s low cost UHF tag solution incorporates our field-proven Squiggle® inlay mounted onto each of the plasma bags and our versatile enterprise category passive reader/writer, which is mounted above the plasma chamber door to provide global content control. Together with Aifos, we are working on several additional installations in Spain and throughout Europe. We strongly feel there is a global necessity for adopting this technology in order to enhance the quality, security and process/inventory control of tracking plasma bags throughout their life cycle."

Esteve Jané, chief operations officer of Aifos Solutions, concludes, "We have established a strong IP foundation using Alien's technology as a base in the plasma tracking segment, and we are confident that our complete software and hardware solution will fill a real and necessary global need in this very important medical tracking segment."

For additional information, please visit the following link where a video of the application may be found: http://www.aifos-solutions.com/eng/portfolio_sang.html

About Aifos Solutions
Aifos Solutions markets track and trace tools for the healthcare market. Offers full solutions to improve the blood supply chain enhancing security, efficiency and complimentary solutions for labs in order to manage their test tubes. Please visit: www.aifos-solutions.com/eng/

About Balearic Blood and Tissue Bank
The Balearic Blood and Tissue Bank provides more than 42,000 units of lifesaving blood to all public and private hospitals on the islands each year. They are guided by the philosophy of meeting the needs of the community as well as to investigate, develop and improve the donation, transfusion and transplant of blood, and human tissue. Please visit: http://www.fbstib.org/

About Alien Technology
Alien Technology is a leading provider of UHF RFID products and services, including RFID ICs, inlays, readers, services and education. Alien is headquartered in Morgan Hill, California, with Alien Technology Asia in South Korea and the RFID Solutions Center located in the Dayton, Ohio region. Alien also maintains sales offices in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.
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