Tracking High-Value Assets, Hospital Supplies With RFID

Patient and medical staffXerafy has been a pioneer in developing RFID solutions for tracking surgical instruments, but the technology can also be used to manage other high-value assets and materials that are exposed to harsh conditions. The healthcare RFID market is expected to grow to $2.3 billion in 2019 (up from $650 million in 2014) according to Research and Markets. That growth is being driven by interest in tracking high-value assets.

Linen Tracking: Like surgical instruments, hospital linens (sheets, gowns, scrubs, etc.) have to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid the spread of infection or contaminants. Durable fabric RFID labels that can withstand high temperatures, water, and industrial detergents can help manage these items, ensure they were properly cleaned or disposed of, and returned to inventory. This helps hospitals better manage their linen inventory, locate lost items, and reduce unnecessary expenditures.

Medicine: RFID has always been an ideal solution for tracking high-value items, and pharmaceuticals are a good example. Pharma products are frequently stolen or counterfeited, and supplies (particularly of some items) are heavily regulated. Using source-labeling, RFID can be used to validate medicine (and spot counterfeit items), and provide an inventory and security solution once on site at a hospital. Using locked “smart” cabinets, authorized staff can check out inventory using their ID badges. Continue reading

Supply Chain Pressures Encourage RFID Adoption

Nurses Arranging Stock In Storage RoomThe healthcare supply chain is under a number of competing pressures right now, and many of those are leading equipment manufacturers and hospitals toward RFID adoption.

Compliance and regulatory issues continue to challenge the industry. There are constantly new rules and regulations governing all stakeholders, and existing rules are frequently changing. In addition to the FDA’s UDI requirements, new HIPAA requirements, HiTECH requirements, and other issues affect the way healthcare entities manage goods and patient data. Being able to accurately track equipment and supplies is even more critical now, as is the ability to provide an auditable record of how goods were handled and by whom.

The role of data is also changing as the supply chain becomes more patient-centric. Supply chain data doesn’t just affect the flow of goods, but that data is also a critical part of the recall and safety process. Location, usage, and sterilization data generated by tracking solutions also plays a role in improving the efficiency of hospitals, ensuring patient safety, and improving outcomes. Continue reading

RFID plays a vital role in oilfield safety

Offshore oil rig drilling platformRecent news reports that another “super oilfield” has been discovered in China. This again stimulates the conversation of how oil and gas companies, whether onshore or offshore, face increased safety concerns about the drilling process, but also from the environmental impact it has.

The most serious disaster in recent history was the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010. This accident affected over a 13 square kilometer area with pollutants, and brought disaster to both the local ecology and economy. Investigations indicated there were many human errors, including inadequate supervision, lack of emergency protocol, and ill-maintained equipment, resulting in the company responsible paying more than $20 billion in damages and claims.

The O&G had to find better technologies to increase safety practices while also increasing efficiencies. RFID came to play a vital role in this paradigm shift. Continue reading

RFID Can Boost the Hospital Supply Chain

220_f_121184525_tlpdwpsm5b2kpnfa5j1usd0iakssoe67Interest in using RFID for hospital operations is clearly growing, and is part of a larger move toward “smart” equipment and supply management that combines sensors, RFID, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other technologies.

Hospitals face competing pressures related to reimbursement, integration, and other issues. C-suite executives now recognize that an intelligent supply chain can help cut costs and improve patient outcomes. That continues to be reflected in market forecasts.

Market Research Engine offers a new report that indicates the smart healthcare product market will exceed more than $57 billion by 2023, with a CAGR of 8%. iHealthcareAnalyst expects the smart healthcare systems market to have a CAGR of 7.2% through 2020. Transparency Market Research, meanwhile, predicts the healthcare machine-to-machine (M2M) will grow at a rate of 22.5%. Continue reading

Industrial IoT More Than Tags and Sensors

double exposure of hand showing Internet of things (IoT) word diThe industrial Internet of Things (IoT) relies on more than just RFID tags and smart sensors: An entire infrastructure of reliable networks and powerful analytics tools will be needed to make the industrial IoT work. In a recent article over at IoT blog site Readwrite, Jason Andersen, vice president of business line management at Stratus Technologies, has outlined some of the ways companies must respond to the complexity of the industrial IoT. As Andersen writes, “bigger problems with more expensive equipment require bigger solutions with more intricate, more connected technology.”

Challenges for Industrial IoT

Many manufacturing operations are running older operational equipment and new information technology separately, but that may be unsustainable. The industrial IoT brings those two worlds together, but requires a new type of infrastructure that is virtualized, easy to use, and always on. It also requires standards and better IT security. Continue reading