RFID-enabled processes have been well proven in hospitals for enhancing patient care and making materials management more efficient. Yet hospital professionals that see the benefits RFID could bring often struggle to get projects approved. The biggest obstacle often is not the effectiveness or cost of RFID system itself, but of its priority relative to the many other initiatives that are competing for executive sponsorship and budget. The fiscal environment is worsening for most hospitals, so administrators are conservative with how they invest precious resources.
In the U.S. many improvement initiatives are prioritized on how well they support the Triple Aim framework that was established by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The Triple Aim directs hospitals to simultaneously pursue three goals:
- Improving patient care and the patient experience
- Improving the health of the populations the hospital serves
- Reducing costs
Many technology investments and other improvement initiatives that are proposed to hospitals directly address one of these areas, but not all three. Projects that can improve care at the patient and population levels while also reducing costs stand a much better chance of winning approval. Continue reading
Capital investment was at near record levels in the oil & gas industry last year, but things have changed faster than you can say “boom-bust cycle.” Earlier this month Weatherford became the latest big energy producer to announce an aggressive cost cutting program that was triggered by low oil & gas prices. The company cut more than half a billion dollars from its capital expenditure budget and announced plans to eliminate 5,000 workers. Apache, BP, ConocoPhilips, Halliburton and Schlumberger are also executing expense-reduction programs.
This article notes that the high capital investment by oil & gas companies in recent years has been disappointing over the last few years. It argues the industry needs new business models to stay profitable because of the growing complexity. Continue reading
Builders in Singapore are required to document the specific steel mill that produced each steel beam used in construction. To do that, builder must not only associate each beam with its mill, they must accurately record where each beam is used. The beams themselves often are no longer visible after the construction project is complete because they become encased in concrete and/or are covered by walls. Continue reading
The Internet of Things will continue to evolve – While many people started paying attention to IoT and its potential last year, 2015 looks to be the year in which the industry lays the critical groundwork to realize that potential. As noted futurist Paul Saffo and founder of Discern Analytics aptly puts it: “The biggest shift is a strong move away from a single do-everything device to multiple devices with overlapping functions and, above all, an inter-relationship with our other devices.” Three quarters of organizations said passive RFID was important or very important to their IoT projects, according to a Forrester-Zebra Technologies study. Manufacturers, healthcare providers and retailers are among the leaders in applying Internet of Things concepts. The quality and value of real-time information that becomes available will take the guesswork out of planning and improve the speed of decision-making. Continue reading
The term “industry 4.0″ refers to the fourth industrial revolution and it is gaining traction in the industrial markets. The first industrial revolution introduced mechanized production using water and steam power, the second was characterized by the division of labor and the third by industrial automation. In broad terms, in the fourth industrial revolution, devices will drive some of their own production and maintenance processes by sensing conditions and communicating through the Internet of Things.
The rise of the internet and ubiquitous connectivity gave rise to IT driven information, triggering innovation, productivity gains and economic growth much faster and greater than the earlier waves of revolution. However, products by themselves were largely unaffected. Now, with Industry 4.0, smart, connected products using technologies such as RFID and embedded sensors, new data that can be captured, analyzed and managed through wired or wireless connections with the product. Intelligence and connectivity enable an entirely new set of product functions and capability, altering the market with new competitive opportunities as well as threats. Continue reading