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GE Healthcare partners CenTrak to develop battery-based RFID asset optimisation tool

GE Healthcare : 24 January, 2008  (New Product)
GE Healthcare has partnered CenTrak to develop a predominantly battery-operated radio frequency ID (RFID) tracking system enables healthcare facilities to reduce installation barriers and costs compared with current RFID systems.
The new asset optimisation solution is designed to maximise its return-on-investment potential. In addition, the solution’s ability to accurately view locations at the room-level enhances a hospital’s operational efficiency and improves overall patient care.

GE Healthcare, one of the pioneers in the use of RFID in the healthcare industry, currently has 18 enterprise-wide installations in the USA, 200 workflow consultants, and thousands of managed assets with its RFID tracking systems. Current RFID solution clients include Emory HealthCare, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Lahey Clinic, Burlington and Peabody, Massachusetts, USA; and Williamson Medical Center, Franklin, Tennessee, USA.

For GE Healthcare, the newly announced product is the next evolution of active- RFID solutions. The Real-Time Location System (RTLS) operates on a separate network that does not interfere with existing healthcare networks both wired and wireless (802.11). The solution is designed to accommodate virtually an unlimited number of tags and does not consume valuable bandwidth, providing customers the flexibility to expand their tracking needs and future applications without an additional burden in the healthcare WiFi proliferation.

The new hybrid DualTrak product, operating on both CenTrak’s patented GEN2IR TM technology and 900MHz radio frequency (RF), also employs CenTrak’s RTLS, the only predominantly battery-powered RTLS system with room-level accuracy in the world.

“We partnered with CenTrak to deliver what our customers told us they wanted in a medical RFID tracking system: the ability to provide room-level coverage, be accurate and scalable, and be cost-effective,” said Bret Barczak, director of marketing, GE Healthcare. “Prior to this latest evolution, traditional RFID installations in a separate, wired infrastructure took six months. Now, with battery-operated readers, it may only take six days, minimizing installation costs, operational disruptions, and other hurdles.”

“By partnering with GE Healthcare, we couple GE’s established healthcare expertise in RFID technology with our proven track record of providing precise, adaptable, and cost- effective tracking systems,” said Ari Naim, CEO, CenTrak. “We realised early on that the basic physics of RF-only RTLS solutions, such as WiFi RTLS, can never deliver a reliable room-level location and will always be just estimates with unpredictable accuracy. By incorporating our patented GEN2IR technology, trusted location accuracy can now be reliably delivered. It is no secret that room-level accuracy is the key to unlocking the most valuable functionality for many RFID applications and significantly impacting customer’s ROI”.
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