Passive RFID Provides Better RTLS Solution for Healthcare

June 20, 2013 Tracy Hillstrom

Passive RFID Provides Better RTLS Solution for Healthcare

Ask a healthcare provider about Real-time Location System (RTLS) technology—and they’ll usually say “active RFID or WiFi-based solutions are the only ones that work for RTLS.” Ironically those same folks almost always complain that active or WiFi RTLS doesn’t work as advertised.

Until the Speedway xArray reader system was introduced in May, hospital providers couldn’t envision an RTLS solution with passive RFID, and so they didn’t know that there was an alternative. Since that time, we’ve heard from a number of businesses that will be building a better RTLS solution for healthcare featuring Speedway xArray. This ceiling-mounted, wide-area RFID reader system is capable of covering 150 sq. feet with a single device and allows easy deployment with IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) and an attractive, all-in-one package. Moreover, Speedway xArray supports “locationing” to better than a 4 ft. granularity depending on item, tag and environmental characteristics.


Prior to Speedway xArray, WiFi RTLS seemed like the most cost-effective solution claiming no need for additional infrastructure. But many providers find that they have to add new access points—they don’t have existing WiFi coverage in all the areas where they want to track assets, and where they do have coverage, the WiFi access points are all in a line in the hallways, making location triangulation difficult. IT professionals complain about having to account for RTLS in their WiFi bandwidth, and the tags are just repackaged battery-powered access points, costing providers $40 or more each.

Speedway xArray provides for dedicated infrastructure with the lowest comparable price and installation costs. Consumable costs are dramatically reduced with passive RFID tag prices starting at

Speedway xArray will be available to the general market in 2014. Today, we are collaborating with select Impinj partners via the Speedway xArray Early Access Program so that software solutions aimed at Healthcare RTLS will be available when Speedway xArray ships in volume. Visit the Speedway xArray web page to learn more and sign up to be notified when Speedway xArray is available in your region.

 


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