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Sun 21 Oct 2007 04:11 PM

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AT&T offers RFID technology for healthcare

AT&T has announced the availability of a portfolio of radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking systems for US healthcare providers.

AT&T has announced the availability of a portfolio of radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking systems for US healthcare providers. The company is offering the devices, infrastructure and systems needed for full-scale tracking applications -from tags and software to networks and data storage.

The solution generates customized reports and provides a WiFi enabled location-based service to track equipment, devices and patients. Hospital staff can track the current or historical location of a mobile asset - such as blood pressure monitoring devices, gurneys, infusion pumps, crash carts, wheelchairs and laptops - from a Web browser. The solution will even alert healthcare staff if at-risk patients have wandered or been moved from their room.

"In the demanding healthcare environment, enhanced visibility and accuracy regarding the location of people and critical assets is crucial to providing optimal clinical care," said Brad Hunter, director of technology solutions for the American Hospital Association. "By introducing mobile technology, such as RFID, in the healthcare workplace, staff can save time, eliminate unnecessary costs, reduce theft and unnecessary inventory, and, most importantly, deliver better patient care."

AT&T's RFID solution works with local wireless network infrastructure. A WiFi-based RFID tag sends a wireless signal at regular intervals to keep the system and asset locations up to date.

This information is available to users who have access to a Web browser, anywhere on a healthcare facility's wireless network. Synchronized alerts provide information on location-based events, such as a patient leaving their room or a shortage of lifesaving equipment.

These events can be communicated immediately to staff or to existing hospital applications for reporting purposes.

"Healthcare organizations can now turn for the first time to a network services company to meet all of their RFID needs for products and services," said John Regan, vice president, business marketing, AT&T. "Our RFID solutions help healthcare professionals and organizations make the most of their resources by ensuring the highest quality of patient care, while, at the same time reducing costs and increasing return on investment."

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