Case Study for Healthcare
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Turn Up the Heat: Protecting Patients in the IoT

PROJECT AT A GLANCE

End User A global industrial identification company
Project Type RFID for surgery tools and medical devices
Location Germany
Scope Internet of Things (IoT) and radio frequency identification (RFID)
Identiv Solution(s) UHF RFID Inlay

Company Profile

A global industrial identification solution provider operating out of Germany confronts new challenges every day with innovative products and a motivated team. For more than 35 years, the company has been manufacturing robust plastic radio frequency identification (RFID) labels and tags, including weather-resistant data carriers for material identification at temperatures up to 850°C (1562°F).

Business Situation

Every day, in every hospital, thousands of medical tools have to be sterilized. Identifying these tools by RFID makes it easier for hospitals to keep track of the number of sterilization cycles and to accurately monitor tool lifetime. The traditional administration of medical tools required extensive manual labor. With RFID, the storage location, correct maintenance, age, and many other parameters of hospital tools and devices can now be monitored easily and automatically.

Technical Situation

In working directly with hospitals, the industrial identification company has developed its latest innovation, an extremely thin and small ultra high frequency (UHF) RFID label to stick on stainless steel objects, like medical tools. With a key component — an UHF inlay — this label can withstand 200 cycles of a 300°C (572°F) wash and hot steam treatment and continue to track all the live-saving tool maintenance parameters that hospitals require.

Solution

The identification company searched out the right partner to connect with to engineer the necessary UHF inlay. Identiv is an expert in designing and manufacturing high-frequency (HF) and UHF transponders for embedded use in everyday objects, including medical devices, books, toys, and athletic apparel. Transponders can be delivered in different form factors, including labels (printed or not), dry inlays, wet inlays (with backing adhesive), tickets, and more, and are uniquely positioned to deliver RFID connectivity to any object in the Internet of Things (IoT) market. The identification company connected with Identiv for the missing piece of its UHF RFID label, a 5.4 mm (0.2) inch UHF inlay made of PI substrate and copper lines. Identiv’s UHF inlay, featuring a Monza 4QT 75µm chip, ensured that the finished product was kept as thin as possible.

Benefits

By choosing Identiv as a partner in creating its latest product, the global industrial identification company was able to develop an ultra-thin, small, and sturdy UHF RFID label with incredibly high temperature resistance. The company chose Identiv because of its engineering skills and flexibility. The complete solution provides traceability for medical tools in terms of maintenance, lifetime, and location; it saves time and manual labor; and most importantly, proper sterilization means better protection of patients from serious threats to their health.