Monthly Archives: October 2010

Back by popular request: Thing to keep in mind as you deploy mission-critical Auto-ID applications


In recent conversations with industry professionals, a recurring theme that comes up is ‘How do I approach a Auto-ID based solution like any other enterprise application roll-out’? A simple enough question at first-glance, but as I prodded a bit more, it became clear that certain factors seemed to be causing apprehension in their minds – I’d like to share these insights gained for the benefit of the larger audience, and the questions behind the above question roughly translate to the following customer asks (with some paraphrasing by yours truly):

  • Any solution we deploy needs to be Auto-ID hardware agnostic i.e. Why can’t I chose the most effective form of data-capture (RFID, barcode, sensors etc.) based on my application requirements (vs. what’s supported by the vendors software), and this needs to be able to ‘scale out’ to multiple devices and device types over time.
  • The new solution must extend and ‘make better’ my existing Line-of-Business systems through Auto-ID data –  not try and replace them!
  • ‘Mission-criticalness’ is a must… if I am going to replace existing ad-hoc or manual operations with it, that means 24×7 ‘hot-hot’ availability and failover metrics similar to my application and database servers. And it needs to play well within my existing enterprise platform architecture (ala Microsoft or IBM or Orcale) vs. custom middleware or worse, custom code masquerading as a proprietary development kit on device / server.
  • Need packaged applications that address the common requirements across deployments like being able to specify a configurable asset catalog, support for asset commissioning, zone audits, check-in, check-out and movement detection etc.
  • Remote Management of devices must be through standard mechanisms and tools – can’t be a silo or require any custom software on the devices which only leads to additional manageability nightmares when something goes wrong in production
  • Mobile applications are an integral part of scanning / error-checking operations on the ground and need to work across various form factors such as hand-helds, fork-lifts and kiosks. We expect manageability support here to be standard including ‘over the air’ provisioning of device applications and support for sporadically connected / disconnected environments  with the central application server.
  • My IT team HATES the complexity associated with custom code – customization and configuration need to be accomplished with standard development tools / IDE’s, not proprietary tools

To address the above, I went back and dusted some of the earlier posts on this subject – and they still seem to hold water going by the feedback of our clients – so here there are once again for your perusal:

    The Top 5 factors that most influence a successful deployment of RFID applications in your Enterprise

    The Top 5 habits of all successful, packaged RFID applications


I hope you find these resources useful and educative. Please do not hesitate to e-mail or call me if you have any questions, or would like to discuss how our Spotlight asset tracking platform and industry solutions  address the above and might be useful for a scenario you are planning.



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New Video of Solution To Track Blood Bags From Donor Sites to Blood Centers (RFID in the Transfusion Medicine Supply Chain)

Here’s a brief video that walks through the mission-critical solution we are designing and deploying as part of the Transfusion Medicine RFID Consortium, using RFID (and Auto-ID technology such as barcodes and sensors) to keep our nation’s blood supply chain safe.

Have a look at the video, and goto the ‘How it Works’ section of the Transfusion Medicine RFID website to learn more.

As always, look forward to your feedback, and drop me a line if you are looking at similar mission-critical applications to automate the tracking of asset movement and eliminate errors in your operations…next post will be a similar video describing the hospital solution at work.







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American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Annual Meeting, a Success!

The Transfusion Medicine RFID Consortium’s exhibit at the AABB CTTXPO October 10-12, 2010 is being described as having been very beneficial by members of the Consortium who manned the booth.

Rodeina Davis, RFID Program Director and Vice President and CIO at BloodCenter of Wisconsin, noted that “The stream of visitors was steady throughout the exhibit period and both hospital and blood center visitors expressed high interest in the work we’re doing.”

We presented live demonstrations of some of the more striking and meaningful processes that are enhanced and automated when using RFID technology in blood centers and hospital transfusion services – below are some images from the show for your viewing pleasure 😉



Poster explaining the RFID-based solution to track blood bags in the transfusion medicine supply chain

transfusion services airport style display

Airport style display for transfusion services at hospitals with real-time updates on status of blood bags (dispensed, being used in transfusion, or completed)


RFID-tagged Blood Bags with Spotlight Mobile Point of Care Application

tunnel reader

Automated check-in of blood bags shown using a mini-Tagsys ‘tunnel’ reader



Ram Venkatesh, S3Edge CEO demonstrating the system at work to the FDA


We also hosted a session at the AABB itself on Monday morning with some 100 odd folks from the industry in attendance.

For those who might have missed the demonstrations at our exhibit, the videos are accessible to you on this website’s main page (will be published on the blog soon as well). We have also included the presentation from our AABB session in the Downloads section of this website.

We want to thank all those who visited us. Any questions or requests can be sent to us at and we have also included the presentation from our AABB session in the Downloads section of our website –>




Anush & the Transfusion Medicine RFID Consortium Team.

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Join us at the AABB (formerly known as American Association of Blood Banks) Annual Meeting & CTTXPO 2010 in Baltimore

image image

This weekend to Tuesday (October 9-12th) ,we will be participating in the annual AABB Annual Meeting & CTTXPO 2010  as part of the Transfusion Medicine RFID Consortium to demonstrate the first set of mission critical apps to enable end-end tracking of blood and blood products as described in my previous post.

If you are going to be at the show, visit us at Booth #102 anytime during the show, and join us for an education session on ‘RFID in the Blood Product Supply Chain project’ on Monday (October 11th)  between 4-6:30 PM where Lynne Briggs of Blood Center of Wisconsin, industry expert, Clive Hohberger ,Alfonso Gutierrez from the UW-Madison RFID Lab, and Mark Anastas from S3Edge will present an update on the RFID in the Blood Product Supply Chain project (educational panel #9326-TC-IT).

That’s it for this week – more after the show, and if happen to be in the DC / Baltimore area, and would like to connect to learn more, drop me a line!



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Delivering on Mission Critical RFID – S3Edge Spotlight software to power national healthcare initiative to track blood products from donor sites to blood centers, all the way to hospital bed-side point of care.


Today we announced that the Transfusion Medicine RFID Consortium has selected S3Edge’s Spotlight software to deliver a suite of packaged applications for tracking and monitoring blood products across the transfusion medicine supply chain. The Consortium consists of carefully selected and motivated partners – BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Carter BloodCare, Mississippi Blood Services, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Baptist Health Systems, University of Wisconsin-Madison, SysLogic Inc., Mediware, and Hardware Partners such as Unitech, Tagsys, Tracient and Zebra – that, working together, are dedicated to producing a generic Auto-ID based solution that is affordable, useful, and appropriate for blood centers and hospitals of all sizes and operational scenarios.

The culmination of a dedicated, 8 month effort, this solution (vein-vein blood product tracking project for the transfusion medicine supply chain) is a poster-child for solutions utilizing Auto-ID technology (in this case a combination of barcodes, RFID, and sensors) to gain efficiencies and eliminate errors in day-day operations – or put simply, a GIANT LEAP forward for the industry as a whole! As a stakeholder in this initiative, we are extremely proud to be at executing and delivering on this critical initiative in tandem with domain experts and researchers in this field – resulting in the first-ever comprehensive effort to research, develop and introduce innovative application of RFID technology to enhance patient safety, reduce operating costs and strengthen quality in the blood supply chain.

To read the press-release, please click here, and visit the Transfusion Medicine RFID website (click on image below) which provides an in-depth overview of the study. We’ve also created a new page on our website – that discusses the overall solution 



if you are in the Baltimore / DC area this weekend, visit us at Booth #102 at the AABB Annual Meeting & CTTXPO 2010: Transfusion Medicine RFID Consortium to see the solution in action (click on image below to learn more about the event – we are going to be doing an educational talk on the 11th as well) or drop me a line /send us a note at


Look forward to speaking with you and sharing more about this ground-breaking, mission critical asset tracking solution for healthcare!





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