Metallic environments disturb all RFID systems, thus impeding effective communication between read/write modules and tags. The N-Metal technology overcomes this problem by the interposition of an inexpensive micro-adapter that enhances a metal-embedded RFID tag's ability to emit to and receive electromagnetic signals from a standard RFID reader device.
Within a diversity of medical fields of use, standard read/write RFID tags can now be combined with a N-Metal adapter in such a way as to be hermetically encapsulated within medical devices - such as surgical instruments, sterilization cases, endoscopes, arthroscopes, and medical power tools, and will withstand aggressive and repeated autoclaving and cleaning. In this manner, specific sets of item-tagged instruments can themselves contain all the required information to trace the history of manufacture, inspection and revisions, data related to specific assembly, disassembly and cleaning instructions, as well as the relevant last surgery information that aids hospitals, sterilization departments and medical equipment providers to reduce costs, increase efficiency, while improving the control and distribution of their medical devices.
The market for RFID in hospitals is predicted to increase to $8,8 billion by 2010, according to industry research, and as such the N-Metal technology offers substantial cost-savings to medical device manufacturers, OEM's and health care providers who are no longer restricted to the use of exclusive, proprietary through-metal RFID read/write tags for their medical device track-and-trace implementations, and can now use standards-compliant RFID tags and readers from a choice of multiple, competitive, and cost-efficient sources of supply.
The N-Metal technology is the result of a pan-European development effort involving researchers from the fields of applied physics, mathematics, and engineering. Roxen CSE Sàrl is a technology and consulting company. For more information, you can contact William Gillispie at Tel. +41-79-421-7488 or visit the Roxen Web site.