Awarepoint's RFID asset management system selected at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center

San Diego 05 December 2007The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center recently has selected San Diego-based Awarepoint's Real-time Awareness Solution as their asset tracking partner. After a rigorous evaluation process, Awarepoint's RFID real-time location system (RTLS) was chosen to efficiently track the location, status and movement of the hospital's mobile medical equipment.

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UCSF Medical Center's project team reviewed active RFID options from six in-depth proposals presented by vendors representing numerous RFID technologies. The selection process then required an on-site proof of concept where Awarepoint successfully demonstrated real-world use cases of nine different scenarios, including:

  • non-disruptive installation during normal daily activities
  • tracking equipment at multiple locations across 1,5 miles
  • locating assets placed deep in metal storage carts within surrounding electronics
  • proving the accuracy of the location engine (location precision)
  • proving the self-healing nature of the sensor network when a sensor is disabled or removed

For the on-site proof of concept, each candidate was given a total of six hours to install their system in multiple buildings, demonstrate the various scenarios requested by UCSF Medical Center and finally remove the system. Unlike other RFID asset management technologies, Awarepoint's ZigBee sensor network needs no hardwiring or fixed infrastructure: wireless sensors simply plug into electrical outlets to form the self-healing Awarenet mesh network, then small, battery-powered tags are securely attached to assets, which are tracked using the web-based Searchpoint search engine. This patented technology allowed Awarepoint to successfully complete all tasks within the allotted time.

Through the detailed evaluation process, the UCSF project team identified success criteria, then weighed and scored these criteria across all finalists. The contract was awarded to Awarepoint with a score of 81 percent overall. The subsequent Wi-Fi vendor received an overall score of 63 percent. "Awarepoint was a strong leader and was accepted as the negotiation team's first choice", stated Alisa Armstrong, project manager for UCSF Medical Center.

Within 2 weeks following the contract award, Awarepoint has been deployed and over 700 assets were tagged in less than 48 hours. "The UCSF team was excited, engaged and prepared for us. Thanks to their responsiveness, this was one of our fastest installations to date", stated Mike Addis, sales engineer at Awarepoint.

"With the installation of Awarepoint, the UCSF operating rooms' equipment will be reliably retrievable within minutes including weekend and after hours shifts", added James Bennan, administrative director for peri-operative services. "Long delays looking for unique items such as MRI-compatible equipment will be eliminated and our ability to rapidly find difficult intubation carts and other urgently needed items will be greatly enhanced. In addition, Clinical Engineering will be able to identify maintenance issues pro-actively, rentals will be tracked and logged for return and equipment conflicts will be minimized."

"Being selected after such an extensive competitive analysis is a great achievement for Awarepoint. It reinforces that our ZigBee sensor network, non-disruptive deployment and financial business model are the ideal choice for hospital asset tracking. We are honoured to have been chosen by UCSF Medical Center to provide an accurate and effective real-time location solution", stated Jason Howe, chief executive officer of Awarepoint.

Ranked among the top 10 of the United States' academic medical centres, UCSF Medical Center is a university dedicated to defining health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

The Awarepoint Real-time Awareness Solution delivers health care providers reliable location, status and movement information to remotely monitor equipment and people. Using minimal hardware and no hard wiring, Awarepoint offers a completely non-disruptive, rapid impact implementation - even in occupied patient rooms. This award-winning solution enables hospitals to map resources, monitor activity and measure performance to more effectively timeprove business processes that impact patient care and operational efficiencies.

Awarepoint is provided as a fully managed service, including 24/7/365 remote system monitoring and full maintenance of hardware and software, requiring no hospital IT resources. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California and serves hospitals across the United States through a national sales and operations workforce.


Leslie Versweyveld

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