Flexible RFID drives scalable medical sample shipments
UK spinout SamplePod is using flexible RFID chips in labels from PragmatIC to tracks thousands of medical samples every day.
An innovative pod design for carrying medical samples is using a flexible RFID chip to track thousands of shipments every day
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the challenges of thousands of medical samples every day. A UK medical innovation company called Quality Hospital Solutions (QHS) is using flexible RFID technology to manage the movement of medical samples throughout the community.
“The NHS comes to QHS with issues that are currently unsolvable, and the NHS trust in Gateshead came to us with a problem of transport and tracking of samples taken in primary care such as a GP,” said David Frame, a director of SamplePod, the spin out of NETPark based QHS that is commercialising the pod.
“One of the challenges is there are seven or eight different standard formats and the pathology labs have no idea what’s in the bag until they open it, and this is the case for 10 to 11,000 samples per day. These are opened manually, and can be spoiled, the bar code doesn’t scan, it perhaps doesn’t tie up with the label. Overall, the system doesn’t scale,” said Frame.
To address this, QHS designed a carrier that could accommodate the most common sizes of the sample bottles to make them easier to transport and to use in the labs for testing, as the challenge is set to get even bigger.
“The move in the UK is to create super laboratories,” said Frame. “The investment in automation allows them to scale to 55,000 samples per day. The problem that they have is the manual labour in decanting 50,000 samples. What this will do is help expand the capacity of the labs and influence the patient outcomes, 2 to 3% of samples need to be retaken, at £60, and the outcome. This is an issue that is genuinely global,” he says.
“So the NHS wanted a pod that takes all the variants and eradicates the waste. For example, there is 5.5 tonnes of clinical waste a year just from one trust,” said Frame. “We resolved the transport issue with a stackable, rackable, sample unit but we didn’t have the technology for the tracking.”
So SamplePOD worked with Cambridge & NETPark based thin film RFID specialist PragmatIC on flexible technology that could be used in the labels around the samples for tracking.
Source: Electronics Europe News
Follow NETPark On Social Media
Keep up to date with the latest NETPark news and events.
The North East Technology Park provides a dynamic and supportive environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets. NETPark encourages collaborative multidisciplinary links, driving innovation, enterprise and economic prosperity.
We provide companies with access to a focused and international community where talent flourishes, ideas are generated and businesses have the support and resources to compete with the best in the world.
NETPark North East Technology Park
NETPark, North East Technology Park,
Sedgefield, County Durham TS21 3FD
Call Us: (+44) 01740 625250
The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.
We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.
CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.
It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.
Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.
The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.