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Aethon Addresses Patient Safety Concerns With Superior Mobile Technology
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Aug 11, 2008
More Service and Healthcare stories
Dutch study on the Journal of the American Medical Association of medical equipment suggests that wireless radio frequency systems cause harm, confirming Aethon’s approach, using RFID technology that emits zero power as the only safe solution.

Aethon, Inc., a leader in affordable autonomous mobile robots for healthcare supply chain management today announced its robotic Asset Tracking and Recovery System (ATRS) cannot interfere with medical equipment and addresses the critical safety concerns outlined in a study in the June issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was designed to assess and classify incidents of electromagnetic interference by radio frequency identification (RFID) on critical care equipment. The article titled “Electromagnetic Interference from Radio Frequency Identification Inducing Potentially Hazardous Incidents in Critical Care Medical Equipment” appears in the June 25, 2008 issue of JAMA.

While many hospitals are working to improve equipment utilization and reduce costs, the study indicates that the wireless systems in place at several hospitals to track medical equipment can cause potentially deadly breakdowns in lifesaving devices. Aethon, however, offers an effective asset tracking solution, which employs RFID technology that emits zero power. Aethon’s readers and portals only listen for tags, and because the system employs a mobile robot outfitted with a passive antenna, the radios and antennae cannot interfere with clinical equipment.

“Asset tracking improves workflow dynamics, lowers operational costs and can positively impact quality of care,” said Aldo Zini, CEO of Aethon. “Our technology offers the most effective and safest method of accomplishing those goals. Unlike other asset tracking systems, Aethon’s system does not require multiple readers throughout the hospital, which helps to increase efficiency and limit concerns regarding interference.”

Aethon’s unique asset tracking capabilities are a result of sophisticated navigation technology built into TUG, the most successful automated courier system for the delivery and recovery of hospital goods and supplies. Leveraging the TUG’s autonomous robotic platform, the Aethon asset tracking system employs a single mobile reader on each robot that eliminates the typical infrastructure hurdles of competitors’ systems. This translates into more efficient organization and location of pumps, wheelchairs, monitors, respirators, beds and virtually any other assets hospitals are interested in tracking.

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, North Carolina, successfully implemented Aethon’s Asset Tracking and Recovery System as the key component in its material handling re-engineering effort. Moore Regional was able to reduce costs and improve staff efficiency by increasing their overall asset utilization and reducing equipment rentals. The fact that Aethon’s system also is the safest way to deploy an RFID-based asset tracking solution is yet another significant benefit for any hospital evaluating strategies to improve their asset management process.

About Aethon
Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Aethon is a leader in affordable autonomous mobile robots for practical business applications. In healthcare, the company’s automated technology platform is redefining hospital supply chain logistics by automating the location, delivery and recovery of key assets. The net result of Aethon’s low-cost, easy-to-install RFID-based asset utilization solution is improved caregiver efficiency and satisfaction, increased asset utilization, decreased equipment rentals, increased patient safety and satisfaction, and improved regulatory compliance. More than 100 hospitals nationwide have deployed Aethon’s TUG and HOMER robots. For more information, visit

Joseph Costa
P:  412-322-2975


Caitlin Hunt/Anne Lundregan
Schwartz Communications
P:  781-684-0770

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