Socket announces latest Bluetooth barcode scanner

chs7xscannermobihealthnews: “Socket Mobile announced this week the availability of its latest Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) Series 7, a barcode scanner with medical applications which has been Apple-certified as a “Made for iPad, iPhone, iPod” accessory.

“This is the best performing barcode scanner for developers who are creating applications incorporating barcode scanning for the Apple iOS,” stated Samantha Chu, data collection product manager at Socket Mobile, in a press release. “There are numerous applications that stand to benefit from barcode scanning in a range of vertical markets, and we believe the CHS 7Xi provides the Apple developer community with a level of control and data integrity that didn’t exist previously.”

I’ve mentioned the CHS Series 7 scanners before. They really are neat little devices; small, quick and accurate.

Another scanner worth mentioning in this category is the Koamtac KDC200. I’ve used the KDC200 and it’s a pretty slick scanner as well.

Quick Hit – A couple of interesting bar-coding tidbits

There were a couple of things about bar-coding in the web-stream that caught my attention today.

The first item was a tweet from @hospitalrx mentioning an application at USA.gov for the iPhone and Android OS that can be used to identify product recalls. The application is appropriately called Recalls.gov.

Now, those recalls are right at your fingertips, thanks to the new RECALLS.GOV mobile application. Whether you’re at your child’s day care center or a yard sale, whether you’re at a store or at home, you can now type a product’s name into your phone and learn immediately whether that product has been recalled because of a safety concern. You can also see photos of recalled products and learn what to do with recalled products in your homes.

Even though the website is lacking detail, the application does offer the ability to scan the bar-code on a given item to determine its recall status, although I have not tested this functionality. Additional mobile applications from USA.gov can be found here.

And from Barcode.com: “Motorola has released a tiny new barcode scanner called the CS3000. The CS3000, shown below, is just about 3.5 inches long, 2 inches wide and less than an inch thick. It weighs only 2.45oz according the Motorola spec sheet. It is capable of scanning 1D barcodes and has a 24 hour battery life. The CS3000 has a USB connector and also Bluetooth. It’s 512MB of flash memory can hold roughly a million bar codes.“

These things are neat. You can download the spec sheet for the Motorola CS3000 scanner here (PDF).

Cool Technology for Pharmacy – NDC Translator

Last week I posted about some bar-coding troubles we were having. One of the comments regarding the information in the post was left by a pharmacist named Max Peoples. Max offered up some great information and mentioned a piece of software called NDC Translator from RxScan.

From Max’s comment: “One answer to the medication NDC # barcode scanning problem is to use the software called NDC Translator(TM) with your barcode scanners. Information at http://www.rxscan.com/rx.shtml

It intercepts the raw data coming from the barcode scanner, evaluates it’s content and if it contains the 10 digit NDC # (required to be there by law in a medication barcode) it converts the raw data into the 11 digit NDC # format and then sends the 11 digit NDC over to the application you are scanning into, in this case Jerry’s barcode labeling software.”
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Cool Technology for Pharmacy – LXE Bluetooth Ring Scanner

A recent conversation with Carla Corkern, CEO of Talyst, resulted in this week’s Cool Technology for Pharmacy.

The LXE 8650 Bluetooth Ring Scanner is a pretty neat, albeit homely, piece of hardware. The device is designed with wearability in mind to provide the end-user with hands-free operation.

The LXE 8650 consists of a ring scanner and a Bluetooth module. The Bluetooth module is attached to the wrist via a velcro strap and the ring scanner fits on the finger and is operated by a thumb trigger. The system is lightweight coming in at only 4.8 ounces (136 grams), and that includes the ring scanner, Bluetooth module, battery and wrist strap. The scanner is designed with a magnesium alloy housing so it can take a beating, something that is a necessity in the pharmacy. In addition to the magnesium housing the system is sealed to IP54 standards1 and can withstand multiple drops from up to 4 feet to concrete. Battery life appears to be pretty good and can deliver up to 17,000 scans on a single charge. I don’t know about your pharmacy, but that equates to more than 24 hours of continuous use before a charge is necessary.
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Combination RFID – Bar code reader from Motorola

Looks like Motorola is upping the ante a bit in the portable scanner game. They recently introduced a combination bar code scanner and RFID reader for use at the point of care. It’s not pretty, and the name could use a little marketing help, but it offers some interesting functionality. A combination scanning devices like this could be just what the healthcare industry needs as we continue to move forward with BPOC / BCMA and start investigating the expanded role of RFID tags in patient safety.
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Cool Technology for Pharmacy – CHS 7X

Bar-Code Point-Of-Care (BPOC), also known as Bar-Code Medication Administration (BCMA) has been a hot topic in health care for a while now. Some people love it while others hate it. Regardless of how you feel about bar-coding it is here to stay for a while and the technology, both hardware and software, is pretty cool.
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Quick hit – Barcode scanner consistency

Part of the process of implementing barcode medication administration (BCMA) is evaluating hardware; mostly scanners. There are several makers of barcode scanners including Honeywell, Symbol, Metrologic, Datalogic and Code Corp. Having so many choices always makes the selection process interesting.

One suggestion from several hospitals I spoke with that were already live with BCMA, was to use the same barcode scanner on the nursing floors that were used in the pharmacy. That sounds logical, right? Sure, if the barcode scans correctly in the pharmacy, then nursing should be able to scan the same barcode using the same scanner.

The scanner of choice in our pharmacy department is the the Code Reader 3500 from Code Corp. So of course this is the scanner I recommended in my report to the BCMA hardware sub-committee. For whatever reason, the committee decided to go with a different brand of scanner. Unfortunately the scanners we purchased won’t scan some of the more complex barcodes coming out of pharmacy, making them virtually useless. The scanners purchased by the hospital are on their way back to the wholesaler as I patiently await for round two.

Take away lesson: use the same barcode scanner for the nursing units that the pharmacy department uses to meet their barcoding needs.

Code Corp bar code scanners

As I’ve mentioned before our AutoCarousel system from Talyst utilizes barcode scanners from Code Corp, specifically the Code Reader 3.0 (CR3). As you my or not be aware, I’ve been working with Code Corp and Talyst over the past several months in an attempt to replace our aging CR3 with Code Corps newest version of the scanner, the Code Reader 3500.

The Code Reader 3500 uses newer technology over the CR3 and performs much better with our carousel. The reader is easier to use due to its wider target area and “reflection and glare reducing illumination”. It’s also quite a bit faster. The technicians love it.
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Barcode scanner dilemma

barcode_scanAs barcoding in pharmacies grows in popularity I get exposed to more and more barcoding equipment; particularly barcode scanners. Our carousels utilize barcode scanners from Code Corp, our AutoPack system utilizes a barcode scanner from Honeywell – previously Handheld – and our barcode medication administration system will use a yet-to-be-determined scanner. In addition, I’ve accumulated a nice collection of various scanners in my office including wireless, Bluetooth and tethered.
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A little assistance for choosing the right barcode reader

barcode.com: “With all of the data capture solutions on the market today, choosing a barcode scanner may seem overwhelming. However, after analyzing all of your needs, making the right choice should come easily. It’s important to analyze both the requirements of your business and what your budget allows. First and foremost, ask yourself, “what barcode symbology will I need to be scanning?” While laser scanners are a cost-effective option, they aren’t able to scan 2D barcodes (aside from the PDF-417, a 2D-like symbology), which digital imagers can. With the use of 2D barcodes on the rise, it may be wise to invest in a digital imager so that it will better accommodate future progressions in technology. On the other hand, digital imagers can decode 2D barcodes, which can be encoded with a significantly greater amount of information than their 1D counterparts. In addition, imagers allow for omni-direction barcode reading, eliminating the need to accommodate the scanning device. Area imagers can even read Direct Part Marking (DPM), a method of permanently marking a product, allowing the product to be tracked throughout its life.” – Our facility uses a combination of barcode scanners in the pharmacy, and I can honestly say choosing the right one can make all the difference. I have personal experience with a few barcode scanners from Code Corporation and Honeywell (previously Handheld). In my opinion the Honeywell products are better. They are easy to use and very forgiving when it comes to scanning medication barcodes. The Code scanners require a little manipulation and better aim, which can be frustrating when you’re in a hurry.

For more information on barcode readers, try barcode.com, barcoding.com or idautomation.com.