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Mobile Data Collection in the Healthcare Sector

Most people know mobile data collection devices and scanners from their use in retail: everybody has probably seen an employee in shopping malls or supermarkets capturing the goods in the shelves with a handheld terminal. It is also logical that handheld terminals and scanners are used in logistics – here, big amounts of data have to be captured, registered or booked out in a short period of time. However, healthcare is not what normally comes to mind when they think about mobile data collection – although it can play a major role here, too.

A simple example comes from the pharmaceutical area: Here, medicine has to be captured precisely – oftentimes coming in the smallest kind of packages, bottles or cans. Inventory has to be 100 percent reliable, in order to avoid medicine shortages in the pharmacy or even hospitals – eventually, it is about health.

Also surgical instruments often have a code in order to capture them precisely. Using Direct Part Marking (DPM), codes such as QR Codes® are engraved into the surgical instruments. With a DPM scanner (which, among others, must be able to deal with the light reflection of the special and reflective surface) like the GT20-QD from DENSO, those codes can be read.

DENSO’s BHT-900 is used in Parisian hospitals which belong to the public hospital system “Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP)”. Here, it is used for the management of patients’ files; you can read the case study here.

In summary, the healthcare area must not be underestimated when it comes to mobile data collection. It benefits from handheld terminals and scanners exactly like other areas – even though those seem more obvious in the first place.