New blood tracking system used across Europe

  • 17 December 2007

An image-based blood tracking data capture solution is helping to save lives and reduce waste in hospitals across Europe.

BloodTrack Courier, a sophisticated kiosk PC, controls and logs access to blood storage refrigerators in hospitals. The system has recently been enhanced by a 5080 image engine from Hand Held Products.

BloodTrack Courier was developed by Datalog International and Neoteric Technology in conjunction with Geoff Bullen Electronics (GBE) and Olympus OsYris.

The system was developed to combat the problem of human error, a predominant cause of the wrong blood components being used in transfusions, which has, in some cases, led to patient deaths. BloodTrack uses a barcode system to control access to blood bag refrigerators, and to ensure that the correct bag is removed each time.

To comply with new EU legislation, GBE recently decided to upgrade BloodTrack’s image reader.

Mark Bullen, GBE’s Managing Director, said: “We needed a unit that was small enough to fit in the kiosk; fast; rugged; and could work in all light levels.”

GBE opted for Hand Held Products’ 5080 image engine, which is compact and lightweight and uses the latest technology.

Roel Vreeburg, Hand Held Products’ general manager, EMEA and APAC, told E-Health Europe: “Adaptus 5.0 has made our image engines more versatile and powerful than ever before. It’s particularly gratifying to see that in this case, they not only boost efficiency and productivity, but can also actually help to save lives.”

The unit’s Adaptus imaging technology can read virtually all barcodes and can capture digital images.

Bullen added: “It’s reliable and easy to service, and the support from Hand Held Products has been excellent.”

Prior to an operation, a patient is given a medical check and if blood is required, a sample is taken.

A Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) collects the patient’s ID from their wristband, and produces accurately labelled samples. The sample is processed and blood is issued for the patient, and scanned using BloodTrack before being placed into the blood issue fridge.

All movements in and out of the fridges are captured using the system. If a patient needs blood, a request slip is printed and given to a nurse or porter. The slip’s PDF 417 barcode contains the information needed to identify the patient and the product required.

The BloodTrack 5080 image engine scans the ID of the porter or nurse, and the slip. This unlocks the refrigerator so that they can remove the blood bag, which is scanned to ensure that it is correct. When the blood arrives on the ward, the nurse checks it again using the PDA.

Bullen said: “This system is saving the hospitals time and money. Above all, it is saving the lives of patients.”


Datalog International

Neoteric Technology

Geoff Bullen Electronics

Olympus OsYris

Hand Held Products


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