ClearCount Medical Solutions out of Pittsburgh, PA is finally releasing its RFID-based sponge tracking products that won FDA approval back in June of 2007. Medline Industries of Mundelein, IL has been named as the soul distributor of the SmartWand-DTX and SmartSponge System. ClearCount’s technology tracks the history of every sponge or towel during a procedure, and guarantees that nothing is left behind by using dime sized RFID chips sewn into the fabric. We’re not aware of the price of the system, but it’ll probably cost a pretty penny once you add up the extra time maintaining the system and managing it during operations, all to chase a relatively rare problem that’s typically solved by an old fashioned nurse’s count.
Conceptually, the process is a little like finding a coin on the beach with a metal detector, but much more high-tech and precise. Each sponge has its own ID number coded in its RFID tag. The SmartSponge System can read and record the unique ID number of each sponge as it comes out of its packaging in the OR, as it is used in the patient, and as it is removed and disposed of. Both the SmartSponge and SmartWand-DTX count multiple sponges and read through blood and tissue, and they can locate a missing tagged sponge using radio waves to signal the RFID tag to identify itself. Both systems also use the same RFID-tagged consumables, providing hospitals for the first time with a choice of devices to best address the unique conditions of each OR.
System provides sponge counts and sponge detection No line of sight is required for RFID tags to be read Intuitive graphical interface provides a quick “In/Out” view of reconciliation Reduced handling of soiled sponges minimizes biohazard exposure Different sponge types and towels can be tracked and counted at the same time Uniquely identified sponges prevent the system from ever counting the same sponge twice SmartWand scanning provides quick detection in event of non-reconciliation SmartMat ensures the SmartWand is within range and ready for patient scan Data can be exported to your Hospital Information System (HIS) in standard HL7 format Printer option is available to document case Non-intrusive RFID tags are smaller than a dime and do not contain a battery
Medline to Distribute Only FDA-Cleared System to Both Count and Locate Surgical Sponges Left in Patients
Product page: SmartSponge System
Flashbacks: There’s an RFID in my Sponge!; No Sponge Left Behind: Surgical Sponge Counting System Gets FDA Approval