Code reader gets bill of health

MARCH 23--Absolute Vision Ltd. (Meriden, England; absolutevision.co.uk) has received an order for its DataMouse Pro 2D code reader from the World Medical Center (Geneva, Switzerland; www.world-medical-center.com).

MARCH 23--Absolute Vision Ltd. (Meriden, England;absolutevision.co.uk) has received an order for its DataMouse Pro 2D code reader from the World Medical Center (Geneva, Switzerland; www.world-medical-center.com). The hand-held readers will be distributed worldwide to the surgeries and hospitals that form a growing network of treatment centers, all linked to the Swiss-based medical organization.

The World Medical Center has developed a card that contains all the necessary information for a doctor to treat patients safely, while taking into account their current medication or allergies. This critical but private information is encrypted into a 2-D Data Matrix code in one corner of the medical card. "As patients are admitted to one of our associate treatment centers, their card is scanned using the Data Matrix reader. This reveals all the information in an ICD medical language format. This simplifies consultation procedures and reduces the danger of being prescribed the wrong medication," says Per Nordbø, chief technical officer at the World Medical Center.

"This is a beneficial application of Data Matrix technology and one that could help save lives. Everyone travels with some form of ID. Many people may carry organ donor cards and contact details for next of kin, but with a World Medical Card, doctors have a file of medical histories and treatment at their fingertips, in addition to organ donor requests and next of kin. In extreme circumstances this could mean the difference between life and death," says Richard Laight, business development manager at Absolute Vision.

The Data Matrix readers are being produced by Absolute Vision in the World Medical Center and will be used worldwide. It is estimated that a global system will available within two to three years. The scheme is receiving support from the European Health Commission and generating interest from private health providers. A complementary scheme where critical health information is stored on mobile phones has also been initiated by the World Medical Center.

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