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The role of barcode scanners in the fight against COVID-19

The role of barcode scanners in the fight against COVID-19

Whilst the search for a vaccine for to protect for COVID-19 continues, society is looking towards existing technology to find solutions which can prevent and control the spread of the disease amongst the community.

One unexpected hero which is rapidly emerging from the technology arsenal is barcode scanning. In various guises scanning technology is making a real difference in a whole range of settings and here are just a few examples of the kind of applications which are significantly aiding in the fight against COVID-19: –

Barcode scanners in hospitals
Barcodes have long been in use within medical facilities to keep track of medical supplies and equipment, registering product data, batch numbers, expiry dates etc. This not only aids with the identification of the correct apparatus or treatment to be used but it is also invaluable in the event of a product recall or reportable incident.

The medical application of barcodes has extended even further throughout the pandemic and they are now commonly used for the identification of personnel (both staff and patients), the status of key surgical instruments and the location of portable ventilators. The importance of the availability of ventilators has been high on the agenda in this crisis and barcode scanners have allowed these most precious of life-saving assets to be tracked, treated and turned around as efficiently as possible.

Temperature scanners for building entry
As we all try to reach some semblance of normality, confidence in the good health of individuals within the interacting community has become crucial. The opening of office buildings, restaurants, galleries, sports events and many other facilities has been significantly aided by the ability to measure the body temperature of individuals prior to allowing entry.

Recent advances in scanning technology has even allowed the registering of temperature without the need for human intervention and the frustrating delays which that can sometimes cause. So-called ‘self-help’ temperature scanners are activated by movement so can capture the data from a person walking past at any time, alarming if the reading falls outside of safe parameters.

QR codes
These have perhaps been the most obvious of the technologies being put to work during the coronavirus pandemic. Highly visible, easy-to-scan codes are providing information to individuals in a whole variety of settings to allow them to serve themselves and therefore reduce face to face contact and maintain social distancing.

QR codes have not only bolstered the availability (and hopefully success) of the Track & Trace system, they have played an important role in the re-opening of many leisure facilities and in the resumption of travel and the safety of the commuting workforce.

Whilst scanning technology alone may not be the answer to the world defeating this virus, its successful application is undeniably helping our medical heroes save lives and is also allowing a faster path back to near-normality for most of us.

At PLM Global scanning technology is our business and we are proud to be part of an industry which is contributing to the fight against COVID. For more information on what we do and how any of the systems mentioned above are being applied get in touch.
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