Red Cross Selects Barcode Scanner MC55 EDA for Mobile Blood Donor Program

Nationwide deployment includes mobile computing and wireless LAN solutions

The American Red Cross will be streamlining workflow with Motorola's MC55 Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA), which combines the power of a cell phone, bar code scanner, two-way radio, digital camera and mobile computer into a single device. Coupled with wireless LAN access points, they will assist in documenting blood donations for more than 200,000 blood drives each year. Motorola and its partner, MoreDirect, a subsidiary of PC Connections, will custom configure and deliver more than 6,000 MC55 EDAs and 2,000 access points to the 36 Red Cross regions nationwide.

MC55_MD_US-EN"Motorola's complete mobile communications solution empowers the American Red Cross' ability to help ensure the safety of the nation's blood supply while maintaining the privacy of the blood donors," said Jim Mears, Motorola vice president of mobile solutions. "This solution makes for easy installation and reliable operation of the critical infrastructure required for secure blood drives in thousands of locations each week."

The MC55 EDA, with an integrated bar code scanner, will provide the Red Cross with a light-weight, size-optimized device that will securely and wirelessly connect the end user to the application and data server used at each blood drive. Built around Microsoft's Windows Mobile software platform, the MC55 packs the power of a desktop computer into a rugged, and user-friendly device that operates through an entire shift on a single battery.  Additionally, the MC55 can withstand the rugged nature of a mobile blood drive. Users can wipe down the units with alcohol-based solutions to inhibit the spread of germs.

According to the American Red Cross, 6.5 million blood donations are collected each year from roughly 4 million volunteer blood donors. Of these donations, up to 80 percent are collected at mobile blood drives held by community organizations, companies, high schools, colleges, places of worship and military installations.The MC55 EDAs will be used by nurses and phlebotomists at these mobile locations to document each donation thoroughly and securely.

Motorola's WLAN access points will provide the Red Cross with a portable Wi-Fi solution that can be quickly and easily installed. This allows each mobile blood drive to link MC55 EDAs, laptops, printers, handheld devices and servers reliably while exceeding HIPAA security compliance requirements. The self-configuring wireless system may include multiple access points in mesh configurations to support a wide range of blood drive sizes and locations.