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Motion Computing, a manufacturer of rugged mobile devices, has introduced the CL900 SlateMate, which is the company’s CL900 Tablet PC with an integrated MagTek magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner.

MagTek is a maker of credentialing devices such as secure card readers, check scanners and PIN pads.

Announced on Oct. 18, the SlateMate allows for mobile data acquisition and transaction processing in industries such as health care, point-of-sale retail and field service industries in which workers conduct inspections.

“Any place you need to complete a credit card transaction, the SlateMate will work,” Mike Stinson, vice president of marketing for Motion Computing, told eWEEK.

The SlateMate conforms to the same durability standards as the rest of the CL900 unit, including the MIL-STD-810G military specification on shock and vibration as well as Ingress Protection (IP) 52 on dust and dripping water.

Motion Computing introduced the CL900 tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 5 in Las Vegas. The unit provides up to 8 hours of battery life.

The SlateMate’s barcode handles 1D and 2D imaging and is integrated into the body of the unit rather than being sold separately. The MagTek device adds an inch to the right side of the unit.

“It’s not a snap-on kind of thing,” Stinson said. “It’s integrated with the system so you get the same level of durability.”

With the built-in card reader, the SlateMate could be used to admit and discharge patients at a hospital bed rather than requiring them to move to a customer service area, Stinson said.

Scanning a patient’s wristband or ID can ensure that doctors are treating the right patient with the right medicine, he noted.

“It’s got a unique identifier there might be two John Smiths in the hospital and this will pull up the right one,” Stinson explained.

Scanning a barcode on a patient’s wristband can allow hospital staff to access the person’s electronic health record on the CL900 tablet, according to Stinson. With its standard barcode topology, the SlateMate is compatible with any EHR application running Windows.

Meanwhile, on Oct. 12, EHR application developer Athenahealth announced that a 2D barcode system developed by Cook Children’s Health System in Fort Worth, Texas, will be able to scan barcodes from vaccine bottles into health records in Microsoft HealthVault and AthenaClinicals.

Scanning a patient’s barcode on a wristband could bring up vital health data on the CL900’s screen, such as blood pressure, weight and blood glucose information.

In the retail field, sales personnel holding the tablet on a showroom floor can use the SlateMate extension to check inventory and process payments, Stinson said. Adding magnetic stripe and barcode readers to the tablet should improve inventory management and turnaround times on data requests, Motion Computing reports.

Workers can scan a product using the magnetic stripe reader, then swipe a customer’s credit card to complete a transaction.

In hospitals, a nurse can scan the magnetic stripe of a patient’s ID card or bracelet tag, then swipe a credit card to process a payment.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Motion Computing Tablet Adds Barcode, Magnetic Scanner for Hospital Use