Turn smartphones into cost-efficient Healthcare Scanners with a Barcode Scanner SDK

December 30, 2021

Hospitals and other healthcare environments are steadily becoming more digital, leveraging digital data capture and transmission to connect institutions regardless of location. In these digital workflows, barcodes are used to handle asset and inventory management, patient identification, or medication plans. They promise high accuracy and efficient access to complex data with just a few clicks. Yet they need to be combined with state-of-the-art technology to reach their full potential. Fast, reliable scanning devices are key to streamlined workflows in healthcare. Conventional handheld scanners have long been the go-to solution to cover use cases in the industry. Nowadays, smartphones display the same accuracy and speed at a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Learn more about the new alternative to outdated scanning devices now.

Handheld scanners versus smartphones – benefits of smart devices in healthcare 

Conventional dedicated scanners are accurate, fast, and reliable. Yet they have several downsides that hamper your digitization strategy and generate avoidable costs. 

First and foremost, flexibility is critical for healthcare digitalization. Modern healthcare facilities use various standards, such as the one-dimensional UDI codes on medical products and the 2D PDF417 or Aztec codes on patient wristbands. 

Standard handheld Barcode Scanners cannot read those complex two-dimensional standards. Laser scanners can cover all barcode scanning use cases with one device – but they are costly. 

Smartphones offer a clear advantage here: Thanks to their integrated camera, they can easily extract information from all barcode standards within milliseconds. 

Direct visual feedback is another crucial factor for an efficient workflow. Healthcare workers need to access information on the spot, without connecting to external hardware. 

However, few scanning devices have built-in displays capable of instantly showing information. Those that do are expensive, with prices reaching $1,000. 

Replacing those pricey, static devices with smartphones reduces the TCO across various departments within healthcare massively. A smartphone with the battery capacity to last the day and sufficient camera quality can cost as little as $300. 

Combined with a Scanner SDK that extracts barcodes in any condition, even from difficult angles, in poor light, or with damage, smartphones are perfect mobile scanners.

Medication management, patient care, specimen tracking – all covered by one device 

Integrating a Barcode Scanner SDK into your mobile application or website takes just about one week. Afterwards, your employees will be ready to scan any standard symbology and access the information immediately. They could use a company-owned smartphone, or even their own, familiar device if you implement a BYOD (Bring your own device) strategy. 

But which use cases in your process chain can you cover using modern barcode technology? Here are the most common applications:

Mobile barcode scanning covers countless areas of application already. In the future, it will become essential in even more healthcare processes.


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