Barcode scanning is one of the most commonly used technologies in hospitals. The nurse scans everything from the patient badge, wrist band, medications, IV bags etc etc to ensure that the right intervention is given to the right patient. However, hospital barcode scanners tend to very bulky and work with computers that are installed on wheeled carts. With the wide spread use iPads and iPod Touches in hospitals, many are looking for mobile solutions that work with iOS devices. There are two choices.
For the best scanning efficiency, you could add a regular laser barcode scanner as a dongle for the iOS device. An example of such device is the iScan. It allows the nurse to scan existing barcodes very quickly.
However, the dongle does add weight and bulk to the iOS device. What if the nurse forgets to attach the dongle, and need to scan something right now? It is good to provide a backup solution using the device's built-in camera. The camera-based scanner is slower than laser scanner, but they potentially recognize 2-D barcodes like PDF417 and QR when the hospital barcode system upgrades. A good example camera-based barcode scanning solution is the Red Laser SDK.