TECH: Barcoding prevalent almost everywhere! (Just kidding)

Brian Klepper writes to tell me that in today’s almanac

On this day in 1974, bar codes were first used in supermarket checkout lanes. In a Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio, the first product to be scanned was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. It just happened to be the first thing lifted from the cart. Today, the pack of gum is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Of course bar coding is used uniformly in every health care establishment now, so why would the fact that retail’s been using bar-coding for 32 years be on this blog? Oh, hang on a minute….

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Tom Leith Recent comment authors
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Tom Leith
Tom Leith

I think its worse than this even. As best I can tell, the healthcare industry has hamstrung itself by focusing on a particular symbology, the very familiar uni-dimensional the UPC style “linear bar code”. For reasons utterly beyond my comprehension, instead of taking advantage of new optical scanning technology like the 2-D systems you see on every package from Amazon.com, the healthcare industry, if it manages to adopt automated inventory and production control technologies at all, will remain decades behind the curve. This is just disgusting. Since madates are evidently necessary (this also is disgusting, but…) it seems to me… Read more »