Bluetooth Mesh Improves Equipment Tracking
Hospitals are busy. According to the Bureau of Health Information, NSW hospitals are the busiest in Australia, primarily for elective surgeries and in emergencies. They saw more than 714,100 people between January and March of 2018 with Western Sydney hospitals experiencing the highest traffic. Locating equipment, like defibrillators, nebulisers and oxygen pumps, is difficult in such a hectic environment. Many hospitals struggle to keep track of their equipment because they face one medical emergency after the next. It’s either in use or misplaced after saving someone’s life and rushing them to surgery. Hospitals must also ensure the safety of their staff and patients, but patient and staff tracking isn’t easy. Patients often wander off, especially those with dementia. Staff members sometimes work in isolated areas or find themselves in dangerous situations. Lives are lost if hospitals don’t know where their assets are at all times. Innovative companies like Iottag develop real-time location systems (RTLS) using the latest technology to transform asset, staff and equipment tracking practices.
What is RLTS technology and Bluetooth Mesh?
RTLS technology uses location transmitters, like smart beacons attached to walls and ceilings, to receive data from various tracking tags. Data is transmitted through Wi-Fi, which is then retrieved through mobile apps, integrated CRM software or application program interfaces (API). There are various locating technologies some of which include ultrasound, radio frequency identification (RFID), infrared, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, who introduced Bluetooth Mesh in 2017.
All mobile devices and most electronic goods have Bluetooth built into them. You can use this two-way communication to pair devices and transmit information between the two. Bluetooth usually has a range of 10-metres and can only be paired with a single device at a time. Bluetooth mesh was created to enable large-scale, wireless connections because the meshed network enables many-to-many communication without any failures in the system. It is one of the best asset tracking solutions for organisations, like hospitals, that require thousands of tracking tags.
Iottag uses a cloud-based API and their ATLAS App to improve asset tracking. They developed the Blue Care app to assist hospitals with equipment, patient and staff tracking. Blue Care is an all-in-one app that enables hospital staff to not only track equipment but also determine if new equipment is needed to improve efficiency and patient care. Their innovative technology uses a combination of Bluetooth mesh, RFID technology and GPS tracking so assets can be located indoors and outdoors. Iottag’s Bluetooth tags and smart beacons are some of the best on the market.
Using Bluetooth tags and GPS units
Bluetooth and RFID asset tracking tags work in a similar way to barcodes. All necessary information pertaining to an asset is programmed into the tracking tag, which you can retrieve when needed. The amount of information encoded into a tag depends on the industry. For example, a hospital would need details on the operations of their equipment, like what it is, when it was bought, where it was used last and how many hours it’s been used since its last upgrade. This information ensures hospitals can locate equipment but also monitor the status of their equipment.
Iottag’s Bluetooth tracking tags use ground-breaking technology so organisations, like hospitals, can track all critical equipment and specify what information they need programmed. Bluetooth tags are the same size as a 50 cent coin and cost about 1/5 the standard price. The equipment tracking tags have a large, accurate and adjustable range with a 1-year battery life because they combines Bluetooth Mesh and GPS tracking technology. A detailed map of the hospital can be generated and used to locate equipment quickly. Using Iottag’s Blue Care app or cloud-based SDK, hospitals can tailor a solution to meet their tracking needs. Hospitals with a good Wi-Fi network can easily set-up a real-time locating system (RTLS).
Equipment tracking with smart beacons
Smart beacons transmit data from equipment tracking tags to the nearest portable device using Bluetooth mesh and RFID technology. A unique universal identifier (UUID) registers the signal through an app, like Iottag’s Blue Care, or a compatible operating system. Smartphones, tablets and other web-enabled devices are transformed into tracking units. Smart beacons only transmit a one-way signal; hence, a specific app is required to ensure staff and equipment aren’t tracked by the beacon. This protects the privacy of staff members who can’t be tracked when the app isn’t in range of the beacons.
Bluetooth Mesh for equipment tracking solutions
Bluetooth mesh has improved indoor equipment tracking practices. Iottag uses a combination of Bluetooth mesh, RFID technology and GPS tracking to ensure equipment can be located in a matter of minutes. Hospitals can use this technology to save lives. Visit iottag.com.au/hospitals-tracking for more information on how to optimise equipment tracking systems.