Slideshow: RFID In Healthcare

Wi-Fi RFID is being used in many healthcare facilities to track patients, staff and expensive medical gear. Clinicians use it to locate important mobile medical testing equipment quickly, monitor confused patients wandering through hallways, and assist in asset management and patient flow.

A clinician checks medical asset location using PDA and Awarepoint's technology. Awarepoint's RFID products offer one-click search functionality for real time location, status and movement of hospital assets.

These small Wi-Fi RFID tags from AeroScout are designed for tracking patients, staff and medical devices. The tags work with pre-existing, standard Wi-Fi networks, enabling hospitals to track people and medical equipment enterprise-wide -- without having to install dedicated RFID readers or a proprietary network. The tags can also be used for chokepoint detection, such as alerting staff when a wandering patient leaves the ward unattended, or for room and bay-level location, such as identifying a patient within a preoperative suite.

AeroScout's MobileView software provides tracking, managing, alerting and reporting capabilities for hospitals. Icons on maps represent patients, staff and medical equipment. This is a map of the first floor of the new Disney Cancer Center, in Calif. where AeroScout products are used to track patients throughout every stage of their treatment and environmental settings in rooms automatically adjust to pre-selected preferences.

Hundreds of infusion pumps are often dispersed throughout hospitals and are among the most commonly tracked pieces of equipment in those facilities because the gear is constantly being moved. A Wi-Fi RFID asset management solution such as those from AeroScout helps pumps to be located much faster. The system also provides alerts when pumps enter specific rooms or when storage rooms are running low on inventory.

At Jan Yperman Hospital in Brussels, Belgium, many types of medical equipment are tracked and managed using AeroScout's Wi-Fi RFID Asset Management solution. The technology helps save time when clinical staffers are locating these items, also making it easier to properly maintain equipment, optimize utilization and reduce equipment loss.

Staff members at Jan Yperman Hospital in Brussels, Belgium wear Wi-Fi RFID tags and use AeroScout's Staff Safety solution. Staff members can push a button on the tag when they are in a duress situation or need assistance. The Staff Safety solution then sends the appropriate alerts and tracks the location of the staff member in need of help.

Hospitals typically have hundreds of refrigerators throughout their campuses with critical temperature-sensitive items such as pharmaceuticals, vaccines, blood and tissue samples. AeroScout's Wi-Fi RFID Temperature Monitoring products help hospitals wirelessly monitor temperatures frequently sending alerts when issues arise. Continuous monitoring of refrigerator temperatures can improve patient safety and reduce spoilage and waste.

Awarepoint Corp., another provider of RFID products and real-time location systems, also offers wearable tags to track patients and staff. In addition to healthcare customers, Awarepoint also offers its RFID and real-time location systems (RTLS) to the manufacturing and security sectors.

Awarepoint's Active RFID technologies and real-time location systems include its real-time awareness platform, RTLS applications, firmware, RFID tags, sensors and bridges.

RFID and real-time location system is used to track expensive gear in medical facilities.

University of California San Diego Medical Center uses Awarepoint products. Uses include reporting analytics, alerting and system monitoring, and real-time location, status and movement of equipment and patients.

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