Safer babies in hospitals thanks to our RTLS tracking system
Security in hospitals and nursing homes is key, as these are environments where there is a significant movement of people throughout the day. Especially in the case of the most vulnerable, such as elderly or mentally ill people, healthcare staff and, above all, newborns.
And even more so, taking into consideration events such as those that have recently occurred in hospitals in different countries, where an unauthorised person was able to gain access to the neonatal area and abduct a baby for a few hours.
We also see recurrent reports of patients or users with mental illness or cognitive impairment who leave a hospital or social care facility and spend hours or days wandering the streets.
Although fortunately in most cases the situation has been resolved favourably, these events have led to a review of safety protocols in maternity, neonatology, psychiatry and geriatrics areas of hospitals and nursing homes in order to prevent them and, if they occur, to provide a quick and effective solution.
From our position as a manufacturer specialising in critical communication systems in hospitals, we got down to work to provide a response adapted to this need, and so we have updated our Real Time Locating System (RTLS), the positioning solution to identify, track, protect and manage objects and people.
Baby tracking: babies located and safe at all times
We offer the new baby tracker to the market, which makes it possible to identify the newborn baby and prevent it from being taken away from their mother without her consent. Alarms go off and indicate the baby's location when:
- An attempt is made to tamper with the bracelet, which has an anti-cut sensor.
- The newborn is approaching a certain area with an unauthorised person.
The system works thanks to BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology and the following elements:
- An antenna with PoE power supply, which is placed in the predetermined areas (doors, corridors, etc.).
- A bracelet for locating and monitoring the newborn baby with an anti-cut sensor, which is worn by the baby itself until it is discharged from the hospital.
- Wristbands for the mother and health personnel. In the latter case, it can be activated for specific people and at specific times, in an automatic and natural way. For example, if the baby has to be separated from the mother for a specific test.
What are the advantages of BLE technology?
Unlike RFID (a passive technology that uses radio waves to transmit data between the reader and a tag that is attached to an object), BLE is an active technology that uses Bluetooth Low Energy to transmit data between devices, BLE as in wearable devices and smart home devices. So, in comparison:
- The reading distance of an average BLE tag is typically longer than that of an average RFID tag.
- The data storage capacity is higher in BLE tags.
- Bluetooth tags have their own power source and are therefore the best choice for applications that require the tag to run continuously.
- Both RFID and BLE technologies have different levels of security, depending on the implementation.
- RFID and BLE technologies can be designed to work with a wide range of other devices, depending on the implementation.
- RFID tags are generally less expensive compared to BLE devices, but BLE devices offer more advanced features and functionalities.
- The active tag provides greater security compared to a passive tag, which is easily disconnected when in contact with the skin or if wrapped with materials such as aluminium foil.
In summary, BLE technology offers:
- Lower cost of BLE antennas compared to RF antennas.
- Longer battery life of the tags. Compared to the 6 months or one year maximum battery life of an active RF tag, the battery life of a BLE tag can be between 3 and 5 years thanks to its lower power consumption.
- Reduced risk of interference with electromedical equipment, etc.
Traceability and safety for healthcare workers
The system also has advantages for healthcare staff:
- Thanks to their ID card, healthcare professionals can make presence in any room that has a reader, which in this case uses RFID technology. In this way, and thanks to its integration in our ACCURO patient-nurse communication system, the traceability of all staff can be carried out.
- At the same time, the ID card has a panic button, which the professional can activate if he/she feels in danger to alert security personnel.
- The system allows the creation of up to 6 user levels, with different permissions and even door-to-door permission control.
Wandering patient monitoring
In the case of wandering patient monitoring, mainly applicable in nursing homes and psychiatric wards, we have devices that warn of the presence of patients or users in sensitive areas, where specific antennas will be installed.
Users are provided with a device with IP67 dust and water protection, which triggers the alarm if the person wearing it approaches an unauthorised area.
Hospitals have very expensive technological equipment (such as a biometric measurement trolley), which is often a very tempting target for theft. To prevent theft, the solution is very simple and consists of hiding a beacon (with BLE technology) inside the object to be protected, fixing it with an adhesive or similar.
The system's antennas, which will be located in specific areas of the centre (corridor, doors, etc.) will alert of their presence if they come within a certain distance.
ACCUROrtls also has the possibility of applying Artificial Intelligence through facial recognition. Thus, it is possible to identify any person without the need to stigmatise them with physical elements, also avoiding the possibility of them getting lost.
The system does not require an Internet connection, so it is 100% secure against attacks from outside, nor does it require contracting cloud services (Azure, DataFlow, AWS, etc.). And it complies with the Data Protection Law, as it only requires a photograph previously provided by the user.
As the RTLS system is a native part of ACCURO, the platform allows the configuration of alerts, warnings and calls to IP phones and terminals (such as tablets) connected to the system through the ACCUROviewer software.
ACCUROrtls has a highly visual and intuitive interface. At a glance, the user can check the status of each critical zone in real time, while accessing the different functions of the system with a single click.
When the system detects the presence of a person or object in an unauthorised area, it immediately triggers an alert call to warn of this situation and displays the location on a map. This reduces the response time of security personnel.
Any questions? Please contact us. We will be happy to help you.