HOW DOES WiFi RTLS WORK?
Wi-Fi RTLS systems build upon a facility’s existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to track assets and people as they move through the hospital. Information encoded through Wi-Fi (2.4GHz) packets is transmitted wirelessly by devices called tags and received by a network of devices called access points. The information — most often tag serial numbers and triangulated location data — is then forwarded to a data server, where it is stored and arranged in a software database for analysis.
In healthcare applications, Wi-Fi tags are typically applied to moveable medical equipment (such as infusion pumps and wheelchairs), hospital patients and/or clinical staff to track their location and movements. The most common application is asset management.
BENEFITS OF WiFi-BASED RTLS
- Fast, cable-less deployment
- Text messaging, over-the-air tag maintenance capabilities
- Builds on existing infrastructure
Wi-Fi tags typically contain three major components: (1) a microchip for modulating/demodulating the Wi-Fi signal, (2) an antenna (or two antennae) for receiving and/or transmitting the signal, and (3) a small battery to power the microchip and send the RF signal. An industry-standard Wi-Fi tag battery lasts up to five years. Increasingly, manufacturers have been outfitting Wi-Fi tags with Infrared or Ultrasound capabilities, allowing for “positive room identification” and ultra-high location accuracy. Read more about this and other combined solutions…
Wi-Fi ACCESS POINTS
A Wi-Fi RTLS system utilizes a facility’s existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. Most systems can easily be integrated with any Wi-Fi provider’s access points. But oftentimes, in order to acquire a high-enough level of accuracy in location data, facilities must deploy additional access points throughout the hospital. Otherwise, deploying advanced tracking solutions such as hand-hygiene compliance, E.D. throughput and surgical services will result in sub-par results. With additional access points, most Wi-Fi RTLS systems can accurately determine a tag’s exact location within several feet.
Each tag tracked is an additional “client” on the facility’s Wi-Fi network, so adding access points can also prevent an RTLS system from overtaxing the network.
VIZZIA‘s Wi-Fi solution is based on the selection, deployment and management of the most sensible active Wi-Fi technology available in the market in combination with VIZZIONSM and our proprietary analytical tools. VIZZIA works with several manufacturers of Wi-Fi systems and components, including AeroScout and Aginova.