Beacon technology is positively impacting both individuals and enterprises, across diverse industries. In the healthcare space, beacon enabled devices are impacting people throughout the industry, be it patients or healthcare providers.
IoT based location tracking solutions can be harnessed for a host of functions like, keeping track of devices, assets and patients. The technology is among the most effective and efficient solutions that can be deployed in the healthcare space today for a wide variety of location-based applications. Beacon enabled wearables have the ability to customize data according to a patient’s or healthcare provider’s current health information. Such personalisation enables direct one-to-one conversations that are highly relevant and delivered at the right time.
Beacon technology can enable patients and physicians to receive relevant information at the right moment. For example, when a patient is waiting outside the doctor’s room, the latest medical records can directly be made available in digital form, in order to discuss them with the doctor. Health monitoring wearables can automatically notify the doctor or other relevant hospital staff about the patient’s specific vital information, including pulse rate, stress level, body temperature etc, when they visit the patient. The patients admitted in the hospital can be given a beacon enabled tag. When that patient attempts to exit the room, or use the washroom, the beacon can easily alert the healthcare provider.
When a patient arrives at the emergency department, a wristband with a built-in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon is attached to that patient’s wrist before he/she is shifted from the vehicle carrying him. As the patient enters the facility, a receiver device mounted near the entrance of the facility receives the band’s beacon ID. That device sends the wristband’s ID through a Wi-Fi network to a cloud-based service, where the application software links the time and location with the wristband and stores that information. As the patient is taken along one of the several routes leading to multiple labs, other devices installed along the route continue to pick up the wristband ID as it comes within range, thus updating that wristband’s status to indicate in real time, how quickly it is moving from one location another.
Beacon cards can also be attached to the hospital staff’s ID cards. From a care point of view, the badge registers every time the nurse enters any patient’s room. From staffing point of view, the data can be compiled and analyzed to identify inefficiencies in the work patterns of staff.
This case study is based on the installation of AssistPlus, Pinmicro’s location and activity analysis solution in a leading hospital. The scenarios explained is only a small example of how IoT based applications are relevant in healthcare. There is a multitude of other benefits that can be offered by these IoT enabled devices in hospitals, in such a way as to increase the long-term efficiency of the healthcare system. Given the extensive possibilities offered by the technology, now is the time for healthcare providers to adapt IoT to their healthcare system.