Selecting the Right RTLS in Hospitals

Selecting the Right RTLS in Hospitals

Ygal Bendavid (École des sciences de la gestion (ESG), Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch133
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2. Rtls Systems: A Technological Perspective

A RTLS can be represented as a three-level system (Bendavid, 2013a). As presented in Figure 1, at the first level “objects” are identified by using various types of tags/identifiers such as

Figure 1.

RTLS: a technological perspective

  • 1.

    Active RFID technologies (i.e., Wi-Fi, Zigbee, active UHF 433 MHz and 860-925MHz, Ultra Wide Band (UWB) or hybrid tags equipped with different technologies such as RFID and infrared (IR) sensors),

  • 2.

    Passive UHF RFID,

  • 3.

    Semi passive RFID tags equipped with a battery to activate embedded sensors,

  • 4.

    Ultra Sound Identification technologies (USID), and

  • 5.

    Even portable electronic devices (e.g., smart phone) used for Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS).

Key Terms in this Chapter

RTLS: Real Time Location Systems belongs to indoor location based technologies used to track and manage objects (e.g., mobile assets, patient, medical staff) in specific zones or throughout a facility.

LBS: Location Based Service use location-enabled devices (e.g., smart phone) to track the location of users within the range of a wireless network.

RTLS Middleware: An event based software management platform which acts as a bridge between the RTLS hardware infrastructure and HIS. Typically a middleware platform features a device integration layer, a data collection and management layer, an event management layer where business rules and related transactions are configured, and an application layer (analytics, reports, workflow, etc.). In active based RTLS, additional features are required such as mapping tools and location engine to position the tags.

RFID: Radio Frequency Identification is a technique that allows tagged “objects” (e.g., medical supplies, mobile assets, patients) to be identified automatically using radio waves.

AIDC: Automatic Identification and Data Capture technologies include various technologies such as passive and active RFID as well as active technologies such as, 433 MHz, UWB, Zigbee or USID localization technologies.

BLE: Bluetooth low energy is a wireless personal area network (WPAN) technology. Beacons which are transmitters use BLE proximity sensing to broadcast their ID to nearby portable electronic devices (e.g., smartphone) so the device's physical location can be automatically determined.

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