Many industries have adopted the use of BLE beacons to help improve their services. Some hospitals in the healthcare industry have also opted to make use of BLE beacons to improve their service. We have previously written about a Hospital in Lausanne that makes use of BLE beacons to help with emergency calls. Furthermore, a hospital in Cincinnati makes use of this technology to help patients navigate around the hospital.
Therefore, the use of BLE beacons in this industry is not new. However, the use of BLE beacons in this industry has been adopted for different purposes. Our latest example is a hospital that is introducing this service to capture real-time location (RTLS) about their assets.
The Use of the Encompass BLE Solution
GE Healthcare has launched a BLE-based solution named Encompass. This system enables hospitals and other healthcare institutions to capture real-time location (RTLS) data about assets. This system makes use of BLE beacons and a receiver software provided by Zebra Technologies.
The Encompass system was designed with the intention to bring asset and equipment visibility to biomedical and clinical health care providers at a lower cost. The signals emitted by the BLE beacons is captured by the Zebra receiver software. The software captures, analyzes and filters the collected location data. This is then forwarded to the cloud-based Encompass software, where crowd-sourcing is used to further analyze the data.
According to Rob Reilly, GE Healthcare VP and General Manager for Services in the United States and Canada:
¨With BLE and Wi-Fi there will be no need to open ceilings or drill into walls to run cable, like with other RTLS technologies.We are replacing what used to take months to install with non-invasive deployment with a process that takes weeks and days.¨
Encompass also includes the use of mobile BLE receivers in form of a badge device. These badge devices capture beacon transmissions and forward the data via the Wi-Fi network. Furthermore, users can then make use of the web-based application to easily find assets. This facilitates the work of the hospital’s staff.
The use of the Encompass BLE solution provides personnel the easier way to locate equipment. The use of this technology can help personnel to gather for inspection and preventative maintenance. Furthermore, it also enables nurses and medical staff to locate the needed equipment for patient care. Besides, helping the hospital’s staff it will also enable the hospital’s management to get a better insight on the data. They will be able to get insight on how, when and how often the equipment is used.