When Bluetooth Helps Locate Equipment in Hospitals

If your life depended on a hospital's ability to locate a given medical device, would you be safe and trust in it? Most hospitals and centers will naturally buy more equipment in situations where they do not really know where the equipment is located. This solution will probably not solve the problem, but via Bluetooth in LED lighting, hospitals will now be able to place the equipment's location through wireless communication

How and why use Bluetooth at all?

Instead of nurses frantically searching for the equipment, the issue is about finding the appliances that are not in use when patients need them. Therefore, it is now possible to add a new feature to a well-known wireless standard that can make placement and collection of hospital equipment easier and most importantly faster.

Bluetooth is an open standard that can add wireless communication to various devices that will share information. It will act as a kind of serial number barcode with the ability to program to store relevant information about a specific equipment. It can contain the type of equipment, manufacturer, date and, if applicable, the number of operating hours. The easiest way hospitals can implement this is to integrate a Bluetooth tracking system via a Bluetooth network into the LED lighting. Practically, the equipment will be able to communicate with the Bluetooth network via beacons.

For example, when a situation arises where some equipment is needed, the nurse can with a single call to the nursing station or by checking equipment not in use, via an app.

How is it installed in the lighting?

The functionality can be installed via new light fixtures or by retrofitting existing luminaires. The same technology can also enhance other lighting functions, including motion sensors, smoke or changes in light color for the simple reason - promoting better healing. With power and a fixed grid, any web-activated device can be used to search for a specific equipment and will then come up with the location of the nearest equipment. A quick visual scan can determine if the equipment is in a patient's room or in use. Conversely, the scanner will also be able to show which items are located in the hospital's hallways or storage facilities.

The result is better patient care, as emergency problems (or even non-emergencies in terms of locating equipment such as infusion pumps) can be handled faster. In addition, it reduces hospital costs which will ultimately minimize costs for the patient.

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