“Location-based services enable hospitals to save lives and make the facilities safer for both staff and patients.”
Fabio Belloni, Quuppa
A global provider of real-time locating systems (RTLS), Quuppa delivers location-based services and applications for customers across a multitude of industries. The Quuppa Intelligent Locating System™ was created as a one-size-fits-all technology platform that leverages Bluetooth® Direction Finding technology (angle of arrival and angle of departure) to track, for example, 30,000 devices within a single factory. Currently, Quuppa’s RTLS platform has more than 2,000 deployments across 50+ counties.
In speaking with Quuppa Co-Founder and CCO Fabio Belloni, I learned more about how medical facilities around the globe are using RTLS solutions to support enhanced patient care, optimize daily operations, and reduce the spread of infection.
Q&A with Fabio Belloni
Why have you chosen to use Bluetooth technology?
Bluetooth® technology is very versatile and is already pervasive across many devices and across all vertical markets. The Quuppa system is based on Bluetooth Low Energy technology, which provides several advantages – including long tag battery life, compatibility with mobile devices, and the ability to carry sensor data alongside positioning data. Grasping the versatility of Bluetooth connectivity is essential for understanding how to use the technology in advanced location-based applications, i.e., beyond the commonly used beacons.
How are RTLS solutions with Bluetooth technology being used in healthcare?
The ultimate goal of the hospitals is to save lives, and there are various ways RTLS can support this mission. A simple example is to enforce the compliance of hand hygiene systems to minimize the spread of infections. A concrete example of this is the soap dispenser sensor; enabled by Bluetooth® technology. The same Quuppa system can be used to track nurses who approach the hand hygiene station and the time spent in the zone surrounding the dispenser, as well as monitor when the dispenser is used. By combining these two data sources, we get a pretty accurate confirmation that the hands have been cleaned.
Another concrete example is faster care, such as nurses being immediately alerted when a patient falls or tries to get away from the bed against recommendations. In many medical emergencies, time is of the essence, and location-based services can help the staff track assets and find the needed equipment in each case faster.
RTLS can also help hospitals and healthcare facilities increase security. One simple way is by providing both staff and patients with devices equipped with a button with which they can call for help when needed. Another use case for enhancing security is via access control, making sure those without authorization cannot access areas they should not.
RTLS systems can also be used in eldercare for wander management, monitoring when elderly customers leave the premises and tracking Alzheimer patients.
Quuppa’s system also acts as an IoT gateway, monitoring all kinds of Bluetooth® based sensors like heart rate, blood pressure, body temp, etc.