LAWRENCE, Mass. -- Patient safety will drive the use of the next generation of active-RFID (radio frequency identification) location tags from Radianse, Inc., an innovator of indoor positioning solutions (IPS) used to locate and associate equipment and people in hospitals.
Radianse will show the industry's first single-use active-RFID tag for patient location at the 2005 HIMSS Conference and Exposition (Booth 6655) February 14-17 in Dallas, Texas.
The wristwatch-sized device is one-eighth the price of the average competitive tags marketed for patient location. It's designed to maximize comfort, safety and convenience across a patient's length of stay. It can even be worn safely in the shower. The Radianse single-use tag can be slipped onto a patient's ID wrist band. Or a hospital can choose to print patient ID information on Radianse tamper-resistant wrist bands using existing printers.
The tag has a button that can be programmed based on the patient's location. In the PACU, for example, a button push might signal the patient is ready for transport.
Patient location applications shown to improve safety and satisfaction
"By assigning a Radianse location tag at admission and associating it with one patient throughout length of stay, caregivers can know where a patient is at any time. For example, this makes it faster to respond in situations such as when an ambulatory patient's vital-signs monitor sends an alarm," said Mike Dempsey, Radianse CEO and chief technology officer.
"If a hospital has a patient flow application from a Radianse partner, even patients' families can securely access where a patient is in a care process," added Dempsey.
The new single-use active-RFID location tags work with a Radianse IPS just as the company's reusable location tags do, transmitting continuous radio signals to Radianse receivers. These receivers plug into a hospital's existing wired or wireless LAN with no danger of interfering with mission-critical clinical applications or devices.
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, has been using a Radianse IPS for patient location and to locate a volunteer sample of staff in the Operating Room of the Future (ORF) for more than two years. Patient location is being extended to the Department of Radiology to allow tracking of surgical patients who spend time in Radiology as part of their plan of care.
Julian M. Goldman, M.D., MGH anesthesiologist and Program Leader of the CIMIT MGH OR of the Future Medical Device Interoperability Program, said: "Using patient location helps us to optimize how we move patients through the perioperative process. We can determine where our patients are located and when things are completed, so we can efficiently and safely move them to the next stage of care. Patients are delighted to learn that we have new ways to monitor them and make sure they are safely moving through the hospital."
The hospital is preparing to track equipment using a Radianse IPS and will evaluate the Radianse single-use tags for patient location.
The Radianse single-use active-RFID location tag is scheduled for commercial shipments in the second half of 2005 after trials at select Radianse installations across the U.S.