Innovative approaches are needed to efficiently deliver the main functions of outpatient care, write Ben Horner and Rishi Das-Gupta
by Khalid Z Rajab
NodeNs Medical Ltd
Real-time location sensing (RTLS) technologies have been rolled out in hospitals across North America, and are starting to find their way into the European and Asian health services sector. Prime among the reasons has been a desire to automate asset allocation (beds, equipment) and monitor staff and patient movements. This promises to save staff time, reduce running costs, and ultimately improve patient health outcomes. The operational aspects of RTLS and its potential benefits will be covered in an upcoming blog post.
What are the key indoor location sensing technologies on the market? There are six prevalent solutions, and a further patent pending  technology just on the horizon. Each has its own features and capabilities, advantages and disadvantages. The seven technologies are listed below (and the full white paper can be downloaded at the bottom of this page):
- Wi-Fi positioning systems (WiPS/WFPS)
- Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons
- Ultra high frequency (UHF) radio-frequency identification (RFID)
- Ultra-wideband (UWB)
- Infrared (IR)
- Millimetrewave MIMO radar
A quick summary of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different RTLS technologies is shown in the table below.
For more information on the state-of-the-art in RTLS technology, please download our whitepaper here:
 Patent application PCT/GB2018/051230.