Wireless equipment localization for medical environments
Searching for medical equipment in hospitals produces high costs. However, it is necessary to check each medical device periodically. Wireless systems in a medical environment must comply with the legal limits for electromagnetic interference (EMI). This work presents a tagging system for real time localization of tagged equipment respecting that some medical devices are very sensitive for EMI. Therefor, every room is equipped with a base station and a star-shaped 2.4 GHz wireless network topology, which conforms with the latest legislative requirements for the EC and US market. Considering that, the device tags consist of a compact IEEE 802.15.4 ZigBit transceiver module with an adapted and extended stack. Furthermore, the device tags are equipped with sensors for detecting manipulation and motion. The base stations are connected to the server via wired TCP/IP network with Power over Ethernet (PoE), which reduces the radio traffic and considerably simplifies communication. Virtual floor plans in the dashboard software visualize the actual positions of the medical devices. The user is able to locate either a single device by its name or a list of all devices in a ward. Using two AAA batteries the device tags have an operation time of 24 months, wherein they can be in motion for 7.75 percent. The web-based dashboard software gants the medical staff an easy access via computer or mobile device. In addition, the dashboard is able to access the SAP database of the hospital for detailed information about the medical device.
KeywordsRFID localization healthcare hospital wireless
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