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Asset Tracking Solutions Save Providers Time and Money

Asset tracking solutions save organizations time and money when locating and managing IoMT devices.

Asstet tracking soltuions

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Right Way Medical announced the release of its web-based asset tracking application for infusion pumps. The app meets the needs of long-term care and tracks location, disposition, and billing calculation.

The app also tracks the movement of the infusion pumps and logs data including sender and receiver, date, and if the pump is client ready or in service. The application also allows the data to be exported to other applications for billing or other uses.

The application was developed in response to the need for inventory management, compliance, and billing for Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices.

Asset tracking is becoming more prominent in healthcare as organizations introduce more connected devices into their health IT infrastructure environment. Asset tracking saves organizations money by keeping track of devices so they are not lost and replaced, and helps save time because clinicians don’t need to locate devices.

A recent report released by Mobile Experts predicted that the asset tracking IoT device market is expected to triple by 2022 across all major verticals, including healthcare.

"Overall, we expect annual shipments of Asset Tracking IoT devices to grow from 22 million to 70 million by 2022," Principal Analyst Joe Madden said in a statement. "What's more, about half of these devices will send data through a Cloud-based service provider, driving service revenue growth from $2.2B in 2016 to $7.5B in 2022."

Advancement in low-power, long-range communication technology has also caused an uptick in the market. The report stated that improvements to Bluetooth and UWB has increased the effectiveness and range of location services.

"Basic tracking technologies, like bar codes and RFID, are used heavily in retail and logistics areas today,” Madden continued. “Around 9.6 billion RFID tags were used in 2016 despite the limitations in range and lack of real-time tracking capability. This marks an important baseline in Asset Tracking because low-cost RFID or bar-code tracking represent indirect competition for investment in enterprise market.”

Back in June, Aruba Networks announced the release of its location-based, fully integrated WLAN asset tracking solution to assist healthcare organizations in lowering operational costs caused by misplaced equipment.

The solution is integrated into the Aruba wireless infrastructure, allowing organizations to keep track of IoT and connected medical devices.

“Organizations worldwide lose millions of dollars every year on high-value items and inventory that are misplaced, lost or stolen,” Aruba said in a statement. “Furthermore, employees and customers suffer from lost productivity and poor experiences.”

“These challenges are particularly prevalent in industries like healthcare, where items such as IV pumps and heart defibrillators are easily misplaced, resulting in 25 percent of hospital staff’s time wasted looking for these assets and negatively impacting quality of care.”

Tracking technology is also advancing. Bluetooth recently announced its support of Bluetooth mesh networking.

Bluetooth mesh networking uses the low-power radio technology to connect enabled devices to the network. It creates large-scale device networks using a managed flood approach for transmitting messages that is simple, reliable, and suited for low-power wireless mesh networks handling large amounts of diverse traffic.

The potential addition of Bluetooth mesh networking to healthcare could potentially help organizations save money and ease the management of automated features.

The technology is currently being used in industrial settings to control the large-scale physical environment. Current use-cases include building automation, wireless sensor networks, and asset tracking.

Technologies and tools are being released to address the challenges of IoMT devices. Healthcare organizations continue to add devices to their networks and therefore need to be able to know where the devices are and what they are being used for at all times.

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