According to Research And Market's Global real-time location system report, the real-time location systems (RLTS) market is projected to grow by $19.03 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at an annualized growth rate of 47% during the forecast period. So why is the popularity of real-time devices rapidly growing, especially in the healthcare industry? Let’s find out in our blog post about how the hospital tracking system helps medical organizations provide more efficient care and optimize their business processes.
Real-time Location System Benefits for Hospitals
The hospital real-time location systems help monitor the patients, medical staff, and medical equipment in real-time.
With the help of this technology, hospitals can keep abreast of patient flow and bed availability, which means that clinics can avoid shortages of resources, hospital beds, and healthcare personnel in case of emergency. With the help of real time locating systems, personnel are always aware of patient locations, solving the problem of missing patients.
Such systems also manage valuable hospital equipment such as medical asset temperature monitoring, bed capacity management, equipment maintenance, patient elopement, etc. Real-time location systems increase patient safety while reducing decrease risks and hospital errors. Let’s take a look at the following example: A few years ago, 11 patients died at Huntington Hospital because of an infection caused by dirty duodenoscopes that weren’t properly cleaned. By monitoring the equipment and notifying of any possible infection risks and when medical scopes need to be cleaned, a real-time location system would have prevented such a situation.
So, here are the main benefits of using real time location system healthcare.
- Ability to track patients’ location
- Ability to track visits and manage all patient clinical data
- Identify and keep track of patients scheduled for appointments
- Get relevant updates on patient record keeping
- Track patient growth flow
- Staff can quickly call for help in case of an emergency event
- Remote patient monitoring
“RPM moved to the forefront in 2020. I believe the next step is to provide reliable, accurate, and full patient visibility to support patients living with chronic conditions. This means that in parallel to continuous disease management, tech leaders should put efforts into disease burden monitoring and strive to bring FDA-cleared medical-grade solutions to market that are premised on multiple biomarkers and supported with relevant research and patents for their innovative technologies and processes”
— Joao Mendes-Roter, VP of Digital Health Marketing at Itamar-Medical, in Forbes.
Here are the main things that drive the growth of real-time location systems.
Hospital Tracking System for Remote Patient Monitoring
A real-time location system in healthcare helps patients receive proper care and track their health without leaving the comfort of their homes. Healthcare providers use special equipment such as glucose meters, ECGs, and blood pressure monitors to keep tabs on a patient's clinical data. RPM solutions help monitor health concerns such as diabetes, dementia, heart conditions, and substance abuse.
“To develop a successful custom software development solution for patient tracking, you need to understand what process you are going to fix, and what performance metrics you are targeting and for what reason.”
— Vlad Medvedovsky CEO at Proxet, a custom software development company.
As for technology, it usually includes a combination of portable machines and devices with digital technology and smartphones. For example, blood pressure cuffs can be connected to an app or a phone and get a reading that will be sent to a doctor for review. Another significant example of a technology for remote patient tracking and location tracking is HomeAssure - the cellular hub for seniors, including those who are not comfortable with smartphones and tablets.
HomeAssure looks like a small box that goes in a senior’s home. It has buttons that allow users to call their care team and listen to messages. It can also work as a phone so that caregivers can call seniors directly.
“We felt like it was really important to start from the ground up with three things that were really important. It’s very easy to use. It’s very easy to set up — and it’s communication-based.”
— David Fronk, Senior VP of Business Development and Sales at Anelto Health
Tracking Patients Location: Tools and Examples
Another example of technology that helps is smart patient tracking.
How do patient locator systems work? When a patient arrives at a hospital, they receive a bracelet with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag. Each tag contains the following information about the patient: ID, name, electronic medical record, allergies, current condition, test results, recommended medications, etc.
As a patient moves around the hospital, readers on the walls and ceilings within the hospital obtain the information about the tags’ location and transfer it to the IoT cloud where it’s analyzed and processed. The analysis may be performed in real-time for detecting emergencies or work with historical data (e.g., health records) to track bottlenecks in internal hospital processes and treatment.
Another example of patient tracking software with RFID and GPS locator services is used at the Albert Einstein Medical Center.The software tracks the location and status of patients in the emergency department. Every patient is associated with a tag. When a patient moves to another room, the system updates in real-time. Physicians and residents also wear such tags. It helps the medical center generate reports on who treats whom and documents all the notes and treatments in one tracking system.
Medical personnel can also track how long a patient has been in their current location. Albert Einstein has seen a 24% increase in patients in the emergency department in less than nine months and a $4.5 million increase in revenue. The hospital intends to combine the tracking system with electronic medical records to keep all the data in one place.
Other examples of locating tracking devices for smart patient tracking include wearables such as wristbands and badges, cloud computing providers, geopositioning, targeted alerting, and patient tracking IoT applications. Let’s review some of them in the next chapter.
Patient Tracking App Examples
Healthcare industry technology is booming. Medicine is one of the sectors that fully embrace artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) algorithms. Here are some of the most popular children and elderly security systems for patient tracking on the market.
1upHealth provides hundreds of health tech companies and systems with the tools they need to create easy and accessible experiences for their users. Their EHR connectivity covers millions of patient medical records and integrates with patients directly across 1up's network of thousands of health systems. They have SMART Health IT Apps that enable a custom view natively in the EHR, supported via EHR App Galleries and patient applications that aggregate all patient electronic health and claims information.
1upHealth uses standardized health data formats to update and store your health information automatically. Patients can track their updated prescription list, new lab results, and have all the data accessible in one place.
This app helps physicians and care managers identify patients at risk for unplanned readmissions, inappropriate hospital utilization, medication non-adherence, and other adverse events. Physicians and care managers see the specific causes of risk and receive patient-specific tips on preventing this risk. The main features of the app are:
- Easy access to all information, as it’s delivered as an app within the EMR
- Real-time clinical data integration with person-level social determinants of health to pinpoint patients’ risk and its causes.
- Identifying patients at risk and impactable ones based on services provided by the hospital.
- Providing more accurate risk predictions.
PatientTracker Plus is an application for doctors and nurses to collect their patients’ data, and track their general information and records related to their medicines.
Doctors can track their patients’ last assessment status, their assessment records, and medicines assigned to them, along with their dosage schedule.
The main features include:
- Adding various medicine data
- Tracking patient information
- Assigning medicine and dosage schedules
- Tracking patient vital information such as pain assessment information and blood sugar assessment information.
Before developing your app, consider the fundamental principles of effective use of technology in medicine, which we discuss in this article. Also, keep in mind the following digital transformation challenges you may face:
- Human factor
- Constant updates
- Time to adopt
- Security issues
- Budget demands
You can read more about these challenges in our blog post, “Digital Transformation Challenges in 2021.”
Proxet can help you create a patient tracking app that will help you manage patient health and improve your overall healthcare process. We’ve developed various solutions for our clients from the healthcare industry, such as a Medical Research Portal with more than 10,000 users and on-demand healthcare analytics software. Contact us to discuss what will work best for your business.
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