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Sanitag Focuses on Health-care RTLS Solutions

The Turkish company has developed systems specifically for tracking patients and personnel in psychiatric clinics and neonatal wards, as well as for managing assets at hospitals and in ambulances.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 22, 2014

Sanitag—a spin-off resulting from a partnership between its parent firm, RFID solutions provider Litum Technologies Corp., and Turkish real-time location system (RTLS) hardware company Wipelot—is marketing full RTLS solutions to the health-care market. The applications include tracking newborn infants, patients, staff members and high-value assets. Sanitag also offers specialized modules tailored for psychiatric clinics or elderly care, either at institutions or in homes. According to Özgür Ülkü, Sanitag's director of global operations, a customer can deploy specific customizable solutions, separately or in combination, at its facilities.

After exhibiting its solutions at RFID Journal LIVE! 2014, held earlier this month in Orlando, Fla., Sanitag signed agreements with several North American and South American distributors to offer the solution on both continents. In the meantime, Ülkü says, a variety of solutions are being trialed by hospitals in North Africa and the Middle East, and plans for some full deployments are currently underway.

Sanitag's staff badge tag has two programmable buttons and a built-in motion sensor that can detect an employee's position and unexpected movements, such as falling or immobility.
Sanitag's RTLS solutions are the result of requests that Litum received from its RFID customers. Litum specializes in passive RFID solutions, not specifically designed for health care. However, the company's distributors were learning from their customers of many use cases for active RFID solutions in the health-care market. Medical facilities required the technology to reduce costs associated with asset tracking, as well as to improve staff efficiency, ensure patient safety and make sure that equipment was available for patients in such mobile settings as in hospitals, on the street as paramedics service patients, or in helicopters as patients are transported to hospitals.

For two years, 40 engineers from Litum Technologies and Wipelot worked to develop a branded solution that employs software to manage data collected from RFID readers, and a 2.4 GHz proprietary standard network of tags and readers to capture that information. The result is multiple solutions, each dedicated for a specific use case.

What the solutions all have in common are Sanitag active RFID tags, including those that can be attached to patient and baby wristbands, an adhesive version for mounting to assets, and a staff badge with two programmable buttons for issuing alerts and performing other tasks. Sanitag then provides an array of room-level readers that plug directly into a power outlet or use batteries, as well as long-range readers for hallways, and routers that receive the 2.4 GHz transmissions from the interrogators and filter that data, then forward it to a server via the hospital's Wi-Fi network.

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