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Quuppa's Beacon-based RTLS Sees Adoption by Health Care and Retail

The company's real-time locating system uses Bluetooth-beacon tags and receivers with integrated antennas to track personnel and assets, determining location within a few centimeters.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 28, 2015

Quuppa, a Finnish technology company, is offering a real-time location system (RTLS) that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to determine the location of a person or object to within a few centimeters. The Quuppa Intelligent Locating System achieves this high level of granularity thanks to Quuppa Locators (Bluetooth transceivers with integrated antennas), deployed to receive a beacon's signal and measure its angle of arrival. The company says its Intelligent Locating System enables its partners to build low-cost solutions that provide real-time location data.

ThinkINside, a technology startup based in Italy and California, is using the technology as part of its indoor location analytics solution, known as RetailerIN. The solution has been tested in pilots during the past year by several retailers—mostly grocery stores—in Italy, other parts of Europe and the United States, says Iacopo Carreras, ThinkINside's CEO. The RetailerIN solution is intended to provide retailers with data and analytics regarding how customers interact with the products in their store before making purchases. The system consists of Quuppa's High Accuracy Indoor Positioning (HAIP) tags attached to shopping carts, baskets or the products themselves, as well as Quuppa Locators installed in a store's ceiling, Quuppa Positioning Engine (QPE) software to calculate location and the RetailerIN cloud-based software to manage and view the resulting data.

The Quuppa LD-6T High Accuracy Indoor Positioning (HAIP) tag
General Sensing, a health-care technology firm based in Cambridge, Mass., is building Quuppa location technology into its MedSense solution. MedSense is a family of sensor-based solutions that provide real-time data and analytics to improve health-care delivery, according to Jonathan Gips, the company's CEO. For instance, MedSense Clear is a hand-hygiene compliance system that has been deployed throughout the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the Middle East.

"Through our work on hand-hygiene compliance, we discovered that there is a need for better and more timely information about a multitude of care delivery processes," Gips says, adding that the company also uses Quuppa technology in its MedSense Look product for tracking the movements of patients within a health-care facility. "MedSense Look, our follow-on product based on Quuppa technology, is designed to quantify patient and provider flows." MedSense, he says, allows users to identify and address bottlenecks and other inefficiencies, in real time or offline, in order to ensure that care is being delivered according to best practices.

Quuppa cofounder Fabio Belloni
"Care delivery is dynamic with a diversity of activities happening in close quarters," Gips says. Traditional beacon-based tracking solutions wouldn't be able to provide location data that was sufficiently granular, he notes, adding that health-care systems are increasingly leveraging consumer devices like smartphones, tablets and wearables to rethink and augment how they deliver care. "We see this combination of high accuracy and consumer device compatibility as a major advantage," he states, "as compared to the other RTLS systems on the market."

Quuppa was launched three years ago as a spinoff when Nokia researchers formed their own company to further the research and development of a location-based technology, explains Fabio Belloni, one of Quuppa's cofounders and also its chief customer officer. Although the solution employs BLE beacon technology, it does not operate the same way in which traditional beacon solutions do. The HAIP tags or Bluetooth-enabled phones are set to transmit their own identifiers, with a Quuppa Locator receiving that transmission.

USER COMMENTS

Neha Mallik 2015-11-23 02:04:04 PM
Very informative post. It is true that beacon based systems today are being used across diverse domains from retail to healthcare. While beacons enable seamless and efficient solutions, the real value of iBeacon technology is the data that it helps gather. For example, in the retail sector, beacons help gather valuable data around important metrics like store footfalls, in-store heat maps and dwell times. You can read about key metrics that can be tracked with beacons in the following blog - http://blog.beaconstac.com/2015/05/beacon-analytics-in-retail-4-essential-metrics-for-retailers/

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