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Stanley Healthcare Releases Wi-Fi Version of Hugs Infant Protection System

The newest version of Hugs uses a hospital's existing Wi-Fi access points, making it more affordable to deploy, and can also monitor the storage temperature of breast milk and medications.
By Claire Swedberg

"A facility-wide Wi-Fi based system is cost-effective because the infrastructure is already in place throughout the building," Hosson explains. The cost of traditional proprietary RFID systems, including the original Hugs solution, she says, "would be prohibitive to install throughout a facility. It would be unaffordable for most hospitals." More typically, users of the original Hugs system have installed the technology within a limited area, and thus lose visibility once a tag leaves that vicinity. According to Hosson, about 20 percent of infant abductions from hospitals take place outside of the obstetrics unit.

In addition, Hosson says, the Wi-Fi-based system allows users to store and manage data on the MobileView platform, providing greater flexibility. For example, if the hospital wants to track breast-milk temperatures to meet regulations and ensure that the milk is not unnecessarily discarded, the facility can install Stanley AeroScout T5 sensor tags in the coolers in which the milk is stored. The sensor tags would transmit their temperature readings to the MobileView software, which also manages infant location data.

Because the MobileView software is browser-based, nurses and other employees can access data regarding temperature readings or infant locations via mobile devices, such as tablets or laptops.

The new version of Hugs comes with "door controllers," updated LF exciters that now have built-in intelligence to lock a door in the event that they receive an LF transmission from an infant tag, even if the system has gone offline—for example, if the Wi-Fi network was not operating. MobileView also offers an "out-of-unit alert" that can simply send a message to the system's users when a baby has left the obstetrics unit. That child's location can then continue to be tracked as it moves throughout the hospital.

Additionally, the Hugs tags—both the old and new versions—come with a tamper-detection feature in which a tag signals an alert if its strap has been cut or tampered with. The software also triggers alerts if the tag's signal has not been detected for a specified period of time, or if its battery power is running low. What's more, the software can be programmed to allow a particular tag to leave the unit, but to issue an alert if the tag is not returned within an expected length of time.

Stanley Healthcare has begun installing the Wi-Fi-based version of Hugs at several hospitals. The firm is currently taking orders from other customers as well, with installations expected to be in place by fall of this year.

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