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RFID Opens the Door for Residents at Multiple Sclerosis Housing Facility

Australia's MS Queensland Youngcare is using an RFID system from N.A.S.A. Electronic Security Systems to enable its wheelchair-bound residents to enter and leave their units and public areas, hands-free.
By Claire Swedberg

Installation at Albany Creek Apartments was a fast-paced project. In fact, the system was installed and commissioned within a week, N.A.S.A. reports. During that span of time, the technology company installed 29 reader gates within eight care units at the facility. Each unit includes three Nedap readers: one installed at the main entry and another at the back door entry, with a third to access the back garden or patio. In addition to those 24 readers, five more were installed for general access in common rooms, the kitchen area and other public areas within the facility.

Both patients and staff members wear UHF-enabled and contactless cards on lanyards. Each tag is encoded with a unique ID number that is linked to a particular individual's name, as well as to identifying information, such as that person's role as staff member, or his or her patient authorization status. That data is stored in the access-control device (the WX Protege controller), which is powered by a DC outlet.

When a person approaches within 2 meters (6.6 feet) of a reader, the device captures his or her card's unique ID and determines the individual's status. For instance, patients are authorized to access their own unit, but not other units within the facility. The software confirms the data and, if an individual is authorized, prompts the door to open. If he or she is not authorized, the door will not open. The tags allow personnel and patients to both enter and leave an area through the door. Data regarding each read event is captured and stored in the controller, thereby creating a record of staff and patient movements, which can then be accessed by management if necessary.

Since the system was taken live with the opening of the units, Larden reports, residents have been able to more easily come and go from their residences and common areas without requiring help, thus ensuring a more independent life. "It has given back to the young people their sense of freedom and independence," he states.

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