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NIQ Health Adds RTLS to Its Nurse-Call Platform

A partnership between Next Intelligence Corp. and CenTrak enables distributors of NIQ's CarePlus system to sell RTLS technology as an add-on function to track the locations of staff members and patients.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 15, 2011Health-care management firm Next Intelligence Corp. (NIQ Health) has begun offering real-time location system (RTLS) functionality with its nurse-call solution. The company has partnered with RTLS provider CenTrak to allow NIQ Health's distributors to sell the RFID and infrared (IR) hybrid system with NIQ's nurse-call product and CarePlus middleware.

By adding the CenTrak technology to its own offerings, NIQ Health—which has approximately 300 customers worldwide—can not only provide communications between nurses and their colleagues, managers and patients, but also enable location tracking for anyone wearing a CenTrak IT 710 ID badge with a built-in active ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) 900 MHz RFID tag. That location-tracking data will be managed by the CarePlus middleware.

Centrak provides a badge with active UHF RFID technology, as well as infrared functionality, to provide hospitals with room-level location accuracy. The company sells asset-, patient-, staff- and temperature-monitoring tags to transmit information regarding locations or temperature measurements at health-care facilities.

By including RTLS functionality with its CarePlus system, NIQ Health can expand its own solutions, thereby enabling hospitals, for example, to not only receive a call from a patient, but also determine when a nurse responded to that individual (based on the location of the CenTrak badge he or she is wearing) and—because the call has been responded to—cancel it accordingly.

NIQ Health is not the only nurse-call system provider to include RTLS solutions among its offerings. Rauland-Borg offers integrated systems with RTLS products from a variety of vendors, including Versus Technology (see RFID New Roundup: Rauland-Borg Links Nurse Call System With RTLS), AeroScout, Awarepoint, Ekahau, Visonic and Sonitor Technologies. In addition, West-Com Nurse Call Systems has partnered with Sonitor, to provide similar combined services. CenTrak also maintains partnerships with other nurse-call solutions providers, but NIQ Health indicates that this is its first partnership with an RTLS company.

NIQ Health was founded in Australia in 2008, and most of its clients are located in that country, according to Chris Clabaugh, the firm's business development VP. The company now seeks to increase its presence in the United States, while also opening offices in London and Frankfurt, Germany. Its product is designed to provide a solution with which data from multiple technologies and vendors can be managed.

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