RFID Brasil Strengthens Healthcare System During COVID-19

By Edson Perin

The company's item-level intelligence solutions, using Mojix's IoT and big-data platform, can track patients and medical personnel at hospitals, while also providing asset control.

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Due to the recent growth in hospital demand generated by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes, RFID Brasil has set out to adapt its platform for the healthcare sector, so as to allow the tracking of patients as well as medical team members, in addition to offering asset control at hospitals. Glaúcia Gomes, RFID Brasil’s CEO, says her company is presenting a proposal for innovative technological solutions for the healthcare area, and is seeking to assist and support institutions in that sector with the processes of monitoring patients and medical assets, in addition to addressing other issues relevant to COVID-19.

“Our item-level intelligence solutions combine radio frequency identification technologies and GPS sensors with Mojix’s Internet of Things and big-data platform,” Gomes says, “which allows real-time monitoring and historical traceability of patient locations and medical equipment, both in and out of healthcare facilities, while managing the processing of complex events to generate alerts and notifications.”

An example of how RFID Brasil’s platform operates

The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in the healthcare area has the potential to save lives, according to Gomes, because it can reduce the cost of providing care and decrease the burden on an already stressed healthcare system. “There are many ways in which IoT and big-data technologies can support and significantly improve healthcare,” she says. “However, for now we will focus on the most relevant, given the current emergency.”

The goal, Gomes says, is to improve inventory visibility to 99.5 percent, as well as reduce staff workloads by up to 10 times and decrease the amount of time required to locate patients and personnel by 99 percent. Another benefit of the platform, she adds, is that it provides access to critical data in real time, in addition to optimizing the locating of medical assets tenfold. Reducing the loss and theft of medical assets is also vital.

Another benefit is RFID’s ability to provide traceability of patients and medical personnel at hospitals. Through identification bracelets equipped with tracking technology and RFID portals, Gomes explains, such a system can provide instant information regarding the locations of patients within georeferenced areas, as well as offer traceability with a history of location at a facility. “This can help healthcare professionals to identify the time of entry and departure by area and the length of stay,” she says, as well as “locate assets and support the rapid allocation of care in time to generate alerts whenever they enter prohibited areas.”

Traceability of individuals on streets or in urban and rural areas can also be carried out by RFID Brasil’s platform, Gomes notes. “Using a mobile application with GPS enabled,” she states, “it is possible to monitor the movements of people in urban and rural areas, and to define geo-regions around the world. With this solution, it becomes feasible to detect the places where a patient was before and after a possible infection, and to identify any people with whom he or she may have had contact.”

In addition to providing patient services, Gomes says, RFID tags can be affixed to hospital equipment to track the location and availability of every asset. “This is particularly useful in the case of a medical center, where teams share diagnostic tools, allowing them to be found quickly,” she says. “It is possible to create an idle notification for machines that are not operating optimally or require maintenance, thereby reducing downtime and potentially saving lives in the process.”

RFID Brasil’s Glaúcia Gomes

Regarding monitoring, Gomes says, the platform facilitates the labeling of medical supplies via RFID. “You can associate an RFID tag with each item via a mobile application and thus detect item entries and exits through RFID portals located at strategic points,” she explains. The system generates alerts for those who enter prohibited areas and exceed the allotted length of stay, as well as indicate if medical assets are out of place, provide preventive maintenance and more. “The platform also generates dashboards and inventory reports, real-time and historical movement maps, hot maps, statistical tables, etc.,” she states.

According to Gomes, an RFID reader works at the main traffic-control points, where it captures signals from RFID tags attached to medical assets, staff members and patients. “Along with the Mojix IoT and big-data platform,” she says, “it is possible to process information and medical personnel can consult the last detected locations of assets within a healthcare unit.”

The platform includes features for various applications, Gomes says, including intelligent access control, product authentication against counterfeiting, and asset usage tracking and control. It also enables the management of beds and surgical centers, rapid responses to emergencies, the monitoring of expiration dates and hand hygiene, child protection, laundry management and loss prevention, among other vital functions.