Saving lives with IoT
WIREPAS CUSTOMER CASE
In a typical working week, a nurse can spend more than two hours just looking for the right equipment. That’s a lot of time lost if you’re running a hospital employing thousands of medical staff. We all know time is money. But in health care, time is also a matter of life or death. This was the challenge for three London hospitals in the spring of 2020. As Covid-19 had forced a national shut down, the hospitals were in desperate need of a tracking solution to ease the burdens imposed by the pandemic. Luckily, we could help Apitrak offer a solution. Both quick and effective enough, without hurting the hospitals’ budgets.
Tracking medical assets in a pandemic crisis
As the Covid-19 pandemic flooded Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) with patients, three of its hospitals in the London area realized they had an asset-tracking problem. Already under hard pressure, staff was spending too much time looking for essential medical equipment like ventilators, infusion pumps or even beds. Not to mention things getting lost creating high costs and stress in an already difficult situation. Deploying wired positioning infrastructure across large spaces like hospitals is both costly and time consuming. But the NHS badly needed an asset tracking system. It had to be massive in coverage and easy to deploy without disturbing recovering patients or working personnel. And, since this was during the shutdown in the spring of 2020, the system had to be both launched and handled 100 % off-site.
Massive deployment in record time
In came our friends at Apitrak, a company that provides turnkey solutions for geolocation helping clients to improve their mobile assets management. As a member of our eco-system, they quickly realized that the specific challenges of the project and its strict timeline could all be met using Wirepas technology. And the timeline was tight, to say the least. Apitrak managed to deliver a complete asset-tracking system within less than a month from receiving the Purchase Order. Without being able to have any personnel on-site!
After just two weeks, a local technician was trained in documentation and customer support. The hardware was delivered, and the technician needed only four days to stick 350 anchors to their fixed points in the hospitals. One week later, the Apitrak platforms were set up locally and only a week after that more than three thousand tags were delivered, fixed to “their” medical equipment, and deployed. The system now covers 90 000 sq. m. spread across three hospitals and sixteen floors. It delivers information from the Wirepas on-site networks including more than 3 000 tags to identify a wide range of essential medical equipment. Installation was very easy, with the entire deployment taking no more than four to five days. Everything was done and executed by the hospital’s own personnel without the need of extensive training, or any shutting down of wards or disturbing patients or the daily routines of the hospitals.
“Apart from an extremely tight timeline, the big challenge was that we couldn’t send anyone to work on-site because of the pandemic restrictions. It means you have to have a super reliable system, and the Wirepas solution is ideal because it’s all plug-and-play. You don’t need a lot of special knowledge to deploy it, and the results are stunning. We allow hospitals to really gain performance.”
Vincent LÊ, CEO Apitrak
Asset tracking as a Covid-19 response
The results from installing Wirepas connectivity in these three London hospitals were both tangible and immediate. During a period of intense workloads, it vastly improved working conditions and saved time for the health care staff, nurses and doctors. The system has reduced the stress of looking for medical devices, giving more time to care for patients and to find assets being exchanged between departments hosting Covid patients. The entire project was delivered in less than two months from the initial lead qualification, but the ultimate gains in better treatment or even lives saved are impossible to measure.
Thousands of pounds saved per month
Reduced stress for nurses
More time for patients
Track assets being exchanged between departments
Remote training for local technician
Project handled 100 % off-site
4 days installation total
1 month between Purchase Order and end of deployment