Ekahau Wi-Fi Badge for Portuguese Hospital Group

29th April 2010

Ekahau says its RTLS solution, including fixed Wi-Fi call-buttons and locatable Wi-Fi communication badges for staff members, is being installed in member hospitals of Espirito Santo Saude (ESSAUDE), one of the largest private healthcare group in Portugal, consisting in total of 15 healthcare units and 2 assisted living senior residences.

While ESSAUDE is using Ekahau RTLS technology for several purposes, the system's primary functions are to enable mobile patients to call for a nurse, and emergency notification for staff members. System integration of the complete solution is handled by Unisys, while the underlying Wi-Fi network is provided by Cisco Systems. Unisys has used its experience in the Life Science and Healthcare markets, as well its broad expertise on RTLS solutions, to perform the solution installation, configuration and testing.

Unlike many competing solutions, Ekahau RTLS only requires the software and Wi-Fi tags to enable asset and people tracking over any vendor's standard Wi-Fi network, making Ekahau's system the most cost effective RTLS solution available on the market. Ekahau RTLS can achieve the same performance level as competing solutions using approximately half that number of Wi-Fi access points (APs). With their WPA2 encryption, Ekahau RTLS tags are a secure solution that can co-exist on top of the Wi-Fi network like any other standard Wi-Fi voice and data application, without interfering with network operation or critical medical equipment.

In Casas da Cidade, an assisted living senior residence, ESSAUDE is deploying fixed Ekahau call buttons that are attached on walls in rooms and hallways for residents to call help. Some of the residents also carry Ekahau wireless T301BD badges to call help when they are moving throughout the facility. Nurses then receive calls for service on their Ekahau T301BD badges as a display message with the resident's location information.

In Hospital da Luz, an ESSAUDE acute care facility, Ekahau wireless call buttons are placed in fixed locations, including in wards and rooms. When one of these buttons is pressed, the call for help is sent to Ekahau T301BD communication badges carried by staff members. After receiving the alert and reading the emergency location information on his or her badge, the staff member can promptly respond to the request. In addition, nurses and doctors also can call for help themselves by pulling the emergency switch on their own Ekahau badge. In the same facility, critical mobile hospital equipment - such as IV pumps, wheelchairs and vital sign monitors - are being equipped with Ekahau asset tags for asset management purposes. By knowing the exact location of these devices at any given time, the hospital is able to increase efficiency of asset utilization and to improve the maintenance process.

"The ability to quickly locate the right clinical staff, having the capability to send two-way messages between team members and employ real-time asset tracking, are all becoming essential system components for operational efficiency in a busy hospital," said Mr. David Vieira, CTO at ESSAUDE. "We expect Ekahau's wireless RTLS solution to greatly enhance the safety and quality of care, as well as our patient's overall satisfaction throughout the ESSAUDE hospitals." ekahau