A year that the human race will never forget. We all are viewing the world to fight with widespread disease, Covid-19, or Corona Virus. The pandemic is hitting the world hard surrounding it from everywhere.
It's been 4 months when the first case registered. There is still no way to cure it, everything is going down, the business, the economy, the lives. Where every countryman is locked down and quarantined, there are still some people who are working fearlessly of the pandemic.
The healthcare industry its related people did not lose hope and chance to fight the disease. The Healthcare sector is taking care of the patients trying to cure them, the other sector (researchers) is working to create the cure of the disease.
So, here is how we can help the healthcare industry in making their tasks easy by handling and tracking their assets and equipment with smart tags.
What Is the Need for Efficient Tracking in the Healthcare Industry?
It is not very commonly known but it is a fact anyhow that there is always a difficult situation between hospitals or healthcare centres about competition and cooperation.
But cooperation is very much needed it the hard times especially when the world is suffering from a pandemic. On this note only, it is difficult to know the location and usage of medical equipment always.
There is no such thing that allows the transfer of assets and equipment to occur between two healthcare centres within the state or from state to state. This is an industry-wide challenge which need a system which could tell what is currently available.
According to Zion Market Research, the global hospital asset tracking market is expected to generate around or more than 53.17 billion US dollars by 2025.
Therefore, smart tags are the best option and solution for efficient asset tracking in healthcare industry.
What are Smart Tags?
Smart tags are the labels that identify any equipment or asset using a unique serial number or a code (barcode/QR code).
The code affixed on this smart tag hold details of the asset on which it is affixed. The details include item's manufacturing date, company's name from which item has been purchased, its cost price, shelf life, name of the person to whom it is allotted or assigned, and other important information regarding the item.
These smart tags are commonly made of anodized aluminium or laminated polyester. The common designs of a smart tag include the company's logo with a border for the pattern.
Most of the smart tags nowadays use barcodes and QR codes to speed up their data entry and decrease field entry errors.
What items should be tracked?
Smart tags are required to fulfil the need of keeping record validation. These smart tags encourage and ensure the insurance carrier and the police department, in tracking the stolen assets, if any.
They are very helpful in calculating the worth value of equipment or asset at your financial year-end.
They are of more use, as follows:
- Retrieve stolen or lost equipment.
- Keep proper asset records.
- Keep a visual record for lease contracts and other arrangements.
- Required by the insurance carrier for record and validation.
- Required by police to track stolen or misplaced assets.
Important equipment and test kits to be tracked during this pandemic (coronavirus) in the healthcare industry are:
- In Vitro Diagnostic Test Kit
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Needle Hubs
- Catheter Tubing
- Ostomy Bags
- Petra Dishes
- Culture tissue
What is Smart Tag Tracking in the Healthcare Industry?
Asset tagging or asset labeling helps you to manage the physical capital and makes it easy to make informed decisions in respect of your physical inventory and asset, whether it be repair or replacement of an asset.
Further, smart tags in the healthcare industry are helpful for tracking and preventing the displacement of physical assets. Some of the featured points of the asset management software are:
- Maximum efficiency of equipment and employees
- Reduction in downtime by better planning
- Theft prevention with increased security of assets
- Completion of required compliance
What is the Importance of Tracking with Smart Tags in Healthcare Industry?
As it is well known and mentioned above that a tag or label is attached to an asset or equipment which carries its details also known as Smart tags. Smart tags in healthcare industry are more useful because of equipment, assets, and maximum use of consumables like syringes, etc.
Smart tags in healthcare industry are used to keep track of many things as in result nothing should be affected in negative. Presence of every necessary equipment is mandatory in a hospital. They are neither in a condition nor in a profession to avoid the absence of any test machine as it can be risky enough to let someone die.
Survival and death are to ultimate results om which healthcare industry play its role every day.
Smart tags in healthcare industry are attached to every useful item present in the premises or outside premises.
Let's say tracking of hospital inventory, they need to streamline their inventory and simultaneously automate the supply and medication distribution. For this, the hospital needs to implement the best practices in the hospital supply management system so that, inventory management tasks can be streamlined thoroughly.
How is Tracking with Smart Tags Helpful?
The smart tags can now serve more small, mobile, and valuable assets. This makes the production of smart tags to be smaller, tamper-resistant, and to be more integrated with asset tracking management software.
Main functions of smart tags in business involve:
Smart tags are used to track an asset wherever they move from manufacturing or construction site to dock or lab to further distribution. In all the check-ins and check-outs.
Smart tags must remain with assets only that too for the lifetime.
Smart tags can help perform periodic audits of the assets involved in the business and calculate the value of the asset over its lifecycle.
The return of valuable assets is important. With smart tags, it is easy to return any valuable instrument to its owner and preventing accidental misplacements of the assets (internally in a department or another department).
Scanning of an asset label (with barcode specifically) can help you to know about the repair instructions and maintenance schedules, from the database.
Availability of Variety of Smart Tags
There are many methods and techniques of tracking assets and equipment with smart tags in healthcare industry. Most popular and useful are mentioned below.
Barcode Smart Tags
Barcode represents data in the visual format i.e., machine-readable information of the item on which it is attached. A barcode represent data by varying in widths and spacing of parallel lines.
QR Code Smart Tags
QR code is a type of barcode only, it also represents data in a visual format of machine-readable information about the item on which it is attached.
QR code (Quick Response code) is the trademark for a type of matrix or 2D barcode. 2D barcodes can also be read using application software on mobile devices, such as smartphones with their in-built cameras.
RFID Smart Tags
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technology that enables the digital data encoded in RFID tags (smart tags) to be captured and read through radio waves.
The RFID readers can accurately scan the asset if it is kilometers away. This technology makes it easier for a person to get dozens of scans in just a few seconds.
NFC Smart Tags
The technology used for working of NFC is electromagnetic induction (to transmit information).
NFC tracking tag is attached to each asset, the information is managed, and the data is read by NFC phone.
Through NFC, it is possible to track which asset has been tagged, who is reading the tag, its geolocation with its actual trace time.
BLE Smart Tags
BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) exchange a small amount of data at a regular interval of time.
Through, BLE beacons (or tags) and its receivers (or smartphones) you can track and monitor your assets outdoor as well as indoor.
BLE also preserves energy and is able to run for a long time.
GPS Smart Tags
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based radio navigation system.
The GPS does not require any individual user to transfer data, it operates independently of any telephonic or internet reception.
It helps you in monitoring the exact location of your asset, it is mostly used in vehicles.
IoT Smart Tags
According to Wikipedia, IoT (Internet of Things) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
IoT in the Healthcare Industry
Being the latest technology, IoT smart tags are very helpful in the healthcare industry.
IoT sensors and devices are used for tracking patient health. It provides great assistance in treating the patient effectively.
On the hand of a patient a band is girded which has IoT sensor. Through this sensor, the hospital keeps track of the patient. It maintains the record of the patient.
When the patient is admitted from a long-time IoT helps the doctor to know if the patient is allergic to any medicine. The historical record of the patient also assists in surgery providing crucial information.
Through accurate information, you can retrieve data, if the disease is chronic or not? or, if a patient has been admitted before for the same cause or for his medical history with the hospital?
These questions assist doctors in understanding a patient's condition & also helps with his allergies in case of an emergency like going on pandemic condition.
Therefore, the use of smart tags in the healthcare industry is referred to with the collection of data of assets/equipment and their tracking. This solution has also been proven to be faster, cheaper, and more accurate than all the other methods in use i.e., manual data entry.