Skip to main content

RTLS in health: Versatility is the key to success

Medicine is advancing along with technology, and its influence on healthcare is undeniable. One of the most important advances in this field is the Real Time Locating System, a tool that has proven its worth in transforming the way hospitals manage their processes and deliver world-class care. At the heart of this innovation are levels of accuracy, an essential component that ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of RTLS in the hospital context.

What are RTLS accuracy levels and how do they work?

Accuracy levels in an RTLS system refer to the system’s ability to accurately locate and track objects, assets, or individuals within a given environment. These accuracy levels play a critical role in tailoring RTLS to meet the specific demands of a hospital environment, where the smooth flow of patients, equipment, and staff is of paramount importance.

Exploring the three levels of accuracy

RTLS offers three distinct levels of accuracy, each designed for unique use cases: Area Level, Room Level, and Bed Level. These levels serve as a strategic framework for capturing detailed location information, optimizing workflows, and ensuring efficient resource allocation.

📍 Area Level: At this level, RTLS provides an overview of the location of patients and assets in larger areas, such as entire floors or departments within the hospital. Using this modality, the system can track the presence and general movement of tagged items. This functionality is especially useful for identifying the presence of patients in specific areas or tracking the location of medical equipment in particular sections of the hospital. Accuracy at the area level can span several meters.

📍Room Level: As we descend to the room level, the accuracy increases significantly. Here, the system provides detailed information about the location of a patient or asset in a specific room. This increased accuracy allows for meticulous monitoring and more effective resource management. For example, RTLS can indicate whether a patient is in his or her assigned room or whether a medical team is present in a particular procedure room. Accuracy at room level is typically around three meters.

📍 Bed Level: The most detailed level of accuracy is Bed Level, which focuses on the exact location of a patient or asset at bed level. In this mode, the system can determine the precise position of a bed within a room. This feature is especially valuable in hospital environments, where the exact location of patients is critical to providing optimal care. Bed level accuracy can be less than one meter.

Each level of accuracy offers specific benefits depending on the use case. While the Area Level provides an overview of larger areas, the Room Level allows for detailed tracking in indoor spaces. Bed Level provides exceptional accuracy for locating patients in specific beds. The ability to adjust accuracy levels according to the needs of each case is essential to maximize resources and adapt the technology to the casuistry of each process.

Based on accuracy levels, the different technologies that can be applied in RTLS offer one or the other, or even all of them. So, how to choose the one that best suits the use case?

The ideal choice depends on the use case

MYSPHERA is proud to offer a highly versatile and adaptable real-time locating solution (RTLS) for hospital environments. Our system is designed to meet the specific needs of hospitals, providing a unique combination of technologies to ensure wide coverage and exceptional accuracy.

Our RTLS solution uses two main localization approaches: Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) and Angle of Arrival (AoA) technology. These technologies work together to provide a comprehensive and versatile solution at three levels of accuracy:

🔹 Area Level – For example “General Surgical Block” – MYSPHERA can use Wifi APs with BLE for this location level. RSSI Location

🔹 Room Level – For example “PACU Area” – This is the solution that MYSPHERA has deployed in most of its customers. RSSI Location.

🔹 Bed Level – For example “Chair 3 of PACU” – MYSPHERA solved this use case in some hospitals by identifying the patient and the chair with the mobile phone, now we have designed AoA Gateways that allow this level of localization, being the only manufacturer that currently combines RSSI and AoA in the same installation.

When area- or room-wide coverage is required, RSSI technology is the ideal choice. By analyzing the received signal strength, we can determine the approximate location of devices and patients within a given area. This is especially useful for monitoring the general movement of patients and staff over a wide area, such as a floor or an entire unit.

On the other hand, when greater accuracy is needed, such as location at a specific bed or room level, our solution uses AoA technology. The Angle of Arrival is based on measuring the angles of arrival of Bluetooth signals, allowing us to identify the exact location of devices and patients in smaller spaces. This is particularly beneficial in situations where precise and detailed tracking is required, such as when locating patients in an intensive care or preparation and recovery unit.

One of the key advantages of our RTLS solution is its ability to integrate with third-party access points. Thanks to the versatility of Bluetooth technology, our system can interoperate with devices from leading brands in the market. This means that hospitals that already have an access point infrastructure in place do not need to make drastic changes to their network, but can leverage existing equipment to enable real-time location.

In short, versatility is a key aspect of our RTLS solution for hospital environments. By combining RSSI and AoA technologies, we are able to provide wide coverage and exceptional accuracy. In addition, our ability to integrate with third-party access points ensures easy adoption and compatibility with existing hospital infrastructure.

At MYSPHERA, we strive to offer flexible solutions tailored to the changing needs of healthcare, providing hospitals with the necessary tools to improve efficiency and quality of care.

Save time.
Improve care.