The demand for hospital asset management has experienced a dramatic growth since the beginning of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, including the management and maintenance of equipment, physical assets, personnel, and even patients within a healthcare facility. The reliability and efficiency of these equipment and resources are critical to let doctors and nurses focus their attention on their patients. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is placing an overwhelming strain on the global health care sector's workforce, infrastructure, and supply chain, low-cost technologies that improves the efficiency of hospital asset management across the industry is becoming increasingly valuable.
In response to these challenges, IoT technologies including remote medical devices and device communication protocols such as BLE are aggressively implemented in healthcare processes to ensures presence, accountability and accuracy for tracking, monitoring and managing equipment. The BLE Asset Tracking Solution is emerging as an ideal solution for hospitals. By connecting medical device to our cloud-based platform for remote patient management systems, it enables healthcare providers to know the locations of critical assets in real-time within their facility. The network can monitor patients and sending notifications or alerts to medical personnel under emergencies.
Our partner in the healthcare industry is looking for BLE Gateways for connecting medical devices including EKG Equipment, Pump sensors, Wound VAC, SCD Device, Bed-Check Monitor etc. The device must be able to forward incoming BLE messages from the connected equipment to the cloud server for centralized management. The requirements of the device are:
- Reliable BLE to MQTT connection
- Convenient for mass deployment
- Highly secured data transmission
- Low-power consumption and low-cost deployment
The most suitable device for this scenario is our GL-S10 gateway. The device is a compact, low-power consumption and low-cost gateway that supports BLE and Wi-Fi protocols. It has a built-in standard MQTT Client that can connect to any standard MQTT Servers to forward incoming BLE messages to the cloud server. In this project, we are deploying GL-S10 gateways into the hospital’s ceiling access points to establish a stable PoE power supply and Wi-Fi connection of up to 150 Mbps with a maximum signal strength of 17 dBm, and a relay distance of up to 80m in a no interference environment.
The greatest challenge of this project is hardware customization while controlling the cost. We figured out the heat challenge when we revised the hardware of Mudi. If we add a 100Mbps Ethernet port and an antenna port to Mudi, a larger space is required for heat release. We have to ensure the router can operate in its optimal performance with a reasonable temperature range. After days of rigorous testing, the final version of customized Mudi is larger in size but meets the heat temperature range and still its in pocket. It allows our partner to install their own 4G external antenna directly on Mudi to improve signal strength.
Each asset device in the hospital is bound to a unique Bluetooth tag, and the Bluetooth tags will periodically broadcast data packets. The built-in Bluetooth modules of S10 receives these data packets and transmits them to the AWS cloud.
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