Monday, January 23, 2012

The Art of Location

Please turn left.....Please turn left.... The GPS lady repeated herself as I basically made a circle..... "When possible please make a legal U turn...." at this point I decided that my car was lost. How was this possible? She is supposed to know where I am at any point in time and direct me to go.... I think we have grown so accustomed to location accuracy that the idea of Lack of accuracy in hospital RTLS seems really strange.

The lawsuit that Centrak has filed against Ekahau is at the heart of location accuracy in a hospital. Products like Awarepoint and Ekahau are at a significant disadvantage to products like Centrak and Sonitor based on their ability to get bedside accuracy. Let's face it, if of you are including a RTLS system in your hospital you want to be able to do more than locate a pump in a room or cancel a call light. In the very least you want the ability to build into bedside location and accuracy. This enables the RTLS system to integrate to the EMR and provide meaningful integration of data associated with

The challenge is to identify where the ultimate accuracy needs to be - or what technology needs to hold it. Products like Capsuletech encapsulate it in their bedside interface. The neuron can easily forward it to the medical record. Products like Centrak are more independent and interface with multiple systems.

RTLS has been somewhat of a novelty "nice to have" product for healthcare. However, the increased need to be Lean and it's ability to support the legal processes has caused a real interest among hospitals. I will caution hospitals that the flash you see in a demonstration - moving dots on a page are really worthless without a quality reporting mechanism.

Leveraging the investment for real value comes from the ability to interpret the data associated with the movement, and utilize the information for meaningful automation of processes.


  1. Andrew Halasz - VIXIAJanuary 25, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Excellent point made about the importance of getting accurate RTLS data and utilizing that data to drive meaningful automation of processes. Getting value from an RTLS is all about using the tag movement and interaction data generated and providing tools that enable people to change how they do things.

    Not all RTLS options are capable of delivering the needed data accuracy. Some of these manufacturers to their credit have recognized their technological weaknesses... and have started combining their core technology with other types of technologies to close the gap e.g. Ekahau adding IR, Aeroscout adding Ultrasound. Their challenges will be to deliver a simple accurate stream of data and not leave it to another piece of middleware to reconcile between the two different technologies to get it. That's one of the things that makes the CenTrak RTLS so simple and cost effective, it's a true hybrid technology that delivers one stream of accurate data natively by using the best components of RF and Gen2IR seamlessly.

    I don't know much about CenTrak's lawsuit against Ekahau, but if it relates to using both technologies to deliver one accurate stream of location data, I'd be protecting that aggressively too because that's the heart and soul of success for any RTLS and so far, CenTrak seems to have it worked out well.

    1. Aeroscout has filed a lawsuit against Centrak 12/22/2012. There was never a lawsuit filed & or a settlement between Ekahau & Centrak. Centrak is a tiny firm, whose products are non standard & high risk for those that obtain them.


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