Feeds

Hospital networks Wi-Fi patients

Tracking system promises to reduce medical errors

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A UK hospital is tagging patients with Wi-Fi transmitters and tracking their movements with a wireless network in a bid to reduce medical errors and reduce litigation costs. When patients arrive for an operation at the Heartlands Hospital in the Midlands, they will be snapped with a digital camera and tagged with a transmitter. The picture and transmitter details will then be paired with their electronic record.

Although the hospital and the companies behind the system insist that this wireless tracking system is a world first, it is not the only outbreak of patient tagging. The Jacobi Medical Centre in New York recently started tagging patients with RFID chips to speed identification, while in Mexico City, Authorities took to chipping Alzheimer patients.

Normally we at El Reg delight in such deployments of cutting-edge technology but we must confess to a certain fondness for the time-honoured practice of sticking someone's name on a bit of "paper" and pinning it to their chest. The data can easily be read using the "eyeball" device, and as a second, failsafe method of identification, the revolutionary facial recognition system known as "brain" can be engaged.

However, this age-old technology has its problems, as David Morgan, an Ear Nose and Throat consultant at the hospital explains: "Our current paper process is error prone, technology is available now which can help reduce human error and improve Operating Room theatre efficiency. These improved efficiencies translate into saving more lives, reducing costs and significantly improving the patient experience."

He can now locate a patient to within yards using the tracking system, and can update the operating list while he makes his rounds, rather than dealing with a typed list. Similarly, patient data can be routed to the room they are in without having to send a person with the right records.

Heartlands Hospital has paid £25,000 to install the system in two operating rooms and one ward. ®

Related stories

Feds approve human RFID implants
RFID promoter can't stand being tracked
Outbreak of RFID tagging at medical facilities

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.