NHS Highland and CENSIS are planning to develop a strategic approach for the use of internet of things (IoT) technology in tracking non-clinical assets.
They are aiming to begin a multi-partner project using the latter’s TESTED IoT framework next month, with the aim of producing a system that can be used by the health board then taken up by other public sector organisations.
CENSIS, Scotland’s innovation centre for IoT technologies, has invited approaches from potential private sector partners to work with it and NHS Highland on the six-month project.
It said the health board would like to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its asset tracking with an integrated IoT based system that would prevent assets from being misplaced, improve route planning for when they are moved around indoors and outdoors, and reduce carbon emissions.
Policy, documentation and solutions
The organisation said: “The aims of TESTED are to: generate a policy and toolkit for any public body to use; provide documents to support the guidance that will help such organisations and individuals within them; and IoT solutions for asset tracking to solve non-clinical problems.”
The project will involve developing a solution testing and adapting it to NHS Highland’s requirements and testing it for scalability. The system will have to involve a dashboard for reporting, a map base for real time visualisations, the ability to provide rapid alerts, and to be accessible through a secure password system.
CENSIS said it is aware that potential suppliers may not initially be able to meet all the requirements and that it will support the development of any missing functions.
There is a gradual trend towards using IoT sensors to monitor assets in healthcare settings. Over the past year there have been reports of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability using an IoT network to automate tasks, and Aintree Primary Care Network using sensors to guarantee that vaccines are stored correctly.
Image from iStock, Jae Young Ju