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RHN Hospital implements IoT network


The Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability (RHN) has begun to use an internet of things (IoT) network to reduce energy costs and automate routine tasks.

The hospital, which operates as a charity and is based in Putney, London, has set up the network with BT and IoT data start-up Microshare.

BT has provided a LoRaWAN wireless network, which provides connectivity for hundreds of devices across the hospital, while Microshare has sourced the IoT sensors and connected them to its data platform on the Azure cloud.

A BT spokesperson said the set-up is now in place, the first implementations have been made in monitoring physical assets, and discussions are taking place on further possible uses.

Sensors with automated alarms have been applied to the hospital’s refrigerators to indicate if there is a problem requiring staff attention, and others have been placed within water tanks to provide details of temperature and compliance with legionella testing. This has provided more frequent readings that when staff had to physically take water temperatures from the tanks.

The technology has also been used in room monitoring to provide information on the availability of meeting space.

Transformation drive

Tony Roberts, chief information officer of the RHN, said: The new IoT system is part of a major drive towards digital transformation at the hospital.”

He added: “Thanks to BT and Microshare we are now able to automate many tasks that would have previously taken considerable time or effort to carry out. If a nurse wants to find out where a wheelchair or ECG machine is, they can simply log onto the computer and find out where in the hospital it is located. Something that may have taken an hour or more in the past is now done in seconds.

“This technology has been extremely useful during the current pandemic as it has allowed our staff to perform more efficiently under heightened pressures. Instead of spending time filling out paper forms, they’re able to do it at the click of a button.”

Image by Stevekeiretsu. CC BY-SA 3.0

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