iBeacon for Hospitals - Using Bluetooth LE Beacons To Provide Wayfinding, Mapping, and Clinical Care

November 27, 2013

In our continuing look at applications for iBeacon, we're honing in on specific industries that have great opportunities to implement the technology for multiple uses.

iBeacon Provides a Mapping and Wayfinding Solution

A key customer service problem for sprawling hospitals and medical centers is wayfinding for patients and families. Hospitals can solve this problem with iBeacon.

Here are three wayfinding experiences for hospitals:

  • With the hospital app open on a phone or tablet, the iBeacon would recognize the location of the patient and guide the visitor through the building on a map.
  • As the hospital visitor walks past guest and patient services such as restaurants, newsstands or gift shops, hours of operation or a special offer could be sent to the phone and pop up on the map.
  • The application could guide users back to their exact parking spot or exact location within the hospital.

iBeacon Speeds Clinical Care and Access to Patient Data

While security and HIPAA will stand as challenges to a speedy rollout, patient rooms at hospitals could be outfitted with iBeacon and upon entry to a room, a doctor's iPad coupld immediately load the patient record on the tablet. This application would speed patient care and increase the effectiveness of clinical staff.

iBeacon Improves Equipment Management - Track Location and Position 24/7

iBeacons are small, battery-operated computers that fit in the palm of your hand. Most can run up to 2 years without having their batteries replaced. As such, these are excellent devices to attach to equipment to track location within the facility. Using a browser or app based UI, facilities management would be able to map the location of all iBeacon tagged equipment in the hospital.

iBeacon for Hospitals: What is Required?

iBeacon is the next step in allowing businesses to provide personalized content to their customers. A hospital would want to: 

  1. Establish and configure a network of beacons throughout the hospital or environment.
  2. Create use cases for how to implement the technology to serve patients and clinical staff.
  3. Develop or extend native iOS or Android mobile apps to receive the content and contextual information provided via the iBeacons.

Related Reading on iBeacon:

What is the Apple iBeacon? How to Design and Build iBeacon Applications

iBeacon: How Is It Related to Bluetooth (BLE)? Will iBeacon Work For Payments?

 

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