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RFID technology aiding neonatal healthcare

Spain: Ibermática, an IT company, collaborated with Saident, a company specialising in the creation and integration of solutions based on radiofrequency identification (RFID). The collaboration aims to enable hospitals to identify mothers and their babies in real time and unequivocally matching the mother and child throughout the entire time of hospital admission.
This technology provides health personnel with relevant clinical information and location identification data in real time on both mothers and their babies, thus bolstering the protection of the new born child and its mother and facilitating the work of hospital staff. In practice, this will mean ensuring the identity of the baby, controlling its movements through the different authorised zones in the hospital and having access to its clinical information in real time.
The solution drawn up by Saident is based on RFID identity tags, with lectors that control the whole maternity area and also on middleware software that integrates with the computerised system devised by Ibermática and which gathers all the data with which health personnel can interact in order to check patient information. When a pregnant woman is admitted to hospital, she is provided with a tag with a unique identification which can be read in all the maternity zones. So, when the patient enters one of the wards in the zone, the computer terminals in each space are triggered and automatically provide information about her. At the same time, the system will gather information about the movements of the patient in these wards and the time she stays in each. These tags also incorporate a call button to alert nursing staff if needs be.
Once the baby is born, an RFID tag specially designed for the new born is fitted to its ankle, and which impedes its manipulation except by authorised staff. The device monitors the infant 24 hours a day, detecting unauthorised movements, registering entries and exits to and from the habitual zones and enabling immediate location.
The readers responsible for gathering the information from the tags combine three different technologies, enabling maximum precision of reading in all kinds of environments, even inside bedrooms. For the health personnel to access all the data of the system, two types of work station have been fitted in the hospital: fixed, installed in each room; and mobile, used for visits and control in the various maternity zones. For each device, alarms for staff to respond to are emitted and received automatically.
Source: www.basqueresearch.com