Tracking of Medical Devices inside Buildings

5G has the potential to optimize asset management in hospitals. The positioning capabilities of the new mobile communication standard can be used, among other things, to locate mobile medical equipment from the syringe pump to the CT within a building. If, for example, a mobile CT is required, this should generally be provided within a short period of time. Since such devices are usually only available in small numbers, it is important to know which devices are available and where they are located in the building. Using 5G, the location and status of these devices can now be determined. This information is then available to the staff, e.g. on a central platform in real time, and can be managed there, enabling the fastest possible procurement of the nearest available device. Already in 3GPP Release 16, an accuracy of 3 meters is targeted for 5G positioning, which is sufficient for spatially accurate positioning of medical devices.

Fraunhofer IIS has many years of experience in the field of medical asset tracking. In addition to inventory and resource management of valuable medical devices and the status and location monitoring of blood reserves, the energy-saving localization of hospital beds was realized.