Do You Know Where Your Wheelchair Is?

  • Written By: A. Turner
  • Published: June 16 2000

Do You Know Where Your Wheelchair Is?
A. Turner - June 16, 2000

Event Summary

GE Medical Systems recently announced an alliance with PinPoint Corporation, a developer of wireless locating solutions, to market an asset tracking service that locates and tracks equipment within health care facilities. The service, called IntelliMotion, will help health care providers boost productivity and provide quality patient care by facilitating access to all equipment, from biomedical equipment to wheelchairs.

As part of the distribution agreement, IntelliMotion is being offered as one of the SYNERGE services available from the Services Business of GE Medical Systems.

The service delivery technology uses special electronic tags and receivers, or antennas, throughout the facility to locate equipment and track its location. The information is linked to a network, where health care personnel can view the equipment locations on their computer desktop.

The IntelliMotion asset-tracking offering is part of GE Medical's SYNERGE services, a suite of asset services helping people, information, programs and products work together. Through a variety of offerings, including the CompreCare program, GE Medical provides equipment management and maintenance services to more than 2,000 hospitals worldwide. Under the terms of the alliance, GE Medical will market IntelliMotion to these hospitals and others globally.

Market Impact

Technology visionaries predict a world where our refrigerators will tell us when to buy milk and our spice rack orders cinnamon from the local store. The notion seems a little outlandish, but the technology and network is approaching a point where such visions will become reality.

Companies such as PinPoint and iVita (see iVita Mines Assets for Bottom Line Health) are exploring the technology involved with connecting the objects around us to the network we use everyday. The benefits are exponential. Providing companies a method for tracking, monitoring, and including product rich information will help improve efficiencies both during usage and at the end of a product's lifecycle.

User Recommendations

If your company is involved with medical equipment and can benefit from an asset management program, the GE Medical Systems solution may be worth exploring. It is important to understand the costs associated with the license, implementation, usage, and on-going administration.

While the technology is exciting (and smacks of "big brother") it is important to understand how the solution blends with existing behaviors. How easy is it to implement? Will it be difficult to affix tracking tags to each item? Will this require a new behavior for every item received? Will an "extra effort" affect your employee's acceptance of the new tool?

Again, the benefits are enormous, however the solution requires comprehensive acceptance. We suggest users explore the license and operations costs as well as the requirements to support the tracking tool.

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