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Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS):
An Overview

What is RTLS technology?

Real-time location systems (RTLS) allow you to locate people or things in real time. Companies in a variety of industries—from transportation to manufacturing, agriculture to healthcare—use location as the input to a number of critical business processes.

RTLS technology helps organizations:

Find equipment rapidly.

Gather data on where vendors go in your building.

Track down critical personnel.

Oversee where a particular asset is or has been for compliance reasons.

Monitor shipments in a warehouse.

There are two main types of RTLS: precision-based RTLS and proximity-based RTLS.

Precision-Based RTLS

Precision-based RTLS is implemented through either ultra-wide band or WiFi-based technologies. Precision RTLS allows tracking of assets to an exact location, making it useful for applications like inventory management. The drawback is that precision RTLS is expensive and requires a great deal of infrastructure to drive its accuracy. Depending on the technology used, the price of tags could increase as well.

Proximity-Based RTLS

Proximity-based RTLS solutions like AirFinder can accurately pinpoint locations within about 100 square feet, making them ideal for use cases that don’t require exact locations. For example, if you know an X-ray machine or an employee is in room 326, you’ll easily be able to find them. Proximity-based RTLS systems are less expensive, require far less infrastructure, and generally have less expensive tags.

Benefits & Uses Of RTLS

From finding car keys at auto dealerships, to tracking inmates at prisons, to identifying where oil workers are in the field in case of an emergency, there are dozens of use cases for real-time location systems.

The alternative to RTLS is record-keeping—a manual log of where equipment is kept or stored. This method breaks down quickly because of human error or the number of people involved and doesn’t support the variety of use cases that RTLS does.

Consider these location tracking benefits and uses:

Finding Personnel

“I need to ask my supervisor a question—but I’ll wait to discuss it with him until I get a notification that he’s on my floor.”

Tracking Assets

“We need to know where this critical piece of equipment is right away.”

Managing Inventory

“Can we track each individual package down to the room level or an exact location?”

Complying Legally

“Can you prove that this person was in room 519 at the time 
we’ve specified?”

Making Financial Queries

“We need to purchase 100 new wheelchairs—are we using the wheelchairs we already have, or are they getting stashed somewhere?”

Free White Paper

Healthcare RTLS: An In-Depth Review Of Technologies & Considerations

From tracking assets and personnel to managing inventory and remaining compliant, RTLS holds a great deal of untapped value for healthcare organizations.

Download the free white paper to learn more.

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Healthcare RTLS - In-Depth Review

AirFinder is a simple, effective real-time location system (RTLS) that enables low-cost and secure asset tracking.

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