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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 assets in a hospital, to locating and monitoring assets in a warehouse or factory, to understanding which contractors are onsite, and how long they are there each day, 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:

Asset Location and Monitoring

“Locating and monitoring equipment, parts, and products quickly.  With  a location on a floor plan.  Instead of looking around for 20 or 30 minutes.”

Maintenance, Audits, and Compliance

“Finding equipment and assets for cleaning, maintenance, compliance, and audits.  This is much simpler and quicker when you know where things are.”

Continuous Process Improvement

“A foundation for LEAN and Six Sigma is knowledge of where everything is, how long each step takes, and whether the appropriate supplies will be there on time.”

Time Tracking

“Knowing which contractors are onsite, which areas they are working in, and how long they have been there.”

Employee Safety

“Being able to locate employees, if they are in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation.”

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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