CHU Liège has signed a contract with PHI DATA, specialised in solutions for automatic identification and localisation. The hospital associated with the University of Liège calls on PHI DATA for the temperature monitoring in the refrigerators, freezers and tanks of 47 laboratories. In addition, the project will soon be expanded with an intelligent system for temperature monitoring of transported blood bags and CHU Liège is considering to implement an alarm system with localisation possibilities.
In 2011, the CHU – Centre Hospitalier Universitaire – of Liège went looking for a partner who could help with the delivery, implementation and follow-up of a centralised system for temperature monitoring. That would have to monitor the temperature in the cold rooms, refrigerators, freezers, autoclaves and nitrogen tanks of the 47 laboratories at the hospital.
In addition, the system had to comply with a lot of conditions: the accompanying software had to be able to analyse the results and if necessary notify the right group of people per text message, e-mail, siren, etc. Additionally, the temperature had to be checked on a regular basis and different persons had to be assigned to different roles.
After comparison of a dozen players on the market, CHU Liège decided to work with PHI DATA. They proposed the tags from AeroScout, market leader in the field of tracking and monitoring via Wi-Fi. Wim Verduyn, Senior Key Account Manager at PHI DATA, explains: “The biggest challenge turned out to be at the beginning of the project. There were two Wi-Fi networks available: the one of the hospital and the one of the University of Liège. Neither, however, turned out to meet the requirements for the support of the tags. Since the hospital had already decided to implement a new Wi-Fi network from AeroHive, we advised them in view of the urgency of the implementation to start with the labs. This allowed us to proceed quickly and meanwhile, already 273 refrigerators and freezers in the 47 laboratories have been equipped with tags.”
The results of the first implementation are so positive that CHU Liège is currently considering an expansion of the project. The cooling boxes that carry blood bags and samples would also need to be monitored. PHI DATA has therefore suggested to put tags in the cooling boxes, so that they can be initiated during transport and trigger an alarm when the temperature rises or decreases. Since the tags also have a memory they can continue to monitor at times when there is no Wi-Fi signal.
In addition, CHU Liège also wants to install an alarm system to protect staff and equipment. Some doors and staff then get an alarm button that they can enable when there is danger. Those buttons have a localisation system so that the location of the alarm is passed on simultaneously.