IoT Consulting for a Chain of Behavioral Health Facilities
The Customer is a US-based chain of behavioral health facilities for patients suffering from severe mental health issues, suicidal behavior, developmental disabilities, etc.
To adhere to high safety requirements for patients with behavioral disorders, the Customer needed to introduce a location tracking solution in their facilities to ensure continuous patient supervision and eliminate the risks of self-harm. The Customer decided to implement an IoT solution for patient and staff tracking in one of their facilities and, if proven efficient, scale it up to other facilities.
The Customer required consulting services to design the architecture of the tracking system, devise its functionality, and estimate the implementation costs.
Relying on our experience in IoT and development of software for the healthcare industry, the Customer commissioned ScienceSoft to create a concept of the patient and staff tracking IoT solution. ScienceSoft’s team of 2 IoT experts and a .NET architect started by interviewing key stakeholders to identify the needs driving the project and understand the Customer’s vision of the required solution. The team used the derived information to suggest functionality, architecture, and possible integrations of a location tracking solution and outline its implementation timeline and cost.
The suggested solution was to work as follows:
- All staff members and patients of a mental health facility had a bracelet with an RFID tag.
- When a person left a specific control area and entered another control area (e.g., a nurse left a patient’s ward and entered the hall), the tag readers transferred the location to the cloud server.
- The tracking app displayed the location of medical staff and patients on the facility plan in real time.
To illustrate the idea, ScienceSoft’s team created a solution demo showing floor plans of the behavioral facility with marked control areas and the location of RFID readers. The demo featured a tracking dashboard with an integrated patient and staff location view, recent staff and patient activity, notifications about patients entering unsolicited areas, etc.
Solution architecture and integration possibilities
ScienceSoft’s team provided architecture and a high-level integration plan for the solution. The core of the solution was ThingsBoard, an open-source platform for IoT development, that allows an easy scale-up, so the solution can be used in multiple behavioral health facilities. The integration plan described how to link the location tracking system with the behavioral health network’s EHR to make general patient information (e.g., name, ward number) visible on the tracking dashboard.
Estimation of implementation project costs
ScienceSoft’s experts created a project timeline and provided a project cost estimation. The IoT location tracking solution proved to be cost-efficient due to the use of an open-source development platform. The suggested solution could be implemented fast: development, launch, and setup phases were estimated to take 2 months.
The Customer obtained an architecture design of an RFID-enabled tracking solution, a list of solution features, and an implementation cost and timeline estimation. The Customer got a solid base to start developing patient and staff tracking software and implement the solution into daily operations in 2 months.
Technologies and Tools
ThingsBoard, .NET, RFID.