Radar Shows an IV Pump in Room 282

New technology allows hospitals to track assets, save time

Santa Clara, CA  June 27, 2001  WhereNet, a provider of wireless supply chain visibility solutions, yesterday announced a strategic alliance with GE Medical Systems to provide wireless, real-time applications for locating, tracking, and managing assets through GE Medical's IntelliMotion Asset Management Services. GE Medical Systems is an $8 billion global leader in medical information and technology.

Under terms of the agreement, GE Medical will employ WhereNet's patented, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) technology to locate and provide the status of critical hospital assets including mobile medical equipment, such as infusion pumps, monitoring devices, gurneys and wheelchairs. WhereNet's RTLS solution uses low-power, spread-spectrum technology to provide high-resolution capability, while cutting down on radio frequency interference with other medical devices and wireless network systems in the healthcare space. This marks WhereNet's first major agreement in the healthcare industry.

"Trying to locate critical medical equipment in an emergency is a very real problem today," said Ken Denison, general manager for contract and support services for GE Medical Systems. "Furthermore, with increasing pressure on the healthcare industry to trim costs, over-provisioning of supplies and equipment is no longer a viable alternative to misplaced assets. By joining with WhereNet, GE Medical will be able to offer its customers a best-in-class visibility solution to revolutionize the way healthcare facilities utilize high-value medical equipment."

The IntelliMotion system uses WhereNet's radio frequency technology to provide location and status information of mobile medical equipment. This enables healthcare providers to quickly locate and redeploy assets. By viewing a monitor with a map display of the healthcare facility, GE Medical's customers will know the location of any tagged medical asset within 10 feet.

"We are pleased to be able to help GE Medical Systems maintain its status as the most technologically advanced provider of medical systems and equipment worldwide," said Dan Doles, president and CEO for WhereNet. "Total resource utilization is now possible for healthcare facilities that leverage our collaborative breakthrough technology. We expect GE Medical's customers to enjoy significant savings and a strong return on investment through the benefits associated with the real-time location of all of their valuable medical equipment."

The IntelliMotion system utilizes spread-spectrum wireless technology to provide the ability to accurately locate any tagged object. An array of antennas at the healthcare facility receives transmissions at regular intervals from the wireless WhereTags. A WhereNet location processor then calculates the precise location of every piece of tagged mobile medical equipment. This location information is then available through search queries or can be displayed in a map view on a PC or a Web browser for healthcare personnel to see the exact location of the assets in real time.