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RTLS (Real Time Location System) Leader Sonitor® Announces Major Leap in RTLS Badge Design

Sonitor Collaborates with Customers to Design an I.D. Card-like Form for New SmartBadge™

October 9, 2017

Kansas City, MO (October 9, 2017) - Sonitor, the global leader in indoor positioning technologies, announced today at the Cerner Health Conference 2017 that it has launched an RTLS badge specifically designed for healthcare staff. SmartBadge, the size and shape of a typical staff I.D. badge, is built on the same state-of-the-art technology as Sonitor's existing SmartTagTM platform. The form factor of the SmartBadge constitutes a major advance in technology designed for staff assist, staff safety and workflow applications by combining wearability and ease-of-use with industry-leading ultrasound-based accuracy and reliability. 

Sonitor's development of the new badge began, in part, via collaboration with Sonitor client Sanford Health, a leading adopter and innovator of RTLS technology in healthcare. Sanford's suggestions for the new design ranged from the aesthetic—making it smaller, less bulky and easier to wear for employees—to the practical, including a simpler way to change the badge's batteries. 

Sonitor's engineers also incorporated customer feedback to design several enhanced features for the SmartBadge following the style of the ubiquitous, unobtrusive I.D. badge as a model. For instance, the buttons are recessed in order to prevent accidental alarms. Additionally, the microphone, which enables Sonitor's ultrasound-based positioning, is located on the badge's top edge, allowing staff the flexibility to wear it alongside or beneath other credentials while ensuring uninterrupted, accurate and reliable ultrasound positioning communications.  

Sonitor's SmartBadge has distinct advantages over other I.D.-like solutions. For example, RF-based solutions that are worn close to the body can experience interference as the human body can act as a strong insulator. Badges that use IR as their base positioning technology can also pose a challenge as they run a much bigger risk that the body can block the line-of-sight the technology relies on for receiving a signal. By contrast, ultrasound does not require line-of-sight, but instead fills the defined coverage area with ultrasound providing reliability and accuracy.

Anne Bugge, President and CEO of Sonitor, remarked, "Customer input was critical to the design of the SmartBadge. As RTLS utilization and adoption continues to grow, we need to ensure that our products make it easier for clinical staff to do their jobs. Caregivers have many priorities and responsibilities that compete for their attention throughout the day. Providing them with easy-to-use, well designed technology that facilitates improved patient care delivery is our ultimate goal."  
  
Sonitor's SmartBadge has additional improved features which include:

  • • Optimized power consumption for extended battery life
  • • Easy to access battery compartment through a standard, TV-remote-like slide off cover, eliminating the need for special tools or a technician to replace batteries
  • • Buttons with different shapes facilitating tactile functionality
  • • Light weight and balanced design
  • • New LED light that provides visual confirmation when buttons are pressed

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