Like most asset intensive businesses, the pharmaceutical industry struggles with utilization of equipment, calibration, validation, life cycling of equipment and the availability of staff to support large organizations.
Having redundant pieces of equipment used sporadically by researchers is expensive and by utilizing effective asset management tools utilization rates can be improved and ultimately result in reduced equipment purchases. Asset location and automated task assignments to support teams can enable GMP compliance.
Real time location systems (RTLS) are now becoming more main stream with numerous technologies to achieve near real time location and accuracy.
The ubiquity of 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi enables accuracy to within 1 to 2 meters from market leading vendors like Aruba and Cisco. Beaconing tags can be set to broadcast at various intervals having a significant impact on battery life.
Newer technology on the market utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is more cost effective; however, may not offer any improvement in accuracy over traditional Wi-Fi. BLE requires some level of infrastructure, installation and support to receive the tag’s beacon to send location data to the cloud.
While room and sub-room level location is touted by some vendors as offering the highest level of visibility, there are few cases where the associated high cost of dedicated infrastructure, system installation and support to enable such a high level of visibility is limited.
With the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning new vendors are now offering accuracy to within 1 meter or less with just a smartphone and BLE tag. Collecting data from multiple smart phones within a building can pinpoint an asset’s location. The attraction to this type of technology is zero infrastructure, long battery life using BLE tags and accessible by anyone having a smart phone.
For more information about zero infrastructure real time location systems please visit: