In a LinkedIn discussion a software vendor who works with healthcare clients posited that "there is not a single technology (hence not a single vendor) which is the silver bullet for healthcare"
I couldn't agree more. The real value is in the implemented solution. No hardware or software vendor can predict how your staff will utilize thier offerings, or how the existing procedures, processes and systems within each facility will interact to achive the value of the solution. And no solution is final, so really, the solutions value is transient and the path is unpredictable.
In my reply I agreed that it does take multiple technologies and deep domain experience to get the maximum benefit from the LBS. But healthcare was target #1 to early RTLS vendors not because medical practitioners were clamoring for optimal capabilities, but because healthcare had good ROI for an expensive immature technology.
That got the sales past the financial gatekeepers, and developed the case study depth. So now a shift is occurring, where practitioners no longer wonder 'If' but 'How Well', and are becoming motivated by operational quality and effectiveness. This will challenge the industry to develop solutions where the true TCO is optimal. It will also press them to deliver on the promises they have made in quality way, meaning meeting customer expectation, which has been a problem historically.
As the market expands to a wider base, there is no more cherry picking projects. Every facility has to be a candidate. Most hospitals have to keep running while they implement incrementally, meaning there are many solution steps. As the 5 star general said about the DoDs RFID deployment, job #1 is stay out of the way.
So the culmination of these effects, many technologies, incremental deployment, and quality conscious consumers, is that its in the implementation. It also means integration to existing systems is essential to pave a reasonable road to the optimal outcome.
If there is anything I hope practitioners take from this is that the first question – "Which technology should I use?" – is the wrong question. It's like selecting a hammer to build a house. The more important questions are: Who is the architect, and which craftsmen should we hire to build it? Will I want to sleep in it when they are done?
So my optmistic answer to "How do you think RTLS/RFID industry will evolve?" will be for users to focus on the value of outcomes, not on technologies.
I spent quite a bit of time in the last few months learning about Wikis, how to use them, and developing a software requirements application using Xwiki, a second generation Wiki platform. While Wikipedia is great, and I encourage you to monetarily support their efforts, Wikis are good for so much more. This is especially true with Xwiki which allows classes of structured wiki data to be created by mere mortals.
Today, I followed the link below curious in what RFID journal was writing about how to pick an RTLS.
Without reading the article, I can tell you it will do little to help you decide what to buy and how to utilize an RTLS. It's only 3000 words! While I prize anyone who gets to a point concisely, it is a disservice to users to suggest it is this simple.
Even Ajay Malik's book RTLS for Dummies is 300 pages and only serves as a primer. Specific issues around your application, site and technology all threaten to prevent you from getting the full benefit of the technology. Providers often count on services revenue that customers do not anticipate because they do not know in advance what they do not understand.
Success in technology comes from knowing what you don't know.
I invite anyone who is considering an RTLS purchase and deployment for a free 1/2 hour consultation to identify where unknowns could hamper your success with RTLS.
If you are a tag designer, check out this new device that replaces the battery, rectification, and regulation functions of the power supply for use with energy harvesting. This device, when combined with an energy harvesting source like solar cell, or mechanical source can power a tag perpetually.
Dust networks has a nice summary presentation highlighting their mesh network WirelessHART implementation with channel hopping, time synchronization, and high reliability 3-5 9s reliability. It uses frequency, temporal and path diversity.
What is interesting to me is that they are forecasting, albeit very vaguely, the IP addressability and RTLS integration of mesh network nodes. We should all be looking toward a future where there is open interoperability of sensor and location data.