Floki Health Limited

Asset Tracking in Hospital Environments

Creating a flexible asset tracking label

Every year the NHS loses thousands of pounds worth of equipment through items being misplaced, time lost looking for items, or items being taken out of the hospital and not returned. Floki Health Limited are looking to develop a smart flexible asset tracking label which would track medical equipment and ultimately reduce costs to the NHS

The ERDF IMPACT Programme supported Floki Health, located in Northumberland, in its development of a new and improved asset tracking tag. Floki have attracted considerable interest from the Health Care Trusts who are keen to trial the device.

Partners

Floki Health Limited

Achievements

Inputs

An input is a unique capability, service or method of support that was provided, such as equipment or expertise.

  • Technical expertise 
  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment 
  • Proof of concept 
  • Initial product development 

Outputs

An output is the result of the work, such as an experimental finding, an actual product or a pilot demonstrator.

  • Development of a new product 
  • Development of a new manufacturing process 
  • TRL progression from TRL3 to TRL4 
  • De-risking the costs involved in product development 

Outcomes

An outcome arises from implementing the outputs, for example, a profit, an investment, providing jobs or delivering societal benefits. Outcomes continue once an innovation has been implemented and deliver benefit every year.

  • Validation of technology 
  • New product for the market 
  • Reducing design/​manufacturing cost 

The challenge

Every year the NHS loses thousands of pounds worth of equipment through items being misplaced, time lost looking for items, or items being taken out of the hospital and not returned. Floki Health had for some time been investigating the possibility of developing a smart flexible asset tracking label which would track medical equipment, within a hospital or care home environment, and ultimately reduce costs to the NHS

CPI previously worked with Floki Health Limited through the EEMaC ERDF programme to develop an initial proof of concept. Although the concept was proven there were still several obstacles to overcome, in order to produce a fully working prototype. 

How CPI helped

CPI Electronics Team based in Newton Aycliffe carried out an initial design review to investigate the feasibility of a hybrid mixing flexible and conventional electronics to allow the tag to be integrated on curved surfaces being discreet, flat and lightweight. It also investigated at the functionality to increase broadcast frequency when the tag is moved therefore significantly reducing power consumption requirements. 

This work will be followed on from previous work where there was a functional BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacon broadcasting at a set interval while being completely self-sufficient as it is powered by a solar energy harvesting system.

In order to make an electronic design suitable for a hybrid of conventional PCB (printed circuit board) and prints, along with increasing the possibility of scale-up and reducing overall cost per device, the design needed to be changed so that the printable side of the circuit will be separated from the PCB circuit

Design review and implementation. CPI carried out a redesign of the electronics for conventional PCB; designed the printed electronics for the connection of the flexible solar panel and carried out the build, assembly and testing. 

In addition to the hardware and firmware development, CPI’s Formulations team designed and 3D printed an enclosure for the device based on the dimensions of the circuit design.

The design was printed out of a material that is compatible with IPA so that the product can be cleaned regularly. We are now looking forward to feedback from Floki Health once the device has been trialled in a real-time setting. 

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