Preventing the theft of expensive medical equipment, stopping unauthorised persons from entering restricted areas, and informing the OR of a rescue helicopter’s arrival: with the help of intelligently connected cameras, video technology, and much more, things that used to be impossible at hospitals – or were only possible as stand-alone, non-digital solutions – are now child’s play thanks to Bosch’s internet of things (IoT) expertise.

Theft of hospital equipment

According to the insurance industry, the theft of endoscopic devices results in millions of euros in damages for hospital operators throughout Europe. Sensor-based video technology in corridors and at points of entry and exit can provide crucial evidence for prosecuting criminals. Prevention is equally important. Intelligently controlled lighting, connected motion detectors on doors and windows, and intrusion alarm systems scare off burglars, prevent theft, and save operators the high cost of having to replace expensive medical equipment.

“The internet of things has finally arrived at hospitals,” Dr. Stefan Hartung, the member of the board of management responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector at Bosch, said at a press conference. Safety and security are not the only benefits, he added: connected solutions also provide greater convenience and efficiency in hospitals. Bosch plans to generate sales of around 100 million euros with smart hospital projects in the years ahead. For the entire Energy and Building Technology business sector, Bosch expects sales growth of around five percent this year, more than double the sector’s growth rate last year.

Hospital digitalisation strategies

According to a study by Roland Berger, almost 90 percent of all hospitals have developed a digitalisation strategy to increase their efficiency and economic performance – and infrastructure is no exception. “We would like to benefit from these ambitions, which is why we will expand our business activities in the field of connected products and services for hospitals. Through our intelligent solutions, we want to make a contribution to greater quality of life, safety, and security at hospitals, as well as to greater resource conservation,” Hartung said.

Bosch is dedicated to developing additional IoT-based services for the hospital sector
Smart indoor solutions can make it possible to locate urgently needed medical equipment and transport it to certain areas of a hospital

Bosch: a service provider for smart hospitals

Hospitals are under tremendous pressure. They have to function smoothly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Under constantly rising cost pressure, doctors and nurses have to care for patients, people and valuable equipment also have to be protected, and technical infrastructure has to be managed optimally. With smart hospital solutions, Bosch relieves the burden on hospital operators and staff when it comes to technical and administrative duties. Patients also benefit from new, connected services in their hospital rooms, such as interactive infotainment systems.

Connected control centre

At the Rechts der Isar hospital in Munich, one of Germany’s largest medical centres, a connected control centre ensures an optimal overview of the hospital’s safety-relevant processes. From there, employees can monitor gates, intercoms, and the installed video cameras. Four multi-picture-display monitors make it possible to keep an eye on 34 clinics and departments.

The system is also used to control safety-relevant access points. In addition, connected cameras and monitors register the landing of rescue helicopters, notify the OR directly of their arrival, and inform the relevant members of staff. To enable these new functions, Bosch has added internet capabilities to existing, non-digital surveillance cameras and networked them to create a single system, saving the cost of having to buy more than 70 cameras, cutting the facility’s operating costs, and reducing the burden on employees.

Climatec: a long-standing partner

In North America, the Bosch subsidiary Climatec is a long-standing partner of Banner Health. With 29 facilities in seven states, Banner Health is one of the largest non-profit healthcare providers in the U.S. Bosch plans, develops, and integrates solutions in new and retrofitted hospitals for this customer. At 15 Banner facilities, Bosch provides building automation, air conditioning, and fire detection equipment, as well as nurse-call and infotainment systems for patients – integrated, connected, and from a single source. The goal is to use connected solutions to create comfortable environments for providing medical care to patients that are also economical and reliable.

Four multi-picture-display monitors make it possible to keep an eye on 34 clinics and departments
A connected control centre ensures an optimal overview of the hospital’s safety-relevant processes

Benefits of lower energy costs

Since December 2016, Bosch has been an energy partner for a 750-bed cancer treatment centre in Bangalore, India, which handles around 390,000 patients a year. The facility is part of the Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH) chain. With 30 hospitals at 18 locations, NH is one of the largest healthcare providers in India.

At the heart of the project is a sensor- and software-based energy solution that will ensure a high degree of energy efficiency in the long term while guaranteeing outstanding convenience and comfort for patients and staff. Bosch is also supporting facility management in its day-to-day work with an innovative energy management and monitoring system, allowing the facility to cut costs by around twelve percent compared to its previous expenses. Staff members can use their smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers to access energy data at any time and react immediately to irregularities.

Indoor positioning can save lives

Together with other partners, Bosch is dedicated to developing additional IoT-based services for the hospital sector. In emergencies, smart indoor solutions can make it possible to locate urgently needed medical equipment, for example, and transport it to certain areas of a hospital. Indoor positioning works by equipping essential medical equipment or other objects with sensors. Using sensor technology, they transmit their position or condition (such as their battery status) in real time via an internal network or a cloud to doctors and nursing staff. Such solutions speed up processes at hospitals and can even save lives – because in an emergency, every second counts.

Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Unifying the mobile experience: cloud, IoT and the AI evolution of access control in 2019
Unifying the mobile experience: cloud, IoT and the AI evolution of access control in 2019

The industry faces numerous challenges in the coming year. Physical and cyber security threats continue to become more complex, and organisations are struggling to manage both physical and digital credentials as well as a rapidly growing number of connected endpoints in the Internet of Things (IoT). We are witnessing the collision of the enterprise with the IoT, and organisations now must establish trust and validate the identity of people as well as ‘things’ in an environment of increasingly stringent safety and data privacy regulations. Meanwhile, demand grows for smarter and more data-driven workplaces, a risk-based approach to threat protection, improved productivity and seamless, more convenient access to the enterprise and its physical and digital assets and services. Using smartphone apps to open doors Cloud technologies give people access through their mobile phones and other devices to many new, high-value experiencesEnterprise customers increasingly want to create trusted environments within which they can deliver valuable new user experiences. A major driver is growing demand for the ‘digital cohesion’ of being able to use smartphone apps to open doors, authenticate to enterprise data resources or access a building’s applications and services. Cloud technologies are a key piece of the solution. They give people access through their mobile phones and other devices to many new, high-value experiences. At the same time, they help fuel smarter, more data-driven workplace environments. With the arrival of today’s identity- and location-aware building systems that recognise people and use deep learning analytics to customise their office environment, the workplace is undergoing dramatic change. Improved fingerprint solutions Cloud-based platforms and application programming interfaces (APIs) will help bridge biometrics and access control in the enterprise, overcoming previous integration hurdles while providing a trusted platform that meets the concerns of accessibility and data protection in a connected environment. At the same time, the next generation of fingerprint solutions will deliver higher matching speed, better image capture quality and improved performance. The next generation of fingerprint solutions will deliver higher matching speed, better image capture quality and improved performance Liveness detection will ensure that captured data is from a living person. Biometrics authentication will also gain traction beyond access control in immigration and border control, law enforcement, military, defence and other public section use cases where higher security is needed. Flexible subscription models Access control solutions based on cloud platforms will also change how solutions are deployed. Siloed security and workplace optimisation solutions will be replaced with mobile apps that can be downloaded anywhere across a global ecosystem of millions of compatible and connected physical access control system endpoints. These connections will also facilitate new, more flexible subscription models for access control services. As an example, users will be able to more easily replenish mobile IDs if their smartphones are lost or must be replaced. Generating valuable insights with machine learning Machine learning analytics will be used to generate valuable insights from today’s access control solutionsEducation, finance, healthcare, enterprise, and other niche markets such as commercial real-estate and enterprises focussed on co-working spaces will benefit from a cloud-connected access control hardware foundation. There will be a faster path from design to deployment since developers will no longer have to create an entire vertically integrated solution. They will simply add an app experience to the existing access control infrastructure. New players will be drawn to the market resulting in a richer, more vibrant development community and accelerated innovation. Data analytics will be a rapidly growing area of interest. Machine learning analytics will be used to generate valuable insights from today’s access control solutions. Devices, access control systems, IoT applications, digital certificates and location services solutions, which are all connected to the cloud, will collectively deliver robust data with which to apply advanced analytics and risk-based intelligence. As organisations incorporate this type of analytics engine into their access control systems, they will improve security and personalise the user experience while driving better business decisions. 

What characteristics do salespeople require in the physical security industry?
What characteristics do salespeople require in the physical security industry?

A basic tenet of sales is ABC – always be closing. But it's a principle that most professional salespeople would say oversimplifies the process. Especially in a sophisticated, high-tech market such as physical security, the required sales skills are much more involved and nuanced. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What unique characteristics are required of salespeople in the arena of physical security systems?

Can microchip implants replace plastic cards in modern access control?
Can microchip implants replace plastic cards in modern access control?

A futuristic alternative to plastic cards for access control and other applications is being considered by some corporate users in Sweden and the United Kingdom. The idea involves using a microchip device implanted into a user’s hand. About the size of a grain of rice and provided by Swedish company Biohax, the tiny device employs passive near field communication (NFC) to interface with a user’s digital environment. Access control is just one application for the device, which can be deployed in lieu of a smart card in numerous uses. Biohax says more than 4,000 individuals have implanted the device. Using the device for corporate employees Every user is given plenty of information to make an informed decision whether they want to use the deviceCurrently Biohax is having dialogue with curious corporate customers about using the device for their employees. “It’s a dialogue, not Big Brother planning to chip every employee they have,” says Jowan Österlund, CEO at Biohax. Every user is given plenty of information to make an informed decision whether they want to use the device. Data capture form to appear here! “Proof of concept” demonstrations have been conducted at several companies, including Tui, a travel company in Sweden that uses the device for access management, ID management, printing, gym access and self-checkout in the cafeteria. Biohax is also having dialogue with some big companies in the United Kingdom, including legal and financial firms. Österlund aims to have a full working system in place in the next year or so. A Swedish rail company accepts the implanted chip in lieu of a paper train ticket. They accept existing implants but are not offering to implant the chips. Österlund says his company currently has no plans to enter the U.S. market. The device is large enough to locate easily and extract if needed, and small enough to be unobtrusive Access control credential The device is inserted/injected below the skin between the index finger and the thumb. The circuitry has a 10-year lifespan. The device is large enough to locate easily and extract if needed, and small enough to be unobtrusive. The only risk is the possibility of infection, which is true anytime the skin is pierced, and the risk is mitigated by employing health professionals to inject the chip. Use of the device as an access control credential or any other function is offered as a voluntary option; any requirement by an employer to inject the device would be illegal, says Österlund. It’s a convenient choice that is made “based on a well-informed decision by the customer.” Aversion to needles, for example, would make some users squeamish to implant the device. More education of users helps to allay any concerns: Some 10% of employees typically would agree quickly to the system, but a larger group of 50% to 60% are likely to agree over time as they get more comfortable with the idea and understand the convenience, says Österlund. Protection of information The passive device does not actively send out any signals as you walk. It is only powered up by a reader if a user has access rightsIn terms of privacy concerns, information contained on the device is in physical form and is protected. The passive device does not actively send out any signals as you walk. There is no battery. It is only powered up by a reader if a user has access rights. With use of the device being discussed in the United Kingdom, there has been some backlash. For example, Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has said: “Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers.” A big misconception is that the chip is a tracking device, says Österlund. It isn’t. “We love people to get informed,” says Österlund. “If they’re scared or apprehensive, they can just read up. It’s not used to control you – it’s used to give you control.”