New Hampshire Hospital Deploys RFID Tags for Infant Security

At Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, N.H., the Accutech “Cuddles” infant security system has made the nursing staff’s job easier, protected the infants and added peace of mind for the parents.

Cuddles is one type of infant abduction prevention solution that is based on active RFID technology. The most noticeable component of these systems, which have been around for nearly 30 years, is the tags on newborns. It is strapped through a band (usually around the ankle) that incorporates skin sensing technology in case the band is removed.

The soft bracelet worn by infants is self-adjusting, preventing fall-off due to any post-birth weight loss.

When the band is removed or cut from the baby’s body, antennas placed throughout the facility pick up the alarm signal and relay it to a centralized alarm at the nursing station and on computer software. Usually the facility incorporates locks, and the hospital unit will go into a “lockdown mode” when a band alarm or attempted unauthorized exit occurs. 

Some infant security solutions can also interface with existing systems in the hospital. For example, with the Cuddles system, when the tagged infant’s cradle approaches a door, a surveillance camera near the exit can be triggered. In addition to this, the alarm can be exported from the Cuddles software to nurse call pagers. The type of information that can be shown on the pagers is where the alarm is occurring, which baby is creating the alarm, and the type of alarm.

Chris Konicek is marketing manager for Accutech. He can be reached at [email protected].


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