New features on alert devices improve response time

RF Technologies Inc.

3125 N. 126th St., Brookfield

Innovation: Wireless call pendant and RFID signaling system

Brookfield-based RF Technologies Inc. has been developing and manufacturing security and safety systems for the health care market for the past 25 years. In 2009 the company developed a wireless call pendant to function with its Code Alert Quick Response wireless call solution. Some new features and developments to that product have increased usability for its senior patients.

“Our primary market is health care on the senior living side,” said Michelle Dalton, marketing director for RF Technologies. “We manufacture and sell call systems and wandering management systems for use in senior living facilities including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing environments.”

RF Technology products are not for home use, Dalton said. The wireless call pendant is an emergency alert system that hangs around the patient’s neck or on a wristband.

“It’s one of a series of pieces in our system that residents actually use,” Dalton said.

The pendant is wirelessly linked to an RFID wireless call system consisting of routers and antennas throughout the living community.

“Once a pendant is pushed it signals a call for help and the routers and antennas capture that signal and transfer it directly to a centralized computer or a pager to indicate that someone needs help,” she said. “It happens instantly so caregivers have the ability to respond immediately.”

The system can tell caregivers where the call is coming from, even getting down to a room level.

“It provides every opportunity for a faster response time, which is what everybody wants,” Dalton said.

New features recently released on the wireless call pendant include upgrades to make the pendant more water proof and a blinking LED light that indicates to the patient help is coming.

“We developed some new features based off existing customer feedback,” Dalton said. “The LED light offers comfort to the resident that the pendant is actually working and that help is on the way. It gives them some peace of mind.”

RF Technologies has developed and manufactured the technology in house and will install a redundant router and antenna system within a facility to ensure the system will work properly, Dalton said.

“Before installation we will go onsite and look at the facility to determine what if anything might interfere with the routers and antennas,” she said.

The number of routers, antennas, and devices is completely dependent on the size of the facility and how much coverage the facility desires.

With the exception of some wiring of routers and antennas the system is completely wireless, Dalton said.

“Residents do not need to worry about long term maintenance in their rooms or lengthy education seminars,” she said. “Our products are easy to install and easy to use.”

In addition to the wireless pendant, RF Technologies also manufacturers a series of emergency pull cords that can attach to walls throughout a facility.

Cost is dependent on how many emergency devices and how many installations of the software are needed, Dalton said.

“We’ll manually install the Code Alert Software directly on their devices. That way, we’re able to customize it based on where they want the alerts to go,” she said. “We try to keep the system on a separate server. That way, there’s very little chance it will go down if another system within the facility does.”

The Code Alert Quick response software meets all hospital response time requirements and has been installed in senior living communities all across the country. RF Technologies has a team of service technicians and can also remotely access any system, which helps save on service calls, she added.

“Our system is UL 1069 certified, which is the standard certification for hospital signaling and nurse call equipment,” Dalton said. “Our main objective is to help residents and their families feel more secure in their living environments, the wireless call pendant and our other products can help provide that comfort.”

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