Goodwin House Alexandria, a faith-based retirement community with independent and assisted-living facilities in northern Virginia, is among the latest healthcare facilities to deploy RFID for the wellbeing of its residents. Known as eNeighbor, the RFID-based service is non-intrusive and will empower residents by allowing them to signal for help when needed.
The eNeighbor system is comprised of several Wi-Fi-based RFID devices that residents can choose from, including a pendant to be worn around the neck and a cord affixed to the wall. Other options include motion sensors and RFID-enabled bed and chair sensors that can detect when a resident gets in and out of bed. Because the system is Wi-Fi-based, it requires Wi-Fi access points that receive communications from the various devices and pass that data on to Web-based back-end software that then generates and sends alerts to supervisors’ wireless phones.
Goodwin House Alexandria, owned by Goodwin House, Inc., has been using the RFID system since August 2008. Today, 120 of the 320 residents who live in the on-site apartments have decided to use the system. The system works thanks to a Wi-Fi-based active RFID tag embedded in the pendant that is encoded with a unique ID number. When the button on the pendant is pressed, that tag sends a signal with its ID number, and the back-end system pinpoints location to within 60 square feet. The supervisor is then informed of the resident’s name, apartment number, and the specific zone in which the signal originated. The pull cords on walls work similarly, with a Wi-Fi RFID tag emitting a signal when the cords are pulled.