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Real-time insights on your daily hospital operations


'Real-time Location Systems, RTLS in healthcare - what is this all about? 


RTLS solutions are designed to track and trace assets, patients, and selected staff members in a real-time as they are on the move. So-called "tags" come in different forms, shapes, and durability and help locate the target object or person based on different technologies (e.g. Infrared, Bluetooth, or existing WiFi). RTLS solutions are  used across many industries - including automotive, life science, consumer goods - and cover a broad range of application scenarios. RTLS in healthcare particularly supports tracking and tracing of hospital equipment as well as patient and staff tracking.

Our Philips PerformanceFlow platform combines such location insights from RTLS technologies with data from smart devices and information from third party IT systems. By doing so, we go beyond simple tracking in hospitals and provide real-time operational decision support.

What are the general benefits that real-time insights promise for enterprise-wide processes in healthcare facilities?


Everyday hospital and healthcare operations have to support high-quality and cost-effective care delivery whilst balancing multiple competing priorities and constraints, in terms of resources, workflow, and capacity. Add to this the complex, variable, and dynamic nature of the hospital environment and it is easy to see why this balancing act can be extremely challenging.

Philips believes that true real-time location data enriched with information from other software systems, connected devices and wearables in combination with sensors plays an important role to streamline operational excellence. Getting real-time insights in operations facilitates analytics, identifies bottlenecks and thus, key areas for improvement to reduce waste in healthcare processes.

How does PerformanceFlow outperform traditional Hospital Information Systems and Electronic Medical Records by 

replacing manual near-time with automated real-time data?


Existing software (e.g. Electronic Medical Record, or Computerized Maintenance Management System) requires mostly manually input that is often entered in bulk after a shift is ended or the current patient load leaves room for a break. The information is near real-time, meaning that there is often a significant delay between displaying the information and the occurrence of the event (e.g. registration of broken devices, or patient facing unreasonable waiting times). 

PerformanceFlow leverages different technologies and sensors to automatically visualize real-time insights which are directly visible in integrated systems to take decisions in an evidence-based manner based on the current capacity of a department and thus, optimize operational decision support. By doing so, we improve the existing data quality in the existing single source of truth.

How flexibly does PerformanceFlow adapt to the existing IT ecosystem in hospitals and how does Philips ensure 



Our internally developed Internet of Things (IoT) solution is designed as a single platform that can address resource-, workflow- and capacity- related challenges in a modular fashion while reducing IT complexity. Via open REST APIs based on standard message types (IHE-compliant HL7, DICOM, FHIR) we ensure a standardized and well-documented data flow from and to our solution. 

In addition, the Philips IntelliBridge Enterprise (IBE) data broker allows us to easily connect to other (third party) applications. Examples are, but not limited to, the Hospital Information Systems, Electronic Medical Record, Laboratory Informations Systes, Maintenance Management Solutions, Ambulance Systems and others. Our growing eco system of healthcare and technology partners provides proven best practices for end-to-end integrations. 

Which particular use cases are suitable to be supported by real-time (location) data? 


Real-time tracking and tracing of mobile assets hospital-wide and the generation of utilization reports based on location data are a common starting points for the introduction of Real-time Location System, RTLS technology. Geofencing and the thorough integration with the Computerized Maintenance Management System, CMMS can sustainably reduce the amount of stolen or lost assets to a minimum. However, this is just the starting point of the location based improvement journey:


  • Reduce search time and walking distance for healthcare professionals, medical technicians and logistics staff 
  • Optimize rental cost by monitoring the aggregated usage of rented mobile equipment
  • Automate stock level management by integrating with work order management solutions and ensure availability of resources where they are needed the most
  • Receive comprehensive utilization reports to inform key decision makers regarding upcoming procurement decisions or drive a redistribution of mobile devices across a hospital- Improve maintenance compliance by sharing the real-time location and thus, increase the quality care
  • Improve the culture among employees by focusing on collaboration instead of unasked borrowing and hoarding of assets
  • Trigger alerts and notifications whenever assets or patients enter areas where they are not supposed to be
  • Unlock activity-based costing across the departments of your healthcare facility
  • Enhance patient security and drive patient flows by understanding the real-time location of colleagues and patients

What type of assets are suited for tracking and tracing?


In general, all (mobile) devices can be tracked and traced. Philips visualizes the location of a great variety of different types and subtypes in different hospitals, ranging from wheelchairs that often get stolen, ECGs and ultrasound devices that are shared across different departments, infusion pumps, rental equipment such as mattresses that are easily getting lost and many more. Together with our technology partners we have an extensive installed base and are happy to advise you on the pool of assets that you might consider for tracking and tracing.

'Why is Philips a credible partner in the Internet of Thing and Real-Time Location System domain?


Philips has extensive experience in the healthcare domain, we understand the needs of healthcare professionals, the set-up of health care systems and how critical workflows look like better than sole technology players from different industries. This knowledge is reflected in the intuitive set-up of our applications that address the particular pain points of hospital staff. Our open Internet of Things (IoT) platform is developed agnostically and easily integrates with the IT infrastructure of the hospital by leveraging in-house developed data brokers and connectors. 

The transformation towards becoming one of the main players in the healthcare informatics domain has led us to build  profound expertise in software development, remote monitoring and related services over the last decades. This will help us to flexibly contribute to the smart hospital vision of modern healthcare facilities and flexibly integrate with sensors and new upcoming technologies going forward.

'How does PerformanceFlow fit the bigger digital Philips picture?


PerformanceFlow is a value-adding stand alone solution, but its potential is even greater when integrated as an open platform with existing IT solutions – both third party applications and other Philips solutions. Philips is working towards a single platform basedon the HealthSuite foundation that  allows complete interoperability across all our solutions. 

PerformanceFlow is fully aligned with the system of engagement aroundoperations and hospital workflows, and can seamlessly integrate real-time data with other Philips solutions such as Patient Flow Capacity Suite, IntegratedCardiology Solutions and PerformanceBridge, next to developing “own” PerformanceFlow-based applications for other use cases. Such eco-system thinking is crucial to bridge missing functionality that no software platform can offer on its own. While continuously enhancing own strengths, all solutions provide open interfaces to connect and share data in a complementary fashion.


Does Philips work with third-party suppliers or is the required hardware infrastructure developed in-house?


Philips as a well-established player in the healthcare industry, bundles the clinical and procedural knowledge on clinical processes to develop our software backbone in-house. The speed of technological evolution and the increase of use cases are reasons why PerformanceFlow is designed as an open and agnostic platform to connect to the appropriate hardware infrastructure for each hospital which we source from third party providers in our partner network.

Philips, as an end-to-end solution provider, continuously keeps an eye on the latest industry standards, such as Ultra-Wideband, camera-based tracking, mesh networks, and 5G as well as their compatibility with the existing solution

What is the right RTLS technology or hardware backbone for tracking and tracing of mobile resources?


Localization solutions in healthcare are often frowned upon as being particularly hardware intensive and overpriced. It is important to remember that while this may well have been true in the past, relevant technology has evolved considerably over the past years and industry partners are already leveraging existing infrastructures as current WiFi networks for rudimentary localization on a department level. The eligible technologies differ significantly in the additional hardware required, which is either wired and connected to the existing network using the Local Area Network, or separately set up. 

Each technology can yield a certain precision level which affects the battery life span of the so-called active or passive “tags”. These tags are small devices in different shapes, flexibility, and robustness which are attached to e.g. mobile devices, patient wristbands, and staff badges. Together with our technology partners we have an extensive installed base and are happy to advise you on the technology that fits your intended use.

What is the approximate battery life time of a so called Real-time Location System, RTLS tag?


The precise battery lifetime of a tag depends on the defined frequency of reporting, the actual movement as well as the technology used for localization. Jointly with our technology providers, we guarantee a lifetime ranging from 2 to 5 years when the reporting frequency is configured to be 5 minutes. We offer battery monitoring, depending on the final hardware provider separate tools might be available to monitor.


Can PerformanceFlow be used on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets?


Yes, we offer a browser-based mobile version of PerformanceFlow that covers selected use cases. Therefore, your device has to be connected to a secure network of the hospital to ensure a security-compliant set-up. The full functionality is being offered in the desktop version. 

'Should I install on-prem or in the cloud? 


Deciding whether to have a cloud or on-premise solution depends on a hospital's digitalization strategy and preference. 
On-premise: Installation on local servers. You will be responsible for maintening the server infrastructure, hardware and software, data back-ups, storage and disaster recovery. As the architecture is installed locally you are not depended on internet connectivity to access the software. 

Cloud: Accessing the application anytime and anywhere via a webbrowser from any device. Cloud will be hosted for you. We are currently in the last stages to have our solution available in the cloud. Philips supports the set-up of a GDPR-compliant data protection concept.


Which type of standardized reports can PerformanceFlow deliver and is there room for individual requests?


To provide you with a rought idea of the analytics we can offer: Search time, utilization rates, maintenance compliance and department-specific Key Performance Indicator, KPI. We offer extensive data analytics based on your needs and have strong support by our Philips research organization to evolve the existing portfolio of Data analytics and Artifical Intelligence algorithms. The accuracy of analytics in general depends on the prrecision of the Real-Time location System technology used as well as the tag reporting rhythm. The individual figures are defined at the beginning of a partnership and so is the frequency of the analytics delivery.

Your questions remain unanswered? Do not hesitate to reach out.


Our professional healthcare consultants are happy to offer you a virtual expedition through our dashboards, to invite your to a personal tour with us in our Hospital Lab in Eindhoven, The Netherlands or to experience the solution in a real customer environment!

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