AZ Groeninge Boosts Efficiency with Blyott Asset Tracking Solution on AWS

“With Blyott’s solution on AWS, we’ve unlocked a new era of efficiency and intelligence. The seamless integration of Blyott’s platform with AWS technology empowers us to extract valuable insights from our assets in real-time.”

Kevin Meerschaert, IT Infrastructure and Operations Manager, AZG

AZ Groeninge (AZG) is a teaching hospital in Belgium, with 1,200 beds, 7,000 rooms, and more than 4,000 staff members. It was the first hospital in the Benelux region to establish a private 5G network on campus, and is always looking for innovative ways to improve delivery of healthcare services.

In 2019, with a view to improving operating room staff productivity, AZG launched an asset tracking pilot program with Blyott, whose fully cloud-based solution is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The hospital’s aim was to go beyond mere tracking capabilities. It wanted a comprehensive solution that would provide robust reporting, proactive alerts, and seamless integration with its existing asset management system from Planon.

Today, the hospital uses Blyott location-based tracking and monitoring across its facilities. Of its 9,597 portable medical equipment assets, 81 percent are fitted with Blyott’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags. These tags interact with signal locators within AZG’s Wi-Fi infrastructure across the hospital’s five buildings. Using Blyott’s asset tracking solution—which consists of its BLE hardware tags, Remote Insights Platform, and Mobile Client built on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—AZG can track, trace, and derive operational insights from its extensive equipment inventory. The result is better operational planning and equipment repair workflows.

Addressing Critical Operational Challenges

Prior to implementing Blyott’s solution, AZG faced several operational challenges. Operating room staff frequently struggled to locate portable medical equipment—such as wheelchairs, bladder scanners, mobile monitors, and infusion stands—in a timely manner. Locating a single piece of equipment could take up to 8 minutes, with clinical staff often searching for equipment twice a day across 23 operating rooms. At full capacity, this meant that up to 91 clinical staff days a year were spent searching for equipment.

Beyond the operating rooms, misplaced equipment led to perceived shortages and inadvertent over-purchasing. For instance, misplaced wheelchairs alone were estimated to cost the hospital between €35,000 and €65,000 a year in unnecessary purchases. The situation was also posing potential risks to patient safety, with up to 2 transport tubes—which are used to store biological samples—being lost. In addition, AZG would provide regular maintenance and repair works on between 3,500 and 4,250 equipment items a year. However, once an item was repaired, it typically took 20 days for nurses to be alerted for collection, resulting in an estimated 80,000 days of unnecessary equipment downtime each year.

Testing Asset Tracking to Deliver Transformative Outcomes

With a vision to improve efficiency and reduce waste and costs, AZG launched its Track and Trace pilot using Blyott’s asset tracking solution on 330 operating room equipment items. Blyott’s Remote Insights Platform—built on AWS scalable and serverless architecture—helps AZG run analytics and get insights on asset location, utilization patterns, and optimization of repair workflows. Nurses at AZG use Blyott’s Mobile Client application, also built on AWS, to locate operating room equipment in just 1 to 2 minutes, an 88 percent reduction in time spent searching. Building on this success, Blyott’s solution was scaled to cover high-value portable medical equipment across all AZG hospital wards in 2020. And, by 2021, it was expanded to the entire AZG campus.

Embracing a Circular Economy and New Era of Efficiency
AZG is using location-based insights to optimize inventory through reuse and repair, minimizing the need for constant replacements. This has led to a reduction in purchasing new wheelchairs, from an average of 10 a year between 2018 and 2020 to just 1 a year between 2021 and 2022—the equivalent of €35,000 in cost savings annually. And there’s been zero transport tube loss for four consecutive years, enhancing patient safety and reducing the need for duplicate samples.
Using Blyott’s asset tracking and notification functionality, AZG has streamlined the repaired equipment collection process, shortening the time from 20 days to just 3 to 4 days, and saving up to 64,000 days in equipment downtime annually. Plus, AZG can be more proactive in maintenance cycle management, extending the average service life of assets from 7 to 8 years and aligning with circular economy principles of maximizing resource use and minimizing waste.
“With Blyott’s solution on AWS, we’ve unlocked a new era of efficiency and intelligence. The seamless integration of Blyott’s platform with AWS technology empowers us to extract valuable insights from our assets in real-time,” says Kevin Meerschaert, IT infrastructure and operations manager at AZG.
Powering Asset Tracking Innovation: Why Blyott Chose AWS
Blyott’s decision to build its healthcare asset tracking solutions on AWS was driven by a strategic evaluation of how AWS offerings align with its goals. The integration of Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)—a managed Kubernetes service—into its infrastructure allows Blyott to orchestrate containerized applications. This gives its asset tracking solution the reliability and adaptability it needs to meet the healthcare sector’s demand for analytics and insight.
Using AWS Graviton Processors—a family of processors designed to deliver the best price performance for cloud workloads running in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)—Blyott has been able to achieve significant cost reductions. And due to the enhanced performance of workloads running on AWS Graviton, Blyott runs its Bluetooth Internet of Things (IoT) solution more efficiently—estimating a decrease in workload carbon intensity of 47 percent. This is supporting Blyott in reducing power consumption and attaining its sustainability goals.
Other AWS technologies—including Amazon Athena serverless interactive analytics service and Amazon ElastiCache fully managed, in-memory caching service—provide Blyott with scalable computing and storage capacity essential for its operations. With the flexibility and reliability of its infrastructure on AWS, Blyott can continue innovating and help hospitals such as AZG transform healthcare.

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