E-Waste, the 'smart' clinical waste management system
27 September 2021
Alberto Ferrante, lecturer and researcher at IDSIA, led and developed the E-Waste Innosuisse project together with and Marco D'Ambros, of the Software Institute at the USI Faculty of Informatics and in cooperation with Valbenne SA.
The E-Waste system - a first in Switzerland - tracks clinical waste in real time, provides greater assurance that it is disposed of correctly, and optimises the disposal process and administration through information gathering. The tracking of the containers used for the collection of this particular type of waste is based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology, in particular by equipping them with RFID (radio frequency identification system) antennas. The process begins when the clean containers are delivered to the hospital. When they are subsequently picked up for delivery to different departments in the hospital, an automated system keeps track of the destination department. The filled and sealed bins are then taken to the hospital storage room where the operator weighs and records them, using a special weighing station. Finally, the bins are picked up by a specialised waste management firm and transported to the disposal facility. The transport vans are also equipped with the tracking system and are able to automatically register the bins once they have been loaded, thus making it possible to track their position during the journey, their arrival and deposit at the waste management firm's storage site, and finally to the cantonal waste disposal plant.
E-Waste has recently started the initial testing phase and in the comingg months, operational testing will be progressively extended to the other EOC sites.