Always keep track of your wheelchairs

Silvia Pichler, 
Image Credit: zeevveez

Wheelchair Tracking 

-Where does all the money go?

The number of people who need wheelchair assistance at airports grows steadily. In the US, it increased over 13% annually (!) between 2002-2011, where one airline alone had to serve 35,000 passengers with wheelchairs in one month. Although most of these passengers with reduced mobility are elderly, other sub-segments like people suffering from obesity have also come to use wheelchair services. Thus, demand for wheelchairs at airports is continuously growing and airports as well as airlines have to adapt to this development (Journal of Air Transport Studies). However, airports are facing severe problems keeping track of their wheelchair fleet. They’re incurring substantial losses each year.


Up to 25% of an average hospital’s whole wheelchair fleet gets lost or stolen per year. For an inventory of originally 500 wheelchairs, that equals between USD 19,000-25,000 of lost money a year. (Post Gazette) What is even more, apparently staff members spend about 30% of their working time trying to find the assets. The resulting cost for the time spent searching amounts to estimated USD 28,000 per month! (Bronson Healthcare Study)

These are some huge amounts of wasted money we’re talking about here, which could easily be put to much better use.

In a nutshell:

  • Increased demand for wheelchairs at airports and hospitals
  • 10-25% of hospital wheelchair inventory lost or stolen each year
  • Employees spend 30% of their working time on the search
  • Huge amounts of money lost each month due to inefficient workflows helps:

  • Keeping track of every wheelchair and prevent loss
  • Saving money
  • Optimizing workflows
  • Increasing Return on Investment



Image Credit: OZG Healthcare

Many airports nowadays provide free-of-charge wheelchair rental services for passengers with

         reduced mobility.

Unintentional theft?

Be it lack of common sense, laziness or misunderstandings, it is a fact that wheelchairs are left outside unattended and as a result often are stolen. Wheelchair theft may even happen unintentionally, when patients (or the person picking them up) simply load them onto their car and take them home with them. Staff members or wheelchair users leaving the wheelchairs in random places also makes it very difficult to then find them on call.


“This problem became apparent to us through in depth conversations with both Hospitals and Airport Management companies as one of their major concerns. We see this as an opportunity for an immediate return on investment for these industries regarding asset tracking. We allow for a complete overview of the inventory and reduce the time spent looking.” – Nick Stein, Head of Marketing at


Accurate Wheelchair Tracking enables accurate tracking of each wheelchair inside (and outside of) buildings. By equipping each one with a sensor, they can be tracked individually and in real-time. All assets currently in use, can be tracked at any given time and their exact position be displayed on a map on the backend tool. Additionally, the picking up of patients can also be managed in the backend, making the traditional sign out system obsolete.


This way you can keep a good overview of every single wheelchair and will immediately know if any asset has been abandoned in a random place. Additionally, once an asset leaves the building, an alarm can be triggered to inform the management immediately, which can then take instant measures to return it. By combining inventory tracking with staff tracking, the management can locate the employee closest to any abandoned wheelchair and have them take care of returning it accordingly.


Like this, you can not only retain your high value asset, but also manage your employees and work assignments efficiently and thus increase your ROI. This is a big part of Industry 4.0


If you would like to learn more about this use case or solutions, please contact us and


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