Cellular IoT Ear Tag Tracks Health & Location Of Farmed Herding Animals


This makes IoT-enabled herding livestock management solutions as a way to protect profits and minimize any illness or injury-induced suffering of animals

Nordic Semiconductor announces that its nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular IoT module is being employed in an IoT-enabled herding livestock management solution developed by Finnish startup, Anicare, called the Anicare ‘Healtag’.

Anicare Healtag is designed to insure farmers of commercially-bred reindeer and other herding animals against the financial loss and livestock welfare issues associated with undetected illness or injury of herding animals that spend most of the year roaming in the wild.


Anicare says Healtag is also a significant improvement over existing herding animal trackers that are so large they have to be hung from the animal’s neck, and consume so much power that their batteries have to be replaced every year which is not only expensive and time consuming for the farmer, but also highly stressful for the animal.

By employing a highly-miniaturized, low-power Nordic nRF9160 SiP, the 25g, 35 x 22 x 23-mm Anicare Healtag is small and light enough to be attached to an animal’s earflap like a traditional livestock ear tag, and offers a maintenance-free battery lifetime of up to 5 years which means the tag only needs to be attached once to the animal during its lifetime.

In operation, the Anicare Healtag autonomously measures a herding animal’s activity (using an accelerometer) and heat (using a thermal sensor) once every hour, and uses the latest NB-IoT cellular wireless technology to report of any significant changes that would tend to indicate either illness, injury, or predator attack. This includes using the Nordic nRF9160 SiP’s built-in GPS functionality to send the exact location of a distressed animal to its owner immediately, enabling rapid rescue and treatment.

Fully Integrated Voltage Regulator Solution With Intel SVID & PMBus

In fact at just 10 x 16 x 1mm in size, the nRF9160 includes everything a cellular connection and IoT application needs beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna. To achieve this ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvoto make a ‘System-in-Package’ (SiP) that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module.

Key Features

  • Output power (+23 dBm)
  • Cellular data communication remains possible even in areas with no 2G cellphone coverage.
  • Includes Arm Cortex M-33


The Anicare Healtag will be commercially available from September this year.

Visit nRF9160 for more details

Visit nRF9160 Development Kit for more details



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