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  • UAB Medicine Rolls Out Marketing Launch for MediNav

    Finding your way to your doctor’s office at UAB Medicine just got easier - thanks to MediNavTM!   So did finding your way to the parking lot, the coffee shop and the restaurant

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  • What is Navigation-quality Positioning Anyways - and Why Does It Matter?

    A while back, we blogged about what are the key requirements and characteristics of Indoor Navigation in What Exactly is Indoor Navigation Matter Anyways - and Why Does It Matter? In

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  • Connexient, SNCF, Unibail Rodemco and Schneider Electric Discuss Indoor Navigation and Location Service at Pole Star Connect

    PoleStar Connect Day SNCF, Unibail Rodemco, Schneider Electric and Connexient discuss use cases and strategic value of indoor positioning and navigation Last week I had the opportunity to participate in

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  • Wayfinding Design for Understanding:  A Classic Position Paper

    I recently came across this position paper called: Wayfinding Design for Understanding published by the outstanding Center for Health Design. https://www.healthdesign.org/knowledge-repository/wayfinding-design-understanding https://www.healthdesign.org/sites/default/files/WayfindingPositionPaper.pdf While it was published in 1992 - and thus

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  • What Exactly is Indoor Navigation Anyways - and Why Does It Matter?

    Connexient was founded with a singular, driving vision:  to develop and deliver a true turn-by-turn indoor navigation experience that would be as intuitive and useful as that which billions of

    Read More
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TAG Cloud

Part 1: The Path to Infrastructure Convergence

At Connexient, we often talk to our clients about how Patient Experience is just the first “killer application” of indoor navigation and navigation-based services in large, complex facilities. Indeed, our vision for MediNav is about Navigation-enabling the Enterprise: where these services can bring compelling value to users and increasing ROI to the organization as they are integrated to address high value use cases across operations, safety & security, facility management and more.

It has been exciting and gratifying to see that this vision is shared with many of our clients. Over the last several quarters, as we have moved forward in our strategic planning with several of them, some recurring questions frequently comes up, such as::

  1. How do RTLS and Indoor Navigation fit together today and in our future roadmap?
  2. Will these infrastructures - and particularly the BLE Beacons - work together?

The good news is that these are indeed very complimentary solutions today, and in the future will only become more so. The key to achieving this is a spirit of collaboration and focus on integration.

Today Positioning for Indoor Navigation and RTLS Are Complimentary Deployments

b2ap3_thumbnail_RTLS-icon.jpgFirst and foremost, when it comes to "Location Services", it is important to understand that we are agnostic to the indoor positioning / location services solution - so long as it is navigation quality. We have always expected over time that this will become part of the infrastructure of every large facility, and our experience in the market thus far has reinforced that conviction.

But that time frame is likely to be quite long - a decade or more - and there will often be a need for us to supplement or compliment with our capabilities. There are several reasons for this.

First, BLE Beacons and other potential position data sources will often typically be deployed for the particular purpose of asset tracking, not navigation. A system that is deployed for RTLS - today at least - is almost always incomplete and inadequate to the needs of navigation. We then need to supplement with our own to fill those gaps.  When there are RTLS or positioning infrastructure partners that do provide the comprehensive coverage, density and configuration of BLE beacons required, Connexient can and will leverage this to support indoor navigation.

Second, today - and for the foreseeable future in our view - only handset sensor fusion software on the phone can deliver dynamic, navigation quality positioning. So even in the cases where the RTLS or positioning infrastructure partner provides the beacon coverage and density that is needed, we will still need to bring handset sensor fusion - and all of our knowledge and experience of how to fine tune this - to deliver reliable, robust navigation at scale in large, complex facilities.

Third, the new emerging use cases for BLE - such as tags for asset tracking - rely on a different approach and configuration of infrastructure.  Whether it be Cisco Hyperlocation or other solutions, these involve bluetooth radios and WiFi receivers and transmitters as part of a system to both locate BLE tags and provide their location back to a cloud server. The good news is that handset sensor fusion can take advantage of these transmitters as additional data inputs.

So, Connexient’s approach of using smartphone based handset sensor fusion software complements existing RTLS infrastructure, while being well aligned with the growing importance of BLE beacons in this mix.

Over Time, Indoor Positioning Infrastructure Will Converge

After this transitional period of complementary deployments, Connexient expects that some day most or every major facility will have some existing unified infrastructure for indoor positioning, which is likely to be a mix of network-based and BLE-based approaches. The inexorable logic is there should only be one solution long term.

In most cases, we believe that the complementary expertise and capabilities of handset sensor fusion software will still be required in order to meet the stringent requirements for dynamic, accurate, reliable and robust indoor positioning to support a navigation user experience. That may in some cases come with infrastructure solution at a particular client, but in other cases the infrastructure will provide the hardware component and leave the rest up to the solution provider.  

Connexient, as always, will be ready and able to configure and adapt to optimize our deployment for each client to leverage their infrastructure and ensure that navigation quality maps and navigation-based services can be integrated across Enterprise IT where it can deliver compelling value to users and ROI to the organization.

But the Challenge of Navigation Will Be Unchanged

When that day comes, Connexient’s mission will remain unchanged: to deliver robust, reliable indoor navigation and navigation-based services. Just as we do with GPS for the outdoors, we will now leverage an existing positioning solution indoors. What is important to us is how indoor positioning is used to deliver value to end users and the organization.

In the same vein, however, we also see an inexorable logic to every Enterprise standardizing on one solution for navigation-quality mapping, navigation and navigation-based services. To understand why, it is important to understand that Indoor positioning is just one component of what is needed to successfully deliver indoor navigation.

In our next installment, we will discuss how navigation and navigation quality mapping are fundamentally different than and complementary to indoor positioning and location tracking.

Read part 2: The Complementarity of Indoor Navigation and RTLS, Part 2: Indoor Navigation is Hard

This article from DHealthcare News is a great illustration of how the new on-demand logistics capabilities of a service like Uber and have a direct and meaningful impact on reducing no-shows and late appointments for hospitals, while simultaneously improving the Patient Experience.

b2ap3_thumbnail_logo-dhealthcare-news.JPG

Hospitals are finding new apps to tackle an old problem: Patient no-shows

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Of particular interest to us, of course, is that our partner HackensackUMC is as usual leading the way in innovation in this area.   Here's an excerpt.

  • HackensackUMC recently partnered with Uber to try and cut down on its no-shows and late arrivals as well as to give patients a better overall experience. Located in the heavily congested Bergen County, just outside New York City, the hospital’s specialty care facilities, emergency rooms, and medical office building are sprawled across a 3 million-square-foot campus. On any given day, about 10,000 patients and employees go through its doors.
  • Lozano says when patients are asked why they canceled at the last minute or rescheduled an appointment, the answer often relates back to transportation, especially when patients are coming in for an outpatient procedure and know they will be able to drive themselves home.
  • What the hospital needed was a convenient option for getting patients to their appointments on time by delivering them to the appropriate building, says Lozano.
  • “What happened before was people always would come to the front door," Lozano says. "Now, with Uber, we’ve allowed them to come on our campus and specifically map out every specific entrance point … into the hospital.”
  • On Tuesday, Uber Stop signs went up in front of each drop-off site. When people go on Uber and say they want to go to Hackensack, a scrolling dial pops up that asks where they need to go on the campus, Lozano explains. “When you click on that entrance point, the driver’s GPS will take you to that site.”

As we go forward with Hackensack UMC with our deployment of MediNav connecting the dots with Uber will be a great area of opportunity to further improve efficiency for the hospital, drivers and arriving patients and visitors all at once.  These are the kinds of integrations that we look forward to create value and ROI.  

Filling the Gap with Google Maps

Our ability to add extra layers of data on the campus with our Google Maps for Work partnership - waypoints, markers, routes, points of interest, labels and more - and our knowledge of and ability to navigate users to the indoor locations that are their ultimate destinations are the final crucial pieces to this puzzle.

Google normally has incomplete information and at times is completely wrong.  This is not because they are not good at mapping!   They know the street networks and public places of our world better than anyone.  But campuses are private facilities, often with restricted access.  Google also knows nothing about the organization and buildings - what are the correct entrances to buildings, the correct parking garages in relation to each building, and other particulars that are critical to successful wayfinding.

That is where Connexient's Parking Planner feature comes into play - recommending and navigating the user to the correct parking garage based on the indoor location of their appointment.  We can use this same capability to make this Uber drop-off service even more accurate and efficient.  And as with our My Car Saver feature, we can also help the user get back from inside the building to the Uber pick-up location when they are done with their appointment.

So connecting the dots and closing the gaps like this are crucial to solving real world wayfinding challenges.  More to come on that in a few months!

 

 

After a very hectic but rewarding and exciting week at HIMSS16, it is time to catch our breath and take stock. Here are our take-aways from the show on the status of Digital Wayfinding, Navigation and Location-based Services in Healthcare.

The Market Has Arrived

What we saw at HIMSS16 mirrors what we have seen generally over the last couple of quarters: the market has arrived!  Digital Wayfinding and Indoor Navigation are no longer a new concept, to be considered and explored, with perhaps a pilot. Rather, we are seeing fully funded, well defined RFPs, and requests for quotations for multiple sites and Enterprise network deployments.

Yes, in this there will always of course be some mix of pilots. But there are many forward leaning healthcare networks that want to positively impact Patient Experience with best-in-class Digital Wayfinding and Indoor Navigation right now.

Integration is the Next Step: The Airline Check-in Model

HX360-Presentation-Mark-2016

Connexient CEO, Mark Green presenting and discussing the "Airline Check-in Model" user experience at HX360.

For many of our clients, there is a keen understanding that the real value and ROI from Digital Wayfinding and Indoor Navigation will come when it gets integrated into other key components of Patient Experience. One of the most important of these is Appointment Scheduling. This is where Connexient has been pioneering an innovative user experience that we call the Airline Check-in Model with the following benefits:

  1. enhance patient experience, making it easy to get to where the patient or visitor wants to go;
  2. minimize the stress of patients and visitors face in navigating a large, complex facility;
  3. reduce missed or late appointments – capturing lost revenue; and
  4. optimize resource utilization by improving enterprise visibility of inbound appointments.

Last week, we announced a partnership with HackensackUMC to bring this from concept to reality. And at HIMSS16, we began fleshing out plans with other clients to do the same.

The Understanding of Indoor Mapping & Navigation as an Enterprise Solution

As important as Digital Wayfinding and Indoor Navigation is to solving a major pain point in Patient and Visitor Experience, Connexient has always emphasized that this is really just the first step.  Connexient’s driving vision and product roadmap is to Location-Enable the Enterprise, enabling, via our API + SDK, navigation-quality indoor maps and location services to be integrated into applications across patient experience, operations, security, facility management and more.    There are then multiple streams of ROI to be gained from each additional integration.

We are actively planning and moving down that roadmap with the National Institutes of Health. At HIMSS16, we began to flesh this out with several other clients.

Working with Stanley

There was also great enthusiasm from mutual clients about the opportunities for ROI and value to patients and staff that can be delivered through our partnership with Stanley Healthcare. The next phase of this collaboration will be very exciting!

Look for Announcements to Come!

So, all-in-all HIMSS16 was the capstone on the next phase in the growth of the market and of Connexient.   Look for lots of news and announcements that will come out of HIMSS16 in the months to come!
 

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Connexient LLC

210 West 29th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 763-6604 | (888) 850-4920
[email protected]