Indoor Navigation

  • Last week, we posted an article on the basic options and approaches to EHR Integration that Connexient supports, and how this can support an innovative new “Airline Check-in Model” for Patient Experience. But that is just one use case - and how it should be implemented will vary by the capabilities, goals and vision of each organization. There are any number of other ways that indoor maps, navigation and location-based services can be leveraged to innovate in ways that enhance Patient Experience and drive Enterprise visibility and efficiency.

    Medinav

    Other Examples of Advanced Patient Experience Use Cases

    A few examples that have come up frequently in our discussion with clients include the following.

    1. Meet Me

    Just finding a family member or friend who is already deep inside a large, complex healthcare facility can be a daunting challenge. Our new Meet Me feature - available to both SDK and White Label clients in Q4, 2018 - will make meeting up fast and easy by sharing either your current location or a designated location that you are headed towards.

    2. Freedom for Family & Friends

    Today, family and friends often feel chained to the ER, post-op room or other locations while they wait for their loved one to emerge. With Navigation and Location-based Services, they can take advantage of dining, recreation and other convenience and comfort amenities your organization provides without fear. When the appointment or procedure is over, the receptionist or nurse can either go find them or call them back with our Meet Me feature.

    3. Abolish the Waiting Room!

    Many healthcare networks are asking an even deeper question: why do we even need waiting rooms any more? Their existence is really an artifact of the inefficiency of systems before the advent of ubiquitous personal communication technologies and location services.

    With MediNav™, after a location-based check-in in the parking garage or lobby, patients can be navigated directly to their appointment room, and caregivers notified with their location to meet them. Arriving physicians and other caregivers that may not be as familiar with your hospital as daily staff can also benefit from navigation to guide them directly to the specific care room the patient is located.

    4. Uber-ize Your Valet Service

    One of the remarkable innovations of ride-sharing services like Uber is how they leverage location and navigation services to bring drivers and riders together in minutes. What if the valet service at your facilities could work like Uber? Well, now it can! With MediNav™ integration, users could notify valets when they are leaving their appointment, and have the car ready to step into by the time they get there. The key to this is that location services gives the valet real time visibility into that patient’s location, enabling them to coordinate delivery of the vehicle.

    5. Location-based Delivery and Other Concierge Services

    Consumers are flocking to the convenience of delivery services for meals, groceries and all kinds of shopping. Increasingly, they will expect this as part of their experience at a healthcare facility. This poses a huge challenge for healthcare providers, however, in the need to provide staff with knowledge of the facility to help vendors make such deliveries - or leave them to wander! With Medinav™, the patient can share their location on an opt-in basis and vendors or hospitality staff can be guided with pinpoint navigation to get there.

    By the way, these same capabilities can also be leveraged through integration with your safety & security systems to ensure that your organization has visibility and awareness of the location and activities of all such vendors.

    Integration is the Key

    While some of these use cases might be addressed in part as a feature in the MediNav™ White Label application, many can not, and all will be more compelling and useful if integrated with other Enterprise Healthcare IT applications and systems. That’s where Connexient believes that the greatest value of indoor navigation and navigation quality maps will be realized. When it comes to integration, there are two vectors to be considered.

    First, more and more of our clients are are focusing on a strategy to migrate to a unified IOT and Location Services infrastructure that will address all Enterprise use cases.As they do this, we see our job as being to support and leverage this infrastructure, providing indoor navigation services as a new layer in Enterprise IT that will make it possible to coordinate and manage the flow of people and equipment through large complex hospital facilities - and the visibility of the Enterprise into this - in an entirely innovative and powerful ways.

    Second, our clients want to make applications and systems work together to create connected and integrated user experiences.The area of highest priority for most healthcare networks today is Patient Experience. Therefore, we are working with our clients and leading EHR platforms to provide 3 options for how this can happen with MediNav™. You can read more about that here:

    EHR Integration Options to Support Advanced Patient Experience Use Cases Customer Portal Graphics

    Interested? Contact Us!

    If you are a forward leaning Healthcare network looking to drive innovation, efficiency and great Patient Experience with Indoor Mapping, Navigation and Location-based Services, please contact us.

  • The Start of a New Era

    Connexient started with a simple question and idea in the summer of 2012:  "Why can't we have indoor GPS?".   That question came from our co-founders long experience with hospital wayfinding systems, and a conviction that digital mapping and turn-by-turn indoor navigation could finally truly solve the pain point of wayfinding inside of large, complex hospitals that signage and kiosks could only partially address.

    Innovation is hard!   When we asked this question, the technology to achieve navigation quality indoor positioning did not exist.  It took us until January, 2015 to get to our first commercial release of the Navigator Edition, leveraging the breakthrough of Bluetooth Low Energy beacons.   

    Since then, we have deployed over 30 hospitals and 50 million square feet of indoor maps and navigation, at sites all over the country.   While it has been tremendously gratifying to see this, we realize that we are still just at the beginning.    The official launch of our customer portal this month marks an important milestone to start the next stage of our journey

    Continual Improvement through Collaboration

    The launch of our customer portal was driven by two fundamental principles and values that Connexient embraces.

    1) Kaizen   

    Kaizen, the Japanese word for "change for the good" encapsulates the principle of continual incremental improvement.  At Connexient, we are committed to that spirit and philosophy. 

    At each new site, we have learned more about how to deliver a reliable, robust and intuitive solution at scale in facilities of enormous size and complexity.   Often we encountered and had to solve new technical and user experience challenges created by unique characteristics of a particular campus and facility.  

    We put our learning back in to our product development, as well as tools and practices for improving our deployment and ability to support and maintain MediNav once deployed.   This portal and our new customer user group will be a place where we can communicate and share with our customers the challenges we are working on, or have identified and our studying.  Even more importantly, we can also get direct feedback on where and how we can improve.

    2) Collaboration 

    Connexient is a customer-driven company, and collaboration with our customers is a core goal.   We have always believed that in order for MediNav to be successful, we must work together with them.   That was true during the initial deployment stage of MediNav, and it is even more important after launch that we collaborate to achieve solution success.

    Today, for most of our customers, this will be focused on sharing knowledge, ideas, insights and best practices on marketing and simple Web 2.0 integrations that will increase awareness and adoption by patients and visitors.  For some customers, we will do the same for more sophisticated integrations with EHR systems such as Epic.  The portal will then be place where the trailblazers can make the path easier for those that follow.   Some customers are even moving towards addressing other Enterprise use cases for Indoor Maps and Navigation Services through integrations with asset tracking, facility management, safety & security applications.

    Whatever their goals, we will work to ensure that our customer portal will become a valuable tool and vehicle for helping our customers to achieve them.  

    Getting Started

    So, today is just the starting point.   While we have our ideas, the continued evolution of the portal will be driven by what we hear and learn from our customers,   We are eager to start this next stage of the journey to improve Patient Experience and drive innovation and efficiency with MediNav! 

  • Connexient Becoming a Critical Layer in IOT Technology Stack for Smart Buildings

    NEW YORK, NY (January 9, 2018) – Connexient and Riverside Acceleration Capital have closed an investment and partnership to boost Connexient’s growth and leadership position in Enterprise Digital Wayfinding, Mapping and Indoor Navigation Services. Connexient’s existing investors also contributed to the round.

    Since its launch in January 2015, Connexient’s MediNav™ has become the best-of-breed solution for healthcare, with a rapidly growing client base of 28 healthcare networks. MediNav is more than just a mobile app; it provides all screens digital wayfinding, the world’s most advanced true turn-by-turn indoor navigation, and rich location-based services to enhance patient experience, improve HCAHPS scores and reduce late or missed appointments.

    “Connexient pioneered and defined a new space for Enterprise Indoor Mapping, Navigation and Location Services,” said Riverside Acceleration Capital Managing Director Jim Toth. “We share their vision for how this will become a new critical layer in the Enterprise IT stack for IOT in Smart Buildings that will drive efficiency and transformation in large, complex facilities. More importantly, they have proven their ability to execute and deliver this Platform-as-a-Service at scale, with over 60M SF and counting.”

    Riverside Acceleration Capital provides funding to accelerate growth through sales investment, product evolution, and expansion into new markets. Riverside Acceleration Capital is a long-term partner with the resources to support companies across their entire lifecycle. It is part of The Riverside Company, a global investment firm with more than $7 billion in assets under management, and 30 years of knowledge and experience growing small businesses.

    “We are delighted to join the Riverside family,” said Mark Green, CEO and Co-founder at Connexient. “Their combination of deep resources and expertise in healthcare is a tremendous value add. Riverside’s long term vision and deep capital base further enables Connexient to meet the needs of our clients and seize this enormous market opportunity.”

    About Connexient:

    Connexient (www.connexient.com) provides innovative Indoor Mapping, Navigation and Location-based Services for Enterprises with large, complex buildings and campuses. The MediNav Navigator Edition Patient Experience solution helps hospitals and healthcare networks to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, reduce missed or late appointments and improve HCAHPS scores.

    More than just a mobile app, Connexient’s mission and vision is to navigation-enable Enterprise IT. The Connexient Mobile Application SDKs and Web APIs enable its clients to integrate its rich, navigation quality indoor maps and location-based services across Enterprise IT in areas such as asset tracking, staff and patient flow, facility management, safety and security and more, with use cases that bring compelling value to users and direct ROI in capturing lost revenue, reducing costs and increasing operational efficiency and intelligence.

    About Riverside Acceleration Capital:

    Riverside Acceleration Capital (RAC) provides flexible growth capital to expansion-stage B2B software and technology companies, though an investment structure that maximizes alignment while minimizing dilution. RAC is part of The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm with $7.3 billion in assets under management. Riverside makes control and non-control investments into growing businesses valued up to $400 million.
    www.riverside.ac

     

    CONNEXIENT CONTACT:

    Sarah Stabile

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    646.453.9453

  • True Turn-by-Turn Indoor Navigation and Digital Wayfinding to Enhance Patient Experience and Increase Efficiency

    NEW YORK, NY (January 15, 2018). Connexient announced today that MediNav Navigator Edition 2.0has been launched at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. The MediNav system provides rich indoor maps, true turn-by-turn indoor navigation and location-based services to enhance the patient experience, reduce missed or late appointments and improve operational efficiency.

    Connexient’s MediNav is the market leading Digital Wayfinding and Indoor Navigation solution for Healthcare, with over 40 hospitals. MediNav solves the challenges of patient and visitor wayfinding with comprehensive directories and rich indoor maps, true turn-by-turn indoor navigation, “All Screens” support across Kiosk, Web and Mobile, and outdoor + indoor wayfinding that powers popular features like Parking Planner and My Car location saver.

    “We are excited to announce the launch of MediNav at Froedtert Hospital,” commented Mark Green, Connexient CEO and Co-Founder. “Enterprise Indoor Navigation and Digital Wayfinding can have a major positive impact for patients, visitors and staff alike at facilities of the size and complexity of Froedtert Hospital. The Froedtert & MCW health network is a leader among our clients in understanding and leveraging the value of MediNav to drive innovation.”

    “The Froedtert & MCW health network is using technology in many ways to transform health care. With MediNav , we can enhance the experience of patients and visitors to our academic medical center campus,” said Mike Anderes, president of Inception Health, the health network’s digital health arm. “MediNav’s digital app for smart phones will simplify wayfinding for patients and visitors from the moment they leave home until they arrive at their clinic appointment. Over time, as we fully integrate the technology with appointment scheduling and reminders, we expect to improve productivity and operational efficiency for our staff as well.”

    About Connexient

    Connexient (www.connexient.com) provides innovative Indoor Mapping, Navigation and Location-based Services hospitals and healthcare networks with large, complex buildings and campuses. The MediNav Navigator Edition Patient Experience solution helps to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, reduce missed or late appointments and improve HCAHPS scores.

    More than just a mobile app, Connexient’s mission and vision is to navigation-enable Enterprise IT. The Connexient Mobile Application SDKs and Web APIs enable its clients to integrate its rich, navigation quality indoor maps and location-based services across Enterprise IT in areas such as asset tracking, staff and patient flow, facility management, safety and security and more, with use cases that bring compelling value to users and direct ROI in capturing lost revenue, reducing costs and increasing operational efficiency and intelligence.

    About Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin

    The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin regional health network is a partnership between Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin supporting a shared mission of patient care, innovation, medical research and education. Our health network operates eastern Wisconsin's only academic medical center and adult Level I Trauma Center at Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, an internationally recognized training and research center engaged in thousands of clinical trials and studies. The Froedtert & MCW health network, which also includes four community hospital campuses, more than 1,600 physicians and nearly 40 health centers and clinics, draws patients from throughout the Midwest and the nation. In our most recent fiscal year, outpatient visits exceeded 1.1 million, inpatient admissions to our hospitals were 49,250 and visits to our network physicians totaled 932,000. For more information, visit  froedtert.com.

  • image.png

    Today, Connexient marked a major milestone in our evolution by joining the Epic App Orchardto drive innovation and transformation in Patient Experience together with our forward leaning clients.

    Connexient has long advocated for a new model of Patient Experience that weaves Digital Wayfinding, Navigation and Location Services together with EHR platforms and appointment scheduling applications to create a seamless “home to appointment” user experience via the smartphone to create the following patient workflow experience.

    The idea is simple: connect the dots to reduce stress, improve patient experience and reduce missed and late appointments, all while lessening the impact on staff who must provide wayfinding assistance. As we go forward, this can provide both predictive and real-time visibility to healthcare networks on their inbound appointment flow to optimize the use of personnel and resources.

     

    But this vision is not one that we can achieve alone.   To be realized, it requires:

    1. integration with EHR platforms and applications that manage appointments, patient care queues and clinical workflow;
    2. and innovation-minded healthcare networks eager to implement the  clinical and operational workflows to support it.

    That is why Connexient is proud to announce that we have joined the Epic App Orchard and are working to connect MediNav with the Epic's MyChart mobile application. We will start with two basic approaches:

    1. Deep Linking between the MyChart White Label App and the MediNav White Label App
    2. Side-by-side integration between the MyChart and MediNav Mobile Libraries within the primary health system mobile application.

    But these are just the first steps on a path that we are confident will yield over time not only innovation and transformation in Patient Experience, but also significant improvements in Enterprise visibility and efficiency in managing patient flow and clinical resources.

    We've talked about some of these future use cases recently in these blogs:

    and how they fit into Gartner's framework for the "Real Time Health System."

    So, if you are a healthcare network interested in learning more about how you can achieve these benefits for your patients and your organization, please contact us!

    Epic and MyChart are registered trademarks of Epic Systems Corporation.

    MediNav is a registered trademark of Connexient, Inc.

    So, if you are a healthcare network interested in learning more about how you can achieve these benefits for your patients and your organization, please contact us!

    Contact Us

  • Company Leads the Healthcare Vertical following Capital Raise and Double-digit Growth in FY17

    NEW YORK (March 6, 2018) – Connexient, the healthcare leader in enterprise digital wayfinding, mapping and indoor navigation services begins rolling out its new and improved software version, MediNav Navigator 3.0.

    Connexient’s MediNav™ Wayfinding and Patient Experience solution helps hospitals and healthcare networks to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, reduce missed or late appointments and improve HCAHPS scores.

    The new MediNav Navigator 3.0 release is the most advanced indoor mapping and navigation solution available for hospitals, with the following product enhancements:

    • Synchronized Audio and Visual Prompts
    • “Nearest Me” feature
    • Route Distance Countdowns
    • Visual Landmark Photos
    • Multi-Campus Maps in Single Mobile Application

    Connexient has proven its dominant position in the healthcare vertical with major clients such as: Hackensack Meridian Health, NIH Clinical Center, Froedtert Hospital, Memorial Hermann Health System, Mercy Health, and UAB Medicine to name a few.

    “We ended 2017 on a very positive note with 28 health system contracts, representing over 45 hospital locations and a total of 60 million square feet mapped,” said Connexient CEO and Co-founder, Mark Green. “We are very proud to be working with some of the most innovative health systems in the country, who are leveraging digital wayfinding and location-based services to improve the experience of their patients, visitors and even staff. The Riverside financing and partnership will help us continue our double-digit growth.”

    Connexient completed a Series A financing with Riverside Acceleration Capital, which is part of the Riverside Company, a global investment firm with more than $7B in assets under management. Riverside’s long term vision and deep capital base further enables Connexient to meet the needs of their clients and seize this enormous market opportunity.

    # # #

    About Connexient

    Connexient (www.connexient.com) provides innovative Indoor Mapping, Navigation and Location-based Services hospitals and healthcare networks with large, complex buildings and campuses. The MediNavTM Navigator Edition Patient Experience solution helps to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, reduce missed or late appointments and improve HCAHPS scores.

    More than just a mobile app, Connexient’s mission and vision is to navigation-enable Enterprise IT. The Connexient Mobile Application SDKs and Web APIs enable its clients to integrate its rich, navigation quality indoor maps and location-based services across Enterprise IT in areas such as asset tracking, staff and patient flow, facility management, safety and security and more, with use cases that bring compelling value to users and direct ROI in capturing lost revenue, reducing costs and increasing operational efficiency and intelligence.


    MEDIA CONTACT:
    Sarah Stabile
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    646.453.9453

  • This excellent article in Forbes talks about how the emphasis on great Customer Experience in Retail and Hospitality industries has changed consumer expectations in Healthcare. This trend is driving many healthcare networks to put a big focus on Patient Experience - as evidenced most prominently in the new position of Chief Patient Experience Officer at so many organizations. 

    PX is also important because people’s expectations have been raised in other areas of their lives such as retail and hospitality. I wrote about this last year, saying that most healthcare organizations continue to operate with a provider- and payer-driven approach, when they should be modeling PX after customer experiences in other sectors. Even though people don’t see themselves as customers in a healthcare setting, The Beryl Institute found that patients have come to expect “an experience that treats them in certain ways and acknowledges who they are as people in the process.” The Beryl Institute concludes, “Leading healthcare would be naïve to think they are not being compared to those other experiences people are having.”

    This section is fascinating - and points to just how impact Patient Experience - either positive or negative - can be (emphasis is mine).

    The Beryl Institute asked people what they or someone they knew did as a result of having both positive and negative heathcare experiences. For positive experiences, 73% -- the highest percentage -- responded that they would “continue to use the same doctor or organization.” This suggests that PX has the potential to increase loyalty and influence patient choice.

    The top reported action following a negative experience (76%) was that people said they would tell others – this far outweighed any other response to a negative experience and is similar to the percent of people who say they would share with others about a positive experience (70%). Together these findings indicate that that people are telling the stories about their experience, good or bad, in at least 7 of every 10 healthcare encounters. 

    With that kind of impact, it is not hard to understand why this study by Accenture last year:

    Happy Patients, Healthy Margins

    concluded that ”hospitals that offer a superior patient experience can expect to achieve 50% higher margins - better than they can achieve by cost cutting alone.”

    At Connexient, we have certainly always found the primary driver of the demand for MediNav to be the clear understanding of the negative impact of wayfinding challenges on Patient Experience, and the desire of our Patient-centric, innovation-minded clients to change that. Many of our clients are now moving with us to connect the dots of Digital Wayfinding into their Enterprise applications and overall strategies for deliver outstanding Patient Experience.

    The Beryl Institute concludes:

    “This is perhaps one of the most significant brand opportunities for healthcare organizations today…Healthcare organizations should be asking themselves, ‘What is the story we look to create in the experience we provide and what we want others to tell about us?’.”

    Connexient works hand-in-hand with our clients to make that a story worth remembering - and telling others about!

    Want to learn more about how Connexient can help your healthcare network deliver outstanding Patient Experience?

    Contact Us

  • Milwaukee-based Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin's Froedtert Hospital launched Connexient's MediNav Navigator Edition 2.0, a digital wayfinding and indoor navigation solution.

    The MediNav solution is available on the web and mobile devices as well as via kiosks. It offers comprehensive directories, indoor maps, turn-by-turn indoor navigation and outdoor wayfinding services

    Read the full article on Becker's Health IT & CIO Report.

     

  • Cincinnati's The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health to helping its patients and visitors navigate its hospital, medical offices and parking area with a wayfinding app that employs Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons. The technology, provided by Connexient, is helping patients to reach their destinations faster and with less anxiety, says Craig Schmidt, the hospital's VP and chief operations officer. According to Schmidt, the hospital hopes to add other features in the long run, such as push notifications and marketing.

     

    The hospital's Right This Way app is available on smartphones, while three kiosks also provide visitors with location information and assists them if they want to download the app. The system deploys Connexient's MediNav digital wayfinding app.

    Read the full article at RFiD Journal.

  • Indoor Positioning Solutions Guide for the Enterprise

    Today's blog is the first of a series intended to provide Enterprises with: (a) an overview of the major approaches and the best solutions for Indoor Positioning ; and (b) important considerations when evaluating your needs and plan for indoor positioning. Readers interested in a more detailed understanding and discussion may wish to contact us for a consultation and evaluation. 

    b2ap3_thumbnail_CTA-consult-indoor-pos.png

    The Inflection Point is Rapidly Approaching for Indoor Positioning

    As a company dedicated to Indoor Navigation and Location-based Services, Connexient keeps a close eye on anything involving indoor positioning.   We made an early and conscious decision not to get involved in the race to perfect solutions in this area - not because it was not important, but rather because there were plenty of companies both large and small with deep expertise and resources already working on the problem.

    The last couple of quarters have seen two developments that represent quantum leaps forward for indoor positioning.

    1. The embrace of BLE by both Apple and Google

    With the release and characteristically effective promotion of its iBeacon standard, Apple made BLE legitimate and highlighted its strengths. After some further assessment, Google followed suit and has also now fully embraced BLE support in Android 4.2 and 4.3 (JellyBean).

    The key impact of this is now highly accurate, handset-based indoor positioning solutions are available across both iOs and Android.  Moreover, Apple iBeacons are seeing rapid adoption and acceptance in retail, which should put to rest any concerns from other Enterprise verticals.

    2. Apple’s Integration of Indoor Positioning into iOs 8.0

    b2ap3_thumbnail_iBeacon-logo.pngApple announced at their WWDC earlier this year that its own Indoor Positioning technology is now built in to iOs 8.0.This uses handset sensor-fusion technology - with no BLE beacons - from a company called WiFiSlam, which Apple purchased in 2013. We tested WiFiSlam back then and and found it to be quite solid, so it will be very interesting to see how it performs!   While we still believe beacons are part of the reliable solution, the widespread availability of at least baseline indoor positioning in iOs 8 will in our view greatly accelerate user interest in and demand for indoor positioning and location-based services.

    3. Cisco's roadmap for Mobility Services Engine (MSE)

    b2ap3_thumbnail_cisco-logo-med.pngOver the last year, we have been privileged to work closely with Cisco in several different pilots and gain an understanding of their current capabilities as well as their roadmap for the Indoor Positioning performance of Cisco MSE, which is part of the Cisco CMX (Connected Mobile Experiences) platform. Without disclosing any details, which are confidential, what we can tell you is that starting with the just released MSE version 8.0, Cisco is rolling out a credible, comprehensive path over the next 12 - 18 months that will deliver highly accurate and low latency (i.e. high refresh rates) indoor positioning. This will be a true Enterprise solution for not only Indoor Navigation, but the entire range of Indoor location-based services that will drive value and ROI.

    We believe that these three waves of innovation will mark the inflection point in the market for the widespread adoption of Enterprise Indoor Location-based Services.

    Needless to say, we find that to be quite exciting!

    Overview of Indoor Positioning Technologies

    There are four basic approaches to solving the problem of indoor positioning that have been improving and evolving rapidly - and now starting to converge - over the last several years.

    1. WiFi Fingerprinting

    A software only, device-based approach that reads the digital signatures of the WiFi network.

    • Pros: Device-based software only, low cost, easy to calibrate.

    • Cons: Simply not accurate or reliable enough.

    2. Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons / iBeacons

    Simple, low-cost transmitters (“beacons”) that can be placed around a venue. Application software on the device and then be programmed to read these signals to drive a wide range of user interactions and engagement.

    • Pros: Low-cost and maintenance, standard embraced by Apple and now Google.

    • Cons: Beacon infrastructure to maintain, not suitable on their own for wayfinding or navigation.

    3. Handset Sensor Fusion

    This involves accessing data from multiple sensors on the phone such as the compass, gyroscope - in addition to WiFi fingerprinting and/or BLE Beacons - and applying sophisticated algorithms and techniques to "fuse" these together into an optimal estimate of the device's position.

    • Pros:  Device-based software only, low cost, easy to calibrate.

    • Cons:Good for some use cases but not reliable enough on its own for indoor navigation.

    4. Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE). A network-based approach that leverages an array of techniques to position all devices connecting or visible to the network, not just smartphones.

    • Pros: A true Enterprise solution, addressing infrastructure security and management..

    • Cons: Accuracy and refresh rates currently suitable only for some use cases.

    Up until recently, these were each separate technologies and strategies for Indoor Positioning. Now they are starting to converge - or at least be used in combination when needed.

    Which Solution is Best for Indoor LBS?

    Well, that depends!   The answer depends on your organizations needs and objectives for Indoor Location-based Services. Connexient develops applications and use cases for Digital Wayfinding and Indoor Navigation that require strong indoor positioning performance, so we will focus there.   Why?  Because these are where the most value for the end user and the highest ROI for the Enterprise can be found.

    Let’s start with defining the three levels of indoor positioning quality that are relevant to our solutions. 

    1. Location-Enhanced Wayfinding.We define this as a solution that can answer the basic question: Where am I? It must do this accurately and quickly enough to be actionable - i.e. a user actively navigating a venue can make useful decisions.

    2. Location-Enhanced Routing.   Here the indoor positioning accuracy and refresh rates are sufficient to be dynamically integrated into route visualization and we can start to actively guide the prompt user actions based on their position and let them know when they are off track.  

    3. Indoor Navigation.  Indoor Navigation is, of course, our Holy Grail.  This requires an very high level of accuracy and refresh for indoor location to support 3 key capabilities:  

      • driving the route visualization - i.e. the camera view of the route;

      • anticipating and prompting for upcoming turns; and

      • providing audio prompts and/or voice direction of navigation.

    Our Take on Indoor Positioning Technologies

    Over the last several years, we’ve been fortunate to have tested all of these various solutions in one way or another, including now in several pilots integrating them with our application. At the end of the day, there are in our view two viable solutions today, with a hybrid, step-by-step approach being the best for Enterprise clients.

    Here’s the what and why.

    1. Handset-based Sensor Fusion + BLE Beacons

    While iBeacons are fine for proximity-based interactions and engagement - whose use cases tend to fit better in retail environments - they are not suitable on their own for wayfinding or navigation. For that, the additional capability of handset sensor fusion is critical to providing continuous accurate and reliable positioning.  The good news is this combined approach, in our testing, is yielding outstanding positioning performance.

    Recommended Solutions

    Pros

    • High accuracy & refresh rates: 1 - 2 Meters, sub-second refresh frequency
    • Flexible:  Can work with WiFi Fingerprinting alone for Android and without any outside inputs where there are gaps in either WiFi or BLE Beacon coverage.
    • Relatively Low Cost:
      • About $50 - $70 per beacon.
      • Annual license fees in addition to Beacon deployment.
    • Easy to install:  Beacons are about the size of a matchbox
    • Easy to Calibrate:  Literally a few hours to a few days depending on the size of the facility.
    • Easy to maintain:  Between 2 - 5 year battery life.Easy to integrate:  both Senion and Polestar have excellent SDKs

    Cons

    • Really must have BLE Beacons to maintain consistent accuracy.
    • In effect a new wireless network to manage
    • Short range - about 20 to 40 meters maximum
    • Low energy:  will not penetrate walls, metal, etc.

     

    The Bottom Line  

    BLE Beacons combined with Handset-based Sensor Fusion is the most accurate, reliable and robust technology solution for Indoor Navigation quality indoor positioning available today - so long as you only need to position smartphones and tablets.

    2.  Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE)

    Cisco MSE, which is part of the Cisco CMX platform,  brings an entirely different, network-based approach to indoor positioning.   This is not surprising, of course, since Cisco powers that network.  While the current performance of MSE is not comparable to Sensor Fusion + BLE, there are important advantages to this approach for Enterprise clients, which we will discuss further below.  

     Even more importantly:

    1. the latest MSE 8.0 release - with FastLocate module add-on for 3600 and 3700 APs - is now sufficient for Location-Enhanced Wayfinding;

    2. Cisco is rapidly improving the indoor positioning performance of MSE over the next 12 to 18 months to get to true Indoor Navigation capability; and

    3. Enterprise clients can supplement Cisco MSE today with Handset Sensor Fusion + BLE to get Indoor Navigation quality wayfinding today.

     Here are the key data points.

    Baseline Requirements  

    • MSE v. 8.0
    • 3600 or 3700 Series APs
    • Associated requirements for PI (Prime Infrastucture) version

    Pros

    • Enterprise Solution:  Cisco has and continues to think through and address all the broader Enterprise IT issues of wireless network management, including:
      • Device / Tag management
      • Minimizing or eliminating Interference
      • Security
      • Unified Management
    • Improving Rapidly:  Cisco has laid out a credible and compelling roadmap to rapidly improve indoor positioning - which will include BLE - to accuracy and refresh rates suitable for Indoor Navigation and all other Indoor LBS use cases.
    • Trusted partner:  Organizations can rely on Cisco to deliver Enterprise-grade solutions that address infrastructure management and security.

    Cons

    • Accuracy:  5 - 7 meters - not suitable for indoor navigation, but very useful for Location-Enhanced Wayfinding.
    • Latency:  Starting with MSE 8.0, notifications and refresh rates can be reduced to approximately 10 seconds.
    • Deployment:  Requires high AP density and accuracy is highly dependent on the right density, location, calibration and other factors.
    • Cost:  More expensive than BLE solution - but depends on what AP's and coverage are already in place.

    The Bottom Line

    • Starting with MSE v. 8.0, Cisco CMX is a real option for Enterprise’s seeking to deploy Indoor Positioning solutions for Location-Enhanced Wayfinding.
    • Enterprises that want navigation-quality indoor positioning today should supplement their current Cisco WiFi and MSE infrastructure with Handset-based Sensor Fusion plus BLE Beacons.   
    • Enterprises alternatively can:
      • lay the foundation and address user needs now with stand-alone Indoor Mapping and Digital Wayfinding; and
      • plan their Indoor LBS infrastructure around the Cisco MSE roadmap - starting with MSE 8.0 and 3600 or 3700 Series APs.

    More Information

    Readers that are interested in more information on how BLE Beacons can complement Cisco MSE may be interested to review this blog and other resources on Cisco.com.

    How to Get Started

    So the great news is that any Enterprise which wants to provide anything from Location-Enhanced Wayfinding to true Indoor Navigation can do so right now!   Absolutely, there are considerations and decisions to weigh, and deployments should be carefully planned.  But there are no barriers to starting to leverage Indoor Positioning right now to: 

    1. provide a great Patient Experience;

    2. improve operational efficiency; and

    3. reduce lost revenues.

     For an evaluation and consultation on the best Indoor Positioning solution options for your Enterprise, please contact us.

    b2ap3_thumbnail_CTA-consult-indoor-pos.png

    Contact Connexient for a Free Consultation on Indoor Positioning Solutions

  • Coming Soon in Navigator v. 3.1:  Meet Me!

    With our Navigator v. 3.0 launch and initial roll-out in our rear view mirror, Connexient is now focused on a busy roadmap of enhancements and innovations in 3.x releases over the next several quarters.    The first of these is a great new feature called Meet Me!

    The Problem

    Anyone that has ever worked in a large, complex healthcare facility knows that just finding a family member or friend - or colleague or co-worker - who is already deep inside a building can be a daunting challenge.   

    The Solution:  Meet Me!

    Our new Meet Me feature - now in internal beta and launching in October, 2018 - will make meeting up fast and easy by sharing either your current location or a designated location that you are headed towards.    

    The initial release will start with a very simple, intuitive and robust initial design.  Going forward, we will be expanding functionality in many ways, including dynamic updates of the other user's location (think Uber), management of opt-in users and groups (e.g. your family, co-workers, etc.), and more.

    The New Era of Location Sharing with MediNav

    This is just the first step into location sharing with MediNav - which will open up a world of new capabilities that can radically improve both Patient Experience and Staff Efficiency.    The size and complexity of healthcare facilities and campuses exerts a negative friction on everything that moves around in them - making things more difficult and stressful for patients, less efficient for staff, more costly for operations.   

    With location-sharing, MediNav can now start to address not only the problem of "wayfinding" - how to get there - but the even more important challenges of how to coordinate and connect dynamically.   In the past, we have called this the "Uberization of the Enterprise."   We are not talking about Uber as a ride sharing service.  Rather, we are referring to Uber as a service that leveraged mapping, GPS, and navigation to create a remarkable new platform for logistics that enabled the transformational services of ride sharing, but reaches far beyond it.

    By adding location sharing into MediNav - and integrating it with other Smart Building and Indoor LBS platforms -  we can help to coordinate the movement of people, assets, equipment - and one day soon perhaps robots - across large, complex facilities and campuses.   Whether it is something as simple as meeting up with a family member or co-worker for a coffee, improving the valet service so the car is ready to pick-up when you arrive,or as complex as transport logistics for vendors and staff, combining location sharing with indoor navigation will create transformational benefits for both users and our Enterprise clients.

    Let the new era begin!

  • Connexient's latest client to go-live with MediNav is Memorial Hermann Health System!   Memorial Hermann Find My Way officially launched this week.   You can learn more and get app download links here:

    This fun marketing video posted on their Facebook page shows how easy and useful the app is - brought to life by the Houston Rockets mascot "Clutch":

    David Bradshaw, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Memorial Hermann said:  “At Memorial Hermann, we recognize that navigating health care can be frustrating. We’ve made it our mission to put the patient first, and that means removing barriers by directly addressing some of the most common complaints – particularly difficulties with wayfinding and parking.”

    Modern Healthcare recently reported on a wave of wayfinding strategies being tested nationwide, as health systems search for solutions to improve the patient experience. “We are excited to be the first health system in Houston to announce this innovative beacon technology, which is just the beginning of a more seamless healthcare experience for our patients and members,” said Bradshaw.

    MHHS Navigation with Off-Route Notification

    Memorial Hermann Find My Way provides patients and visitors guides a patient or visitor from their starting location to their final destination by providing turn-by-turn navigation to: hospital departments; physician offices; points of interest such as ATMs, dining facilities, pharmacies and more. This includes off-route notification and recalculation keeps users on course if they miss a turn.

    MHHS Parking Planner prompt

    Advanced features, such as a parking planner, marks the exact parking location and navigates the user back to his or her car when finished with an appointment or visit.

  • Mercy Health’s Jewish Hospital and Connexient officially announced today the launch of MediNav, branded  as “Right This Way.”   Encompassing Web, Kiosk and mobile turn-by-turn navigation, Right This Way provides a compele solution for digital wayfinding to enhance Patient Experience and assist staff and vendors in their daily wayfinding needs.   We are very proud to have Mercy Health as our latest launched partner, and the first in the mid-west!

    “Right This Way makes it easy for patients and visitors to find their way around the hospital. It offers detail-rich indoor maps, turn-by-turn indoor navigation, parking help and more on cell phones, kiosks and on Mercy Health’s website,” said Pat Davis-Hagens, Mercy Health Central Market President and CEO. “We’re always looking to improve the experience of both our patients and visitors and we launched the app to guide you to the department or room you want to visit, remember where you parked and help reduce missed or late appointments.”

    The Cincinnati Business Courier wrote up a great article about Right This Way with multiple quotes from Craig Schmidt, the Chief Operating Officer of Jewish Hospital.     A few excerpts below and follow the link to read the full article.

    Jewish Hospital's Right This Way mapping system provides step-by-step directions to almost any spot in the facility via a smartphone app.

    The free app is available at the Apple App Store and through Google Play. The mapping system can also be used on a tablet or personal computer via mercy.com/WayToJewish.

  • The NIH Clinical Center and Connexient celebrated a major milestone this month:  the one year anniversary of the public launch of NIHCC Take Me There!

    This article talks about how MediNav helps thousands of visitors, patients - and staff - get around the 4.3M SF facility, with 20,000 rooms, 13 miles of corridors, 15 outpatient clinics and 93 day hospital stations - as well as the the 340 acre campus.   It also speaks to some of the other advanced use cases in Operations and Safety and Security that are already being addressed - and are opportunities for integrations that Connexient is now working together with the NIH Clinical Center and application partners to implement.

    "Our goal is to get the patient where they want to be when they want to be there," said Eric Cole, chief of the CC Administrative Management Department and lead on the implementation of the app. "In doing so we saw an opportunity to make the hospital safer. With NIHCC TakeMeThere, emergency personnel and first responders can now easily find any room in the facility no matter where it is or if they've ever been there."

     

     

    Go to NIH Web Site to read the full article

  • Orthopedics This Week published an article this week discusssing the launch and success of Connexient's MediNav at Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

    Connexient LLC, known for its navigation-enable Enterprise Information Technology, recently launched its turn-by-turn indoor navigation and digital wayfinding application, the MediNav Navigator Edition 2.0., at Froedtert Hospital & The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    According to a press release, the MediNav system not only provides detailed indoor maps, but also true turn-by-turn indoor navigation and location-based services that can help reduce missed or late appointments and improve operational efficiency.

    Connexient’s MediNav is currently used in over 40 hospitals. It comes with “All Screens” support across Kiosk, Web and Mobile and includes features like Parking Planner and My Car location saver. MediNav automatically detects the user’s arrival in the garage and presents a customized welcome screen.

    In addition My Car Saver prompts the user to save their parking location or it will automatically remember it for you and then provide one-touch option to navigate back to it after the visit is over.

    "Enterprise Indoor Navigation and Digital Wayfinding can have a major positive impact for patients, visitors and staff alike at facilities of the size and complexity of Froedtert Hospital. The Froedtert & MCW health network is a leader among our clients in understanding and leveraging the value of MediNav to drive innovation,” Mark Green, Connexient CEO and Co-Founder said in the release.

    Mike Anderes, president of Inception Health, the health network's digital health arm, added, "MediNav's digital app for smart phones will simplify wayfinding for patients and visitors from the moment they leave home until they arrive at their clinic appointment. Over time, as we fully integrate the technology with appointment scheduling and reminders, we expect to improve productivity and operational efficiency for our staff as well."

    David Chao, emerging technology principal of Inception Health told OTW that they found MediNav when searching for a solution to tackle their large campus situation. Working with other health systems, they took a Shark Tank style approach and narrowed down potential vendors to 30 to 8 and to 3. And MediNav was the one that stood out the most.

    Chao said,” Connexient as a whole fit the mold for us because they specialize in primarily healthcare. We also appreciated the fact that MediNav was much more than just a wayfinding solution. It is a nice gateway to integrate in more services.”

    Geoff Halstead, chief product officer, told OTW, “It is still early stage but responses have been fantastic so far. We are getting people to where they need to go and ultimately isn’t that what it is about?”

    He explained that the key to the technology is Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons and handset sensor fusion technology.

    “I kind of like to think of it as Google maps for the enterprise. The star is global navigation that allows you to navigate throughout the building but it has other patient focused features,” Halstead said.

    He added that in the long term they plan on using the technology for facilities management and safety and security, not just patient services.

    CONTACT:
    Sarah Stabile
    Hi-Impact
  • Last week saw the launch of MediNav at the National Institutes of Health as NIHCC Take Me There.  This was, of course, an exciting milestone for Connexient in many ways, and there were many things that were unique and significant in our product evolution. But these are the ones that stand out.

     

    Scale and Complexity

    Size really does matter! The NIH Clinical Center has some three and a half million square feet under one roof, in which we mapped over 6,000 rooms and deployed over 950 beacons. We learned a lot and developed many new tools and techniques to deliver reliable, robust facility wide navigation at this scale.

    And that is a good thing since we now have multiple deployments in process that are even larger!

    Introducing the MediNav Web Version

    The NIH also represents our first launch of the new MediNav Web Version. This is an incredibly important part of the overall solution, enabling users to pre-plan a visit before they leave. It also helps to drive awareness and adoption of the mobile app with our Send to Phone and Print features.

    We will have a lot more to say and show about the Web version in next week’s blog.

    Multi-modal Campus Navigation

    The NIH spans 322 acres and has over 70 buildings. For visitors to the NIH Clinical Center, getting into and across this campus is a very big wayfinding challenge in itself. Connexient built custom map layers with our Google Maps for Work partnership to support intelligent routing for patients and visitors to the right gate and then on to the correct parking lot.

    We also added a Shuttle Van Tracker that lets users see exactly where their shuttle van is and when it is arriving to the closest stop.

    And next month we will add even more:

    • Campus Entry Wizard. This will guide users by their type – staff, vendors, patients & visitors to the right gate and parking.  We will even address time-based restrictions, such as knowing when a gate is closed.
    • Pedestrian Navigation. Now users will also be able to get walking routes and navigation to any building on the campus.


    Our Most Sophisticated Navigator Yet

    We were also able to develop and refine important new features that push us forward in delivering true turn-by-turn navigation.

    • Off-route notification and recalculation. When you miss a turn, we let you know! And then get you back on track.
    • Voice and Audio Prompts. This is amazingly useful for navigation, letting you focus more on what is ahead and less on the screen.
    • Enhanced Outdoor – Indoor Transitions. Our new outdoor BLE beacons enable us to provide a instant and seamless transition when entering and exiting the building.

    And we are still learning and evolving. Stay tuned as we release new features later this summer!


    Operational Use Cases

    For the 40,000 plus people that work at the NIH, navigating the campus and Clinical Center is not an abstract problem. It brings challenges on a daily basis that have a direct impact on productivity. That’s why all 40,000 staff members are in the NIHCC Take Me There application, and all 6,000 rooms are navigation-enabled.

    But we also added a new feature for Facility Management that we think will be a hit with all of our clients: a location-smart issue reporter. In a building the size of the NIH Clinical Center, there is a lot of maintenance required. But knowing where there are issues and then directing housekeeping or maintenance staff to get there can be daunting.

    With MediNav, the NIHCC can now crowd-source issue reporting. Any staff member can quickly submit an issue ticket with a couple of taps , attach a photo and comments, and have that sent to the housekeeping and maintenance staff with an exact map of its location.

    The Road Ahead

    These first operational use cases are a great example of something we have always believed and now are seeing come to reality not just at the NIH but across all of our clients: Patient Experience is just the starting point. Once rich indoor maps, navigation and location-based services are deployed in a large, complex facility, they will, over time, be applied to address many other use cases that drive compelling value and ROI. Connexient is dedicated to delivering that value to its clients, and is moving down the path together with them to realize this vision.

    We’ll have more to say on that in blogs to come!

  • When you are building a new company - and a new "space" like Indoor Navigation and Location-based Services - there are some milestones that really matter. This week, we were proud to announce one of those: our new partnership with Stanley Healthcare.

    Read the Press Release on StanleyHealthcare.com

    Sales Collaboration is the Starting Point

    Of course for a young company like Connexient, the opportunity to work with a partner who can bring our solution to over 5,000 hospitals and 12,000 long-term care organizations is tremendously exciting and a great honor. It will enable us to reach more clients that we can help to enhance patient experience, capture lost revenues and increase efficiency. That is a good thing!

    Come See Connexient and Stanley at HiMSS 2015We will kick-off our collaboration at HiMSS 2015 - the annual gathering of over 30,000 innovators and leaders in Healthcare - in Chicago on April 12th. Please come see us there!

     

    But Product Integration to Deliver Enterprise ROI Is Just As Important

    Equally exciting to us, however, is the shared vision between our companies of how integrating Indoor Navigation - and Navigation-quality mapping and positioning - together with other location-based solutions solutions can deliver compelling value for users and increase Enterprise ROI for our clients.

    Gabi Daniely, Vice President of Solutions, Products and Marketing at STANLEY Healthcare summed this up nicely:

    “Smartphones and other mobile technologies that are BLE enabled are transforming how patients access hospital information and interact with healthcare providers. Connexient’s MediNav solution is the perfect complement to our existing Wi-Fi based solutions for Patient Flow, Asset Management, Environmental Monitoring, Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring and Patient and Staff Security. Our partnership with Connexient will help our clients further improve staff communication, automate processes, accelerate responsiveness, increase security and streamline workflow across the entire continuum of care.”

    The importance of integration has been a core focus for Connexient from the very beginning. We tell our clients that while Indoor Navigation may be the first "killer app" of Indoor Positioning and Location Services, Connexient's core mission is to location-enable Enterprise IT. So we are eager to get to work!

    The Low Hanging Fruit

    The opportunities to deliver ROI through Enterprise integration seem endless - the deeper you dig the more benefits appear. In discussion with clients and partners like Stanley over the last year, however, we have identified three areas that have present a combination of relatively simple implementation, immediate benefits and measurable ROI.

    EHR Integration for Appointment Reminders and the "Airline Check-in" Model

    We first started talking to clients and blogging about this last year. With just a few very simple integration points to EHR solutions, we can collaborate with our clients and partners to deliver a use case we call the "Airline Check-in Model".

    The "Airline Checkin Model" Use Case

    These screenshots show functionality that MediNav supports out-of-the box to support the integration with EHR systems to dramatically enhance and improve the patient experience.

    Appointment Reminder

    b2ap3_thumbnail_appt-reminder1-sm.jpg

    Patient receives an appointment reminder 24 hours prior and can confirm he/she is coming, as well as set reminder for a desired time when he/she should leave for the appointment. Patient can also view end-to-end route - outdoors and indoors - in advance at this point to pre-plan their trip.

    Parking Planner

    b2ap3_thumbnail_pkg-planner-select-sm.jpg

    Using the Parking Planner feature, Patient is given recommended parking location based on their appointment destination inside the building. Then receives turn-by-turn navigation to the correct garage entrance with Google Maps.

    e-Checkin

    b2ap3_thumbnail_echeckin-sm.jpg

    Upon arrival at the parking garage, Patient’s physical presence is confirmed with BLE Beacon or Cisco MSE and Welcome Screen automatically triggered that enables he/she to save car location, notify caregivers of arrival, and receive turn-by-turn indoor navigation to appointment room.

     

    The result is a win-win-win:

    1. reduced stress for the patient in getting to appointments;
    2. reduced no shows and late appointments for the Healthcare Provider; and something totally new
    3. real-time visibility into incoming flow of appointments so that the Healthcare Provider can manage its "dynamic inventory" more effectively.

    This last one best illustrates the power of integration. There are various ways to work to address the first two goals that - while less efficient for the organization and convenient for the patient - can be effective.

    b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_02042015_174148.pngBut this type of integration opens up an entirely new set of possibilities for the organization that will directly increase the effective use of a hospitals most valuable resources - its caregivers - while simultaneously reducing the wait times - and uncertainty about them - that patients have come to dread.

    When you combine and integrate this with a solution like Stanley Healthcare's MobileView, now the Enterprise is getting an end-to-end visibility across the entire continuum of care. That's powerful.

    RLTS Integration for the MediNav Staff Version

    Since we first started deploying MediNav, our clients have told us how it has become instantly popular with Hospital staff. Besides the plain fact that caregivers get lost as well - especially newly arriving staff - it has often become used as a convenient communication option and directory resource that is already sitting in everyone's pocket.

    This has lead to our planning and development of the MediNav Staff Version,slated for release in Q4 of this year. This will first and foremost provide a full staff directory and complete map of the facility that is only accessible to authorized personnel. That in itself will be tremendously useful.

    b2ap3_thumbnail_Stanley-Staff-Workflow.jpgAs we go forward with partners like Stanley, however, even more compelling opportunities arise. Why not, for example, integrate RLTS-based asset tracking like Stanley Healthcare Nursing & Staff Workflow Solutions? Why not indeed! Stanley knows where the equipment is located, we can tell the caregiver which is the closest and how to get there. And that's just one example of course.

    Or with staff workflow tracking, now a nurse that needs to confer with a doctor can immediately see exactly where he is in the building and even if he is moving receive turn-by-turn navigation to meet up with him.

    We Want to Hear from You

    Neither of these types of use cases outlined above are fundamentally new. They are ones almost every person is familiar with in some other part of their life with applications like Foursquare (or Facebook check-in), Uber and otherwise. The point is that by moving down the path with some very simple integrations, we can translate these into Enterprise use cases that are both comfortable for the user and bring real value to the organization.

    It is our clients that can best tell us where to focus, of course. You know what capabilities and use cases would have true immediate and positive impact for you - and your patients. So we want to hear from you and start these conversations!

    CONTACT US

  • Last week, we were proud to announce the launch of NIH Clinical Center Take Me There which was a major milestone in many ways.

    Foremost in our minds are some of the new capabilities and features we have implemented in our partnership with Google Maps for Work, for which we are proud to announce today that we have become an official partner.

    While we have been working with Google from almost the beginning, our new status will enable us to further enhance our integration as well as get the word out to our clients and prospects of how Connexient + Google Maps together can:

    1. enhance the Patient and Visitor experience;
    2. reduce late and missed appointments;
    3. improve operational efficiency.

    Our Commitment to Network-wide, Outdoor + Indoor Wayfinding

    Our collaboration with Google started from the very beginning of our planning and design for MediNav. Thanks to the 20 year background of our founders in wayfinding for Hospitals and Healthcare Networks, we knew that the challenges for patients and visitors usually start long before - and often continue after - they have arrived at the hospital.

    Here are 3 typical challenges that almost all visitors face.

    1. Parking. Which garage or lot is closest to my actual appointment location, and how do I get there? And where did I leave my car when I parked hours ago?!
    2. Campus Navigation. Here Google often does not have the access to map or update critical details, such as the names of buildings, their location entrances - and respective parking, and so on.
    3. Network Locations. How do I get to the clinic, laboratory, medical office building or other location of an affiliated caregiver in the Healthcare network? 

    Leveraging Google Maps Outdoors


    Google Maps for Work enables us to solve the outdoor component of these challenges with Google’s unparalleled map data, engine and APIs to solve real world challenges of digital wayfinding and navigation for our clients and users.

    • Local data. The MediNav application has full access to Google’s worldwide database of over 100 million business listings and points of interest with the Google Places APIs.
    • Give users the best route. The Directions API enables us to help users get from any location in the world to the our clients facilities - as well as to stores, hotels or other destinations and other local points of interest around it.
    • Location visualization. With Google Maps for Work, MediNav users can see where they're going before they even get there with visually accurate Street View imagery.

    And thanks to the new Google Navigation Deep Linking capabilities, this is not just restricted to Maps, Routes and Directions. We can send a user directly from the MediNav app to the Google Navigation app with the exact location loaded, knowing Google will get them there flawlessly.

    Once they arrive, they then can re-open MediNav to start their indoor navigation - and coming soon we will automatically re-open it for them!

    Filling the Crucial Gaps Between the Outdoor and Indoor Worlds

    As amazing as Google is at mapping the entire outdoor world, it does not and cannot know your organization and facilities. The result of this is a wayfinding challenge we have all experienced at one point or another: being navigated by Google to a general address for a large facility - which more often than not can be very far away from where you actually need to go.

    With our Google Maps for Work partnership, Connexient is able to add and maintain custom layers of map data for our clients that incorporate our knowledge and mapping of their campuses and facilities. This means that together with Google, we can deliver end-to-end, outdoor + indoor digital wayfinding and navigation, solving complex wayfinding challenges. Here are just a few examples.

    1. Adding custom labels, markers, routes and more - the crucial details Google does not know.
    2. Navigating users to the best parking garage or lot based on indoor appointment location.
    3. Providing multi-modal campus navigation in Google, including routing through different gates / entry points by visitor types.
    4. Deep linking to Google Navigation for the outdoor stage of the user's journey.


    Parking Planner and My Car Saver: Making Something Complicated Simple

    Almost every person arriving at a major hospital or medical center struggles with parking. Figuring out which garage is closest to your actual appointment destination indoors can be extremely difficult - and picking the wrong garage means a very long, stressful and confusing journey to start your patient experience that day.

    And then when it comes time to get back to your car after your appointment, remembering where you parked and understanding how to get there from inside the building can be even more daunting.

    Based on our 20 years of experience in Hospital wayfinding, we knew these are not secondary issues. They are some of the most frequent complaints that come up in patient surveys. That’s why we developed the MediNav Parking Planner and My Car Saver.

    And it is a great example of how Google Maps and Connexient work together to provide an end-to-end, outdoor + indoor solution. Here’s a little tour to show you how.


    Step 1: Recommending Your Parking Location. Thanks to our Indoor Map, we know exactly where you are going and which is the closest parking location. Users of course can also select from other available parking options.

    Step 2: Getting You To Your Parking Location. Now you need to get there. Whereas Google would be unlikely to have the garage street address, MediNav can provide the exact directions - and even a deep link in Google to navigate you to the exact entrance.


    Step 3: Getting You Through the Correct Campus Entrance. In very large facilities and campuses, Google also will not usually know what is the best entrance for your destination. MediNav handles and optimizes that - can can deal with special situations such as restrictions based on time of day or different entrances for different visitors.

    Step 4: Reminding You to Save Your Car.When you arrive at the parking garage - if equipped with BLE Beacons - MediNav app will detect this and serve a welcome screen to remind you to save your parking spot. We can do this automatically based on your location, or let you select.

    Step 5: Navigating You On To Your Indoor Destination. Now that your car’s parking location is saved, MediNav will automatically switch to the indoor map and continue your turn-by-turn navigation on to your final destination inside the building.

    Step 6: Getting You Back to Your Car. Hours later, all the user had to do is tap on Take Me to My Car and no matter where they now are in the building they will be navigated right back their parking spot. From there, of course, they can also include their next outdoor destination - whether that be in the Healthcare network or home - and we will send them on their way in Google Navigation once again.

    Through the integrated functionality and the custom data layers that we are able to create and maintain in Google Maps, MediNav is able to make a very complex wayfinding challenge simple for the user. He or she can just follow the blue dot and turn-by-turn directions end-to-end, both outdoors and indoors, with key location-based assists and prompts all along their way.

    Actually making it work reliably and accurately is no less complex - and is only possible with the added functionality and control that we are given as a Google Maps for Work partner.

    Part 2: Making Campus Navigation Work and Solving the Network Location Puzzle


    The second part of this blog will address the next two common challenges of Wayfinding and Navigation that afflict almost all patients and visitors - and how we have integrated Google Maps to solve them. Please stay tuned!

  • A trip to the hospital is rarely a pleasant experience, whether you're paying a visit to a sick relative or undergoing a medical procedure yourself. But adding to the health-related anxiety, you often have the hassle of figuring out how to get where you're supposed to go. Facilities that sprawl across multiple buildings, with countless elevator banks, endless mazes of hallways, and cryptic signage, is the norm at many hospitals. Just getting to the right place at the right time feels like a feat.

    "You're typically in a high state of anxiety in a hospital. There's a study that showed that 30 to 40 percent of patients and visitors get lost at the hospital," said Mark Green, chief executive and co-founder of Connexient. "We're trying to improve the patient experience with indoor navigation."

    He's referring to the New York City-based company's MediNav system, navigational technology built into hospital apps and on-site kiosks that provide detailed indoor maps of medical facilities for patients and staff. Think of it as Waze or Google Maps integrated directly into hospitals' own apps.

    As soon as a patient parks her car at the parking garage, the app asks her where she wants to go, such as the cardiology department. It then shows the most direct route, guiding the way with a stream of blue dots, vocal prompts, and visual landmarks. Bluetooth beacons around the hospital help pinpoint the location of each user to within a couple of meters, rerouting them if they take a wrong turn. And when the patient is finished with her appointment, the app will guide her right back to her car.

    Continue reading the article...

  • Pole Star and Connexient presented together at an interactive roundtable on IoT in Health Care at the Telcom Council IOT Forum at the Samsung Research Center in Mountain View, CA on Thursday, December 7th.

     

     

    The presentation to an audience of industry leaders from Samsung, Mitsubishi, GE and others in Silicon Valley touched on the critical importance of indoor mapping, navigation and location services to IOT in large, complex facility and focused on a case study of both patient and staff use cases at their deployment at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD.

     

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Connexient LLC

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(212) 763-6604 | (888) 850-4920
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