It's exciting to see the mainstream technology media start to pick up on the revolution of Digital Wayfinding and "Indoor GPS" in Healthcare. One sign of this is that Gartner recently named Connexient as a "Cool Vendor" in their recently published report on Wayfinding in Location Services.
Gartner Analyst, Tim Zimmerman advises Infrastructure & Operation leaders “should evaluate new and innovative technologies that don’t require any interaction with the enterprise infrastructure, while providing navigational guidance to anyone that needs to get to his or her destination. The ability to integrate different location services, provides infrastructure flexibility, and the hands-free implementation capabilities of managed services or expertise of professional service offerings makes it easier for organizations to deploy wayfinding solutions.”
In two recent Hype Cycle reports, Gartner analysts also highlighted how what they call "experiential wayfinding" is becoming a critical tool for CIOs in two key areas:
Mark Gilbert, Gartner healthcare technology analyst, writes:
“Based on inquiry calls, experiential wayfinding adoption is increasing. Health Delivery Organizations (HDOs) primarily use experiential wayfinding as a means to create a consumer-centric patient experience. For visionaries, experiential wayfinding is envisioned as an integral component of a consumer and patient engagement strategy and as an on ramp to the real-time health system.
Wayfinding has evolved to encompass an ecosystem of technologies that combine in a way that assists a patient to conveniently locate and navigate the healthcare provider facility and space. Experiential wayfinding helps patients navigate an episode of care or navigate their health journey. Wayfinding of all forms is becoming a requirement as the complexity of care delivery continues in increase."
Connexient was born from a simple idea that 'Indoor GPS' would finally truly solve one of the major problems for Patient Experience: wayfinding. We have been working with our clients over the last several years and are now implementing many new models for how - leveraging our SDK - MediNav can be integrated with EHR platforms and Enteprise applications to drive innovative new Patient Experience models for location-based e-checkins and concierge services.
But as simple and clear as the idea of "Indoor GPS for Patients" was, Connexient has also been driven by a vision that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Just as with GPS and navigation outdoors, there are a myriad of ways in which these technologies can be used.
Gartner's new paradigm of "The Real Time Health System" provides an elegant and powerful framework for thinking about this. One area in which our vision differs from Gartner is in the breadth of the impact of Enterprise Digital Wayfinding and Navigation Services. Whereas they frame it narrowly - as "Experiential Wayfinding" - what our market experience has shown us is that patients and visitors are just the tip of the iceberg. When you start to dig, you find all kinds of negative impacts and friction on the operational effiency, costs and revenues from the same underlying problem of the complexity and size of healthcare facilties, campuses and networks.
This is why our clients are increasingly seeing Connexient's MediNav as new "Navigation Services Layer" in the IT stack that will drive compelling new use cases and operational efficiency through integrations with Enterprise applications in areas such as patient engagement, asset tracking, facility management, safety and security, and more.
Many of the high value 'profiles' that Gartner analyzes would be greatly positively impacted by Digital Wayfinding and Enterprise Navigation Services. Here are few examples.
All of these technologies today use maps that are incomplete and innacurate, and lack navigation services. And their benefits and ROI would be greatly increased - in some cases transformed - by leveraging navigation-quality maps and navigation services. Connexient's focus is to work together with our clients to ensure that all of these benefits for the 'real world' components of the Real Time Health System are realized over time, starting first with Experiential Wayfinding. As we do that, the problem we are solving is not so much 'wayfinding' as the dynamic coordination people, equipment, vehicles - and one day soon robots.
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.
Enter a destination, and follow the colored path to the blue pin.
The seemingly routine process of navigating with a mobile GPS app can also be used inside Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center.
The medical center's parent, Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health, recently began offering a wayfinding app, similar to Google Map's pin technology, to seamlessly get patients from A to B.
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.
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.