Connexient found and selected Polestar after testing many different indoor positioning technologies and solution providers.
Why did you choose Pole Star as a partner?
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 users enjoy with mobile navigation apps in the “outdoor” world by companies like Google, Apple and Waze.
This vision came from our founders’ deep experience and understanding that the complexity and scale of hospitals and healthcare networks – which often have interconnected facilities of millions of square feet, and campuses with dozens of buildings – pose wayfinding challenges such that nothing other than “blue dot” navigation will actually solve the user problem. Maps and directions alone – even with a blue dot indoor positioning – simply are not good enough. Only true turn-by-turn navigation, where the user is guided through each step and can be prompted and redirected if a turn is missed, can keep users on track all the way to their destination.
Connexient found and selected Polestar after testing many different indoor positioning technologies and solution providers. We were early in the market, and tried out WiFi and SLAM based approaches, but we knew immediately the first time we tested BLE that it provided the key missing ingredient to get to navigation quality indoor positioning.
Most companies working with BLE back in 2014, however, were focused primarily on “iBeacon” types of use cases driven by proximity, and their positioning accuracy was typically 5 meters or worse. In Polestar, we found a partner also committed from its earliest days to the vision of navigation quality indoor positioning, with the mix of handset sensor fusion + BLE technologies that could deliver on this.
What are the challenges you have overcome thanks to Pole Star Solution?
There are three technical challenges required to deliver an Enterprise-grade indoor navigation solution:
- 1 – 2 meter indoor positioning accuracy;
- Dynamic refresh rates of 1 second or less;
- Rapid, accurate floor transitions.
To achieve all of this with – most crucially of all – continuous, reliable performance across facilities of the scale and complexity that we address is extremely difficult. Once you give a user a “blue dot”, they become utterly reliant upon it. It cannot ‘wander’ or be variable in its performance, or else confusion and frustration will rapidly ensue.
Polestar was able to meet all of these challenges. This is thanks in good part to their outstanding level and spirit of service, partnership and focus on execution. We greatly appreciate and bring those same values to our deployments with our clients, because we know they are essential to delivering an Enterprise grade solution.
Polestar has also proven itself to be an innovator in the areas of both analytics and advanced features and use case for indoor positioning and location based services. With our Parking Planner feature, for example, Polestar enables us to monitor for BLE in the background and automatically “wake up” our app when the user enters a garage that is covered. This way, we can prompt the user with a welcome screen save their car’s parking location, and continue their journey seamlessly with indoor navigation to their final destination. Those kinds of advanced capabilities are the key to making the solution truly useful and intuitive to users, and solving real world problems.
What’s the value for your clients?
Connexient initial focus with most clients is on helping patients and visitors – and improving what is called “Patient Experience”. There are several very compelling drivers of value for Hospitals and Healthcare
Networks in this area. Due to their large size and complexity, over 40% of patients and visitors that arrive get lost.
- Reducing Patient and Visitor Stress. While not so easy to measure, there is a very real and direct impact of wayfinding challenges on Patient Experience.
- Competitive Pressure Puts Focus on Patient Experience. The Healthcare industry in the United States is seeing enormous competitive pressure due to a variety of factors, but one important one is that patients as consumers have choice. For this reason, many Healthcare networks are keenly focused on Patient Experience, and understand how important wayfinding is to that.
- HCAHPS. In the U.S., there is a system of patient surveys called HCAHPS that are used to grade all hospitals and directly impact their Medicare reimbursement rates. So once again, the focus on delivering great Patient Experience is keen.
- Reducing Missed and Late Appointments. These cost hospitals in the U.S. over $150 billion annually. So even a slight reduction achieved through better wayfinding can have a very big impact.
- Productivity. In most hospitals today, the “wayfinding solution” is the next staff member that happens to be walking down a hallway when a patient or visitor is lost. In addition, staff themselves often face challenges in finding their way around. So the impact on productivity is very substantial.
For all of these reasons, the MediNav has quickly become a best-of-breed solution for Healthcare Networks in North America, and is seen as a revolutionary advance in an area that has long been a major pain point for Patient Experience.
But Connexient – and most of our clients – believes that Patient Experience is just the starting point. Our vision is to “Navigation-enable the Enterprise” by integrating our navigation quality maps and location services across Enterprise IT to deliver ROI and compelling value across areas such as asset tracking, staff workflow, facility management, safety and security and more.
So today we are just beginning to understand the true value of navigation and navigation services, but it is clear that will help to improvements that reduce costs, improve efficiency, capture lost revenues and more.