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CriticalArc, Connexient Merge Beacon Wayfinding With Security for Health Care

The two companies have teamed up to provide Bluetooth Low Energy-based location data for hospitals so that users could request help with an app on their mobile phone, and security teams could then automatically receive an alert along with the device's location.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 22, 2017

Security systems technology company CriticalArc, a global technology firm, has partnered with Connexient to integrate its offerings with Connexient's Indoor Mapping and Navigation solution. The company is offering Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon technology as part of its safety systems for the health-care market. The solution will allow hospitals to provide both wayfinding and safety and security services for their patients and personnel.

Critical Arc, headquartered in Australia, provides a product known as SafeZone, which universities and hospitals can use for emergency services. The system employs GPS data from a user's smartphone to provide an individual's location in the event of an emergency. Users—such as security personnel, students or faculty members—can download the SafeZone mobile-alerting app on their smartphone, and the SafeZone Command system software in use by the school or hospital would then capture their call for help and identify the alert's location. The SafeZone Team app would issue alerts to security officers, along with a map of the campus or hospital, so that they can quickly respond.

The system is designed to be easy to use, the company reports. Even if an individual does not speak the local language, he or she can simply press the alert button, and a request for help would be received and acknowledged.

The company launched its technology in Australia approximately five years ago, and has expanded its offerings globally with an office in Denver, Colo., as well as in the United Kingdom and Bahrain. In the United States, its technology has been adopted predominantly by colleges and universities.

GPS positioning works well for many purposes, explains Glenn Farrant, CriticalArc's co-founder and CEO, since it can help to identify which part of campus an individual is in at the time of the alert, or in which building. However, GPS does not work indoors, and other location services built into smartphones are not so precise that responders would know, for instance, the specific room in which that individual is located—or, in some cases, on which floor.

Connexient serves the health-care market with beacon technology-based solutions that are currently in use by about 23 health-care networks throughout the United States. Its solution, known as MediNav, helps individuals navigate the complex environments of hospitals, and is used both by employees and by the public who visit a hospital, explains Geoff Halstead, Connexient's chief product officer.

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