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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

The company supports beacons from a variety of vendors throughout a facility. Phones or tablets running the MediNav application receive transmissions from those beacons and forward each beacon's ID to the software, indicating its location. App users can view their own location in the form of a blue dot on a map of the facility, then navigate their way to a requested destination, such as the imaging department or a rest room.

Many of the company's customers, Halstead says, have indicated that they would like to expand their beacon technology use to address safety and security use cases and wayfinding. Hospitals typically used wired or wireless calling systems for such scenarios as a health emergency or a staff member being threatened. In the case of a wired system, that requires workers to find and trigger an alert mounted within the vicinity. Wireless systems require that staff members wear a badge or fob they can access. The partnership with CricticalArc now allows hospitals to offer emergency response with an app on a user's phone, leveraging the Connexient beacons that are installed around the facility (already in place for wayfinding, or installed specifically for the security purpose).

Using SafeZone with MediNav beacon technology enables security teams to view specifically where an alert call was placed, not only in GPS-based terms but with location accuracy within 1 to 2 meters (3.3 to 6.6 feet). The software then displays the individual's location specific to a particular floor and room.

"With Connexient's abilities," Farrant says, "we can do things like provide people with the route to evacuate a building." They could simply use the app to view where the closest exit is located, for instance, as well as the route to reach it.

Many customers using the integrated solution are likely to be those already using, or planning to use, the MediNav solution for wayfinding purposes. "The first killer app has happened to be patient experience," Halstead says. But whether they adopt the SafeZone application before or after deploying MediNav, they could be integrated into a single solution.

With the Connexient partnership, CriticalArc hopes to move into the health-care market in the United States and beyond. Connexient is a health-care-focused solution, but it could also be used in other sectors, Halstead says, such as higher education, government or corporate campuses. He adds that Connexient's customers are now in discussions with Connexient and CricitalArc to adopt the SafeZone solution with MediNav.

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