How Can Indoor Mapping and Wayfinding in Hospitals Improve Patient Experience? [Indoor Navigation & Positioning]

This post was last updated on Apr 2, 2019 

Using indoor mapping and wayfinding in hospitals improves patient experience as these methods aid in effortless hospital navigation. For hospital wayfinding solutions, facility managers could try a hospital wayfinding app, a comprehensive navigation technology for wayfinding in healthcare facilities.
wayfinding in hospital

Navigation and Wayfinding in Hospitals

Wayfinding in hospitals has become a serious concern for patients and visitors when they enter the facility, especially because they are anxious about their health or the health of a loved one.

For first time visitors, it could be even more confusing if they end up spending more than a few hours at the facility locating a specialist’s office, the diagnostic lab, a cafeteria, etc. in a huge healthcare building.

Also read our blog Indoor Positioning & Wayfinding Solutions For Campus Navigation: An Overview [Facility Navigation]

The most common visitor complaints on hospital infrastructure are as follows:

  • Visitors get frustrated when they are unable to locate a point of interest within the facility
  • Visitors need to keep asking for directions constantly to find their way
  • Locating emergency exits and obtaining safety instructions

These problems lead to a botched patient experience and does not enhance the image of the facility in public view.

To address these problems, hospital wayfinding apps can be an optimal investment for hospital administrators as these technological platforms which work on Smartphones will help them reach their intended destinations effortlessly and most importantly, save a lot of time.

In addition to this, wayfinding in a healthcare facility will eventually lead to crucial enhancements for hospital managements in relation to operational efficiency and creating an interruption-free environment.
Indoor Navigation for Hospital Facilities

3 Important Uses of a Hospital Wayfinding App

  • Patience Experience Enhanced Significantly
  • Continual Visitor Feedback
  • Brand Recognition

Empowering visitors at hospitals with an indoor wayfinding app which can be used on their individual Smartphones will lead to a holistic healthcare process, culminating in a productive association for both the facility as well as the visitors. Creating a good impression during the first visit is very important, and failing to do so might result in poor patient experience eventually leading to loss in visitors.

Wayfinding apps allow visitors to obtain necessary information of the facility enabling them to reach a certain destination within the hospital on their fingertips, making it an effortless journey from point A to point B.

Let’s briefly look at the utilities these apps provide.

Patience Experience Truly Enhanced

The advent of technology has improved operations in many large facilities with easy and effortless services, however, in the case of hospital wayfinding apps, it’s more than just directing or guiding the patient from one point to another. They also enhance patient experience with features such as push notifications, safety alerts, pre-planned routing, etc.

Continual Visitor Feedback

Feedback from the visitor may not always be genuine or timely in large facilities, as it can be manually curated on pen and paper with a rushed sense of responding randomly to a questionnaire. With these apps, the management can allow visitors to respond on a real-time basis, ensuring the management obtains a firsthand review of their experience in the hospital.

The same reviews and feedback can then be shared on social media profiles of the hospital to showcase patient experience.

Brand Recognition

With hectic competition in the hospital industry, hospitals should ensure necessary efforts are taken to create a strong brand recognition among its patients, visitors, and vendors as well. Hospital wayfinding apps can be the ideal platform to connect to patients/visitors by providing them with advanced technological services and by visually communicating to them the vision, mission, terms of the hospital.

Wayfinding Solutions for Hospitals

A survey on brand awareness in hospital industry reveals that brand recognition plays an important role in making or breaking the fortune of the hospital, however, a strong brand recognition comes only through 360 degree services provided to visitors.

Patients talk about their experience at hospitals with others and when this talk becomes  positive, the brand vitality is enhanced, becoming a great asset for the hospital management.

Listed below are a few benefits of using a hospital wayfinding app

  • Both the visitor/patient/customer and the hospital staff/management can locate the shortest route to their intended destination
  • Can reduce interruptions of emergency medical staff when they are face questions on directions
  • Improves the overall patient/visitor experience at hospitals
  • These apps can also restrict visitor to designated areas meant only for doctors and nursing staff
  • The visitor can chalk routes and plan course of action based on this

The bigger picture of integrating technology with hospital management is solely to reach out to all visitors at the hospital and enhance their experience of the facility, while reducing the mental stress they have go through.

A hospital wayfinding app will allow users to search for intended locations and get there using the shortest possible route, finding various in-patient wards, out-patient blocks, or restrooms effortlessly.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Shopping malls can now employ an app to enhance visitor delight

Shopping malls pursue innovative strategies to engage visitors and provide them with a unique experience each time they visit the facility. And technology has been increasingly applied to management of shopping malls for not just safety and security but also for games, rides, etc.

The latest technology now being used is the Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) in the form of a smart phone application. Developed by the Hyderabad facility of US based software firm Srisys, the Pigeon app is embedded with features for safety, events and notifications, way finder, and space for advertising.

The CEO of the firm added that, “Navigating inside a shopping mall to find the location o your choice on a busy day could be a stressful task for visitors. The Pigeon app’s advanced features helps resolve this issue thus creating enhanced visit delight.”

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.
Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.
Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Does Indoor Navigation Enhance Visitor Experience in Museums? A Primer on Museum Management Technology
[Indoor Wayfinding Technology]

This post was last updated on May 9, 2019 

Do museums still enthrall visitors the way they did earlier? Or are museums themselves a thing of the past? Well, museums can still stay relevant and enhance visitor experience if they turn to indoor navigation technologies.

Read this primer further to explore how indoor wayfinding technology can help museum management strategize space management while surpassing visitor expectations.

museum-navigation

Visitor Experience in Museums Today

The experience of witnessing historical artifacts and memorabilia for visitors is quite engrossing due to the ambience the venue creates. The collections’ placement within the venue, the lighting and the engagement with the staff amongst other factors add to the aura of the objects put up for display.

Museums are places which preserve historical materials and showcase it to visitors for the purpose of recreating vital moments from the eras gone by. Material connected to the human race and its activities are quite important in helping us understand where we stand today with respect where we were a few hundred years ago. Museums are testimony to the fact that humans have an innate desire to collect and maintain historical artifacts for building a discourse for the next generation.

A recent study reveals that museums haven’t been reaching the visitors’ expectancy levels and fail to engage them optimally. What could be the factors leading to this situation?

This is where use of new technologies can come in and aid in efficient museum management as despite the grandeur of the atmosphere this experience for visitors could remain incomplete if the tour of the museum is not well timed and navigated. Visitors want to maximize their day at the venue and indoor navigation technology achieves just that.

experience-in -museums

Enhancing Visitor Experience at Museums

Most of us have visited a museum at least once and vividly remember the experience. While we may not recall all that was exhibited, we are sure to distinctly place the chronology of events that occurred before and during the visit.

We might also remember asking lame questions about a certain exhibit to our guide or one of the museum employees. Whether our questions were naïve or the whole experience itself spellbinding, museums do surely regale us with nuances from historical times.

Museums don’t just deliver information gathered from a dozen books but also introduces us to visual material which can be experienced first-hand. To sum up, no other scientific or cultural spaces offer the spectacle which a museum guarantees as it is a comprehensive and visual encyclopedia.

Here are a few ways in which museums can cater to the eager public.

Infotainment

Most venues in the modern day era offer a lot of entertaining facilities which are specifically meant to make the visitors have a jolly time at the venue. But museums are an exception because they entertain as well as educate the visitors.
That is the sole reason why educational and many other institutions take the students to the museums. So that they get to have a real-time look at what is being taught in the class room sessions because as it is believed that what we see remains for a long time than that of what we read. Visits to museums will make the students retain the knowledge that is taught in the classes.

art-muesum

Cultural Introduction

In natural and historical museums, the exhibits talk about the history of the cultures and their contribution to the existing ones. Most kids from the modern era don’t really have a cognizance of the history. Museums will educate them about cultures that existed before and the importance they have in the present society.

There is a strong belief that people should adapt to the upcoming technologies to enhance their experiences in their respective facilities.

It’s going good with the existing generations but what about the next generation which is officially called as the ‘Gen Alpha’. Can they accommodate themselves in venues like museums without any technology?

Indoor Wayfinding and Tracking

We are now in an advanced technological society where-in our day to day interactions with other people, shopping for groceries or clothes, paying bills, etc., are mediated through technological platforms which were thought of as impossible a few decades earlier.

Mapping and routing is one of them. Most people, regardless of age, are used to navigating and locating places of interest using their smart phones via GPS technology.

In the context of a museum, imagine if visitors could pre-plan their route within the facility and find their way effortlessly to areas of interest.

Events Management

Museums do hold regular events either to commemorate a person or an event in history which deserves public attention. With one smart phone application management can schedule and manage events effortlessly.

This will help in greater public participation and enhanced image of the museum as well.

Location Based Services

Use of indoor wayfinding and navigation applications will also facilitate location based services for users. The apps relays location based notifications, safety tips and alerts, safe zones for meeting in case of an emergency in real-time.

Importance of Technology from Visitors’ Perspective

Anywhere across the world, museum visitors enter the venue with a curiosity to learn, know and get enlightened on the art, science, and many more other aspects related to history. But while they explore the facility, the visitors have been facing few challenges that happen to occur due to lack of technology within the venue.

Use of technology can be viewed as an empowering experience when used for the right purposes, most often, to better the lives of the populace. Similarly in museums, an assumed hectic day of the visitor can surprisingly be transformed into a day of fun and learning.

Technology offers opportunities that will enhance visitors’ experience in the museum sector, and many museums have already begun experimenting technologies to enhance their interpretive and accessibility strategies. By embracing new technologies, it will improve museum activities; museums can be transformed into an innovative and creative space where the visitors can explore the venue with ease rather than not just being an artifact visitor.

A decade from now, technology is going to play an important role in museums; visitors will drive in to museums only if there are technological facilities available within the venue, a survey reveals. Not many visitors are interested in wasting time in navigating themselves within the venue and so adaption of technology will be the key for penetrating visitors.

New Technologies for Enhanced Experience

Despite puritan arguments from one side of the spectrum which views museums as spaces which cannot be mediated by technology, there is a already a trend setting in which proves otherwise.

Here are few technologies that will surely be trending in museums in a few years from now.

Indoor Navigation and Wayfinding

Museums have a complicated environment for those who are waiting to be initiated into the spectacle it has to offer once you step inside. Added to this, not many visitors want to kill their time in searching for their spaces of interest within the venue. With indoor navigation and way finding, visitors can position and navigate themselves with ease. However, this technology serves the visitors provided they carry devices that can be Bluetooth-enabled like a smart phone.

This geo-location technology functions with the help of beacons, which is a wireless sensor. Through this sensor, the visitors can walk in to the museum and explore it from one end to the other without any hindrance. In an online survey by the website EOT (Eyes of Things) from Spain, they found out that using technology in museums will bring a new perspective for the museum visitors and will aid in efficient management as well.

Recently, beacon technology has been attracting the museum sector and it looks like in the near future, museums across the world will become techno-friendly. This technology will offer creative ways of engagement the visitors have with the space and more likely than not, enhance it.

4D Scanning

Digital 4D scanners will allow visitors in museums to experience the exhibits in a very realistic manner. This technology is an upgrade of the 3D scanners which was first appeared in the year 1980s. This technology is mostly used in industries that involve product development. However, some art museums are in plans to use 4D scanning in their education and accessibility departments within their museums.

Tactile Gallery in Colorado, US, is a permanent gallery where visitors can touch and feel the reproductions of art. Now with the sophisticated 4D scanning technology, it is highly possible to create extremely precise reproductions of artworks with detailed textures of brushstrokes and colors.

This technology will make the visitors have a participatory interaction with the artifact that can develop a good understanding towards the exhibit.

digital-4D-scanners

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality or VR, in the recent times has got a lot of attention from the mainstream population. Thanks to video game companies who use this technology to upgrade the visitors’ experience in the field of gaming. Now, museums are looking forward to associate with this technology for the betterment of the venue.

Ideally, museums should encourage connection between a visitor and the museum itself, and VR offers the facility that can forge those connections. The use of VR in museums will leave the visitors inspired enough to take more interest in venues that educate and entertain. Also, the use of this technology in museums will be an added opportunity for the visitors.

VR has already been in use in some of the venues and the visitors’ number has been increasing after adapting VR. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and Whitney Museum of American Art from the New York City are currently experimenting with VR in their venues and are seeing massive change in the visitors’ participation. In the future, this technology also allows visitors to experience the venues from their homes.

Even in this age of rampant technological progress, there is enough space for false and misguided information to spread like wildfire before we even realize the repercussions which may occur.

Virtual-reality

Tomorrow’s Museums

Museums have always acted as a powerful reminder of the history for both darker and lighter sides. But there are many instances where the visitors were not convinced by the artifacts alone and were seeking for something that can visually explain the presented better. Contemporary visitors to museums have complied with lukewarm engagement and passive experiences but the same may not necessarily accepted by the next generation.

The future of museums according to the director of Whitworth Art Gallery in England is that the visitors will feel at ease due to the technological facilities within the venue. Visitors will commingle and explore things in the company of strangers. He also feels that museums should be sociable spaces that can break the common challenges in society of social hierarchy and inequality.

However, in whichever age we are, museums have to do everything to engage their visitors because of the fact that they are also one among the venues that do business.

Eventually, museums are much more than just repositories of objects; they are meeting places for people and ideas.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Types of Indoor Positioning Systems [Key Features of Indoor Navigation, Magnetic Positioning and Indoor Localization Technologies]

This post was last updated on Mar 31, 2019 

Key Features of Indoor Navigation, Magnetic Positioning and Indoor Localization Technologies

Indoor positioning is the most commonly used umbrella term which includes all of these ‘indoor GPS’ technologies. However, when observed closely at the technological platform they thrive on, the rationale for using these varied terms to describe them individually becomes self-explanatory.

Indoor navigation, magnetic positioning, and indoor localization refer to technologies adopted by large facilities to help them locate objects, spaces, or people inside the facility where the satellite enabled Global Positioning System (GPS) does not work due to the infrastructural elements such as walls, cabin material, glass, etc. In order to counter this challenge, Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) use a wide array of platforms to enable users locate and navigate within a facility, wayfinding to their points of interest.

Indoor Positioning System

One of the primary reasons for incorporating an indoor navigation technology within a large facility is the flexibility it offers in efficient facility management. Once adopted, users can effortlessly locate, navigate and way find on their smart devices.

An extension of these technologies makes Location Based Services (LBS) possible as well.

Indoor Positioning Technologies – Key Features

So what are the key features of these three positioning technologies? What industries can they be adopted by to help manage the facility better? Which is the most cost-effective type?

It has been eruditely mentioned in an article in 2013 that for indoor navigation to be successful and arrive at a point where precision becomes the norm, a combination of technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ultrawideband may be the answer. Towards the end of the article even leveraging benefit from Internet of Things (IoT) was mentioned, which as we know today, is a reality that has emerged faster than it was predicted.

The table below lists these three terms against parameters used to identify them. With growing focus on the applicability of these technologies, as mentioned in this highly engaging feature, it is important to understand the fine differences between these three terms as well.

Indoor Navigation Magnetic Positioning Indoor Localization
Used for Navigating inside a large facility Locating people or objects inside a building Locating a device or a user inside a building
How does it work? Uses radio waves, acoustic signals, and other sensory information Uses magnetic sensor data from a Smartphone Recommended for use with Wi-Fi & IoT
Technology platform Wi-Fi, Beacons, Bluetooth, Radio frequency Magnetic Fields within a facility Wireless Infrastructure with IoT
Accuracy 80% and above 90% and above 95% and above
Industry applicability Office Spaces, Wildlife Parks, Resorts, Shopping Malls, Convention Centers Office Spaces, Shopping Malls, Warehouses Hospitals, Shopping Malls, Disaster Management
Indoor Data Tracking Possible Possible Possible
Additional Infrastructure Wireless Infrastructure, Beacons, etc None Wireless Infrastructure
Cost Subject to hardware installation Comparatively cheaper Subject to hardware installation
Works as a mobile application? Possible Possible Possible
What can be gathered from the above chart is that using an IPS will have to be based on the industry it is set to be implemented in.

However, as has been written about in our earlier blog posts, a facility needs much more from a mobile application than positioning and navigation alone.

Hence, the success of any of these three technologies lies in seamless integration with other features which would help in superior facility management.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Facility Management Made Simple: Usage of Indoor Navigation Technologies is the Key [Indoor Navigation]

Wonder how huge facilities manage their space and personnel effectively?

Well, it has been a huge problem for facility managers until a few years ago. With the advent of technologies to aid in indoor navigation and space utilization, it is now a matter of time before investing wisely in an indoor navigation technology to make it simple.

Unlike the Global Positioning System (GPS) developed by the US, indoor navigation or the indoor positioning system (IPS) as it is commonly called, can aid in effective facility management.

However, it is also important to know that an IPS is very basic and facilities should be looking to deploy a complete indoor navigation technology and not merely an IPS.

Read on to know the core benefits of an indoor navigation technology.

Indoor Navigation App

Hassle-free Navigation

While GPS helps us navigate through the outdoors and get to the destination of our choice, indoor navigation apps help us locate spaces seamlessly.

Be it a co-worker’s desk, a meeting room, or a break-out area, seamless navigation helps the users save time and energy. Works well for huge office spaces, shopping malls, and hospitals among others.

Optimal Space Utilization

Facility heads are always in a fix when faced with problems arising due to space constraints. Some spaces are over utilized while others are deserted at most times.

To bring in a judicious balance, what if there was a mobile app where facility heads could monitor a given space and then put it to use as required? Would be both time-saving and effortless!

Personnel Tracking

This is one grey area which is complicated but at the same time too vital to ignore. A proficient indoor navigation app does just that. It helps decision makers obtain data about personnel movement within the facility and thereby make more informed decisions.

The Pigeon Indoor Positioning and Navigation App is one such technically robust mobile app which aids in superior facility management.

Quite interesting, isn’t it?

Read further to know more features of indoor navigation technologies.

Navigation to the dot

Imagine helping someone navigate from outside the facility to a precise location indoors. Saves a lot of coordination trouble, doesn’t it?

That’s how indoor navigation apps work – you can direct your visitors from anywhere outside the facility till your desk or a meeting room located inside the facility.

Space Reservation Option

It has always been a problem finding a good meeting room for team discussions or official meetings when you need them as a clash of timings occurs quite often.

People are all set to meet and brainstorm before they realize a relevant room is available only after an hour or two. An instant dip in motivation!

Instead, open an app, reserve the space and chairs, and boom! You get to brainstorm, discuss and crack path-breaking ideas.

Quality Data Generation

Get comprehensive data related to workspaces, personnel, visitors etc. for making more informed decisions. As we all know, data is the new oil!

The more data you can generate, the more of it can be analyzed and laid-bare for organizational decision-making processes.

An effective indoor positioning and navigation app gives you precise data and aids in both process and people transformation. The result is enhanced productivity and a more accountable workforce.

As witnessed by tech pundits and facility owners, there has been steady increase in usage of indoor navigation technologies as days go by.

As we progress into an advanced technological society, it becomes imperative for heads of large facilities to deploy an indoor positioning and navigation app.

Also read our blog Reasons why ‘Pigeon’ is unique among indoor positioning and navigation apps [Indoor Navigation]

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.