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.