Indoor Navigation for Improving Well-Being of People
Last update 22 FEB 2023
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One of the main directions in Sustainable Development is improving the well-being of citizens, especially elderly people and those who have disabilities. With the development of connectivity technologies, like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and UWB, sensible navigation solutions have emerged as one of the most promising options to create a better world for the people who need our support and help. Indoor positioning can be used for wayfinding, monitoring patients in healthcare facilities, as well as navigation services for visually impaired people.
What is Sustainable Development and ESG?
Sustainable Development is a principle that aims to minimize the environmental footprint of industries while maintaining economic growth, social advancement and quality of life. Usually, when it comes to industrial sustainability, we highlight three directions which we need to focus on: resource efficiency, pollution control and people safety. All these directions can be taken on by using various location-powered technologies, like solutions of indoor positioning and asset tracking which can greatly enhance the processes of operational management and resource saving.
Sustainable Development ensures that all resources that are used in various industrial scenarios are used efficiently without damaging the environment, while paying attention to the safety of personnel.
One of the related terms here is ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance. It is a framework, which is designed to be embedded into an organization’s corporate strategy and includes three main dimensions, related to Sustainable Development:
- Environmental dimension, related to reduction of gas emissions, energy efficiency and pollution;
- Social dimension, related to employee’s work safety, enhancing of customer satisfaction and humanitarian support;
- Governance dimension, related to creating an effective management strategy, achieving employee satisfaction and preventing incidents of corruption, bribery.
How can smart technologies of indoor navigation and tracking help to improve well-being of people who need our support?
There are various applications where indoor navigation and tracking can be used to ensure the safety and well-being of people with disabilities and elderly persons. Considering that the main purpose of indoor navigation is to ensure smooth wayfinding for people inside the large buildings, such as healthcare facilities, office complexes and so on, smart technologies of indoor navigation can be a great solution for making life of visually impaired and disabled people a little easier.
Even people with normal vision sometimes can find wayfinding and navigating through large facilities a real struggle, due to confusing layouts, which often contributes to visitors’ stress. Understanding this challenge, various enterprises, offices and hospitals integrate technologies of indoor navigation into facilities’ infrastructure to improve visitor experience, solve operational challenges and boost business efficiency. Solutions of precise positioning and navigation indoors provide the following features that can be implemented also for improving accessibility and well-being of visually impaired, disabled and elderly persons:
- Interactive digital maps of the facility, containing all rooms and amenities;
- Smooth wayfinding and navigation to all points of interest through large buildings via visual and audio guides;
- Personalized location-based notifications depending on the needs of visitors;
- Easy channel of communication with a facility’s staff to get help in case of emergency or health issues.
Navigine’s solutions of indoor positioning and navigation for visually impaired people
According to the World Health Organization, at least 2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment. They all experience difficulties related to movement. Special walking sticks and tactile surfaces allow these people to move safely, however, these solutions can’t show the direction of their route. In such situations, indoor navigation systems become the optimal solution to create comfortable conditions for their lives.
Indoor navigation is carried out using the mobile application that makes use of iBeacons, sensors on a smartphone, and special software. To find the necessary object, the user needs to switch on the audio guide on their phones. The location of the blind person is defined by the system itself which later directs him to the required place.
The main functions in detecting the location are performed by beacons installed in various parts of the building. At the preset intervals they send out radio signals that are directed to the server and then, in the form of data, are sent to the smartphone with the pre-installed application.
Thus, if a visually impaired person is in a business center, the system can help them find all points of interest (POI), such as conference halls, ATMs, certain offices, or toilets.
To access the required room, a person just has to press the button ‘Find’ and say the search query, for example, ‘men’s toilet’. After that, the application immediately detects the location of the blind person and gives voice instructions that direct him to the nearest WC. As he approaches the necessary place, the sound in the smartphone fades or the phone starts vibrating, which informs him about the right direction. Moreover, on the way, the audio guide can provide additional information about the route. For example, when a person is passing by a trash bin, the system informs about this and provides the data on its exact location.
The indoor navigation system for blind people is aimed primarily at people with eye problems but, if necessary, it can be used by anyone. It will allow navigating easily in a large building and quickly search for the necessary room or office. The solution can help you improve visitor experience, ensure safety of visually impaired persons and increase their confidence while attending public places.
More about indoor navigation for visually impaired people you can find in the related article here
Navigine’s solutions of indoor positioning for healthcare facilities
Hospitals are crowded places with daily flows of high intensity. If a medical institution is large enough and consists of many campuses, departments, and buildings, the movement around the territory can be complicated, causing difficulties in searching for the necessary objects even for healthy people, let alone people with disabilities or elderly persons.
The implementation of navigation into the infrastructure of medical institutions ensures the following benefits:
- It allows for increasing the medical staff’s efficiency by reducing their workload. Hospital visitors receive the possibility to get to their destination without resorting to the help of outsiders. It leads to minimizing the unnecessary interaction between the staff and visitors, saves medical staff’s time, and releases it for solving more important daily tasks. Thanks to wayfinding, patients can keep calm and can avoid stressful situations for doctors and nurses so that they can perform their work more productively.
- It allows visitors to search for the required object or room quickly and easily. The properly organized indoor-outdoor navigation system for hospitals is intuitive for most people, so it speeds up the process of finding certain objects and helps visitors to save time. Patients can better navigate in large hospital spaces and always know how to get to the necessary place fast.
- It allows hospitals to improve themselves and increase visitors’/ patients’ loyalty (smart hospitals). Using wayfinding systems positions a hospital as a modern and technologically advanced institution. Thanks to this technology, visitors can get to know the place better to facilitate their next visits.
In regard to people with disabilities or elderly persons, solutions of indoor positioning can greatly improve their visitor experience too. Navigine solution of indoor navigation for healthcare facilities can provide the following benefits:
- Ensure smooth wayfinding of all amenities and points of interest inside the healthcare facility in several clicks in the mobile application;
- Real-time turn by turn navigation inside the facility;
- Ensure safety of disabled and elderly people by creating a communication channel with hospital staff;
- Send personalized location-based notifications with information on reservation and visiting hours.
The system is characterized by wide functionality and offers visitors not just simple step-by-step navigation, but a wide range of additional options, including:
- Intuitive search for objects on the map by keywords;
- Possibility to make a remote appointment;
- Reminders about appointments or other visits;
- Personalized notifications based on the current location;
- Possibility to share your location with relatives or friends.
More about indoor navigation for healthcare facilities you can find in the related article here.
Navigine Wander Management System for healthcare facilities
Moreover, Navigine also develops solutions of indoor monitoring for healthcare facilities which can be used for real-time monitoring of patients inside hospitals. The safety and health of patients are the most important criteria for hospitals and healthcare facilities for elderly people. Many people in these institutions suffer from conditions such as Alzheimer's, dementia, and other disorders that put them at risk of wandering. They can leave their room at any time, end up on the street and find themselves in a dangerous and possibly life-threatening predicament. Statistically speaking, six out of 10 people with dementia have wandered at least once, which is a big concern for both their loved ones and the medical staff.
Navigine Wander Management System can help healthcare facilities to ensure safety of patients providing the following benefits:
- Introducing wander guard systems helps monitor the movement of patients and prevent them from leaving the clinic. Patients are given a sense of freedom, but the medical staff can always keep up with their location through the web interface, and, if necessary, help them return to their room;
- Thanks to wander management, the patient's loved ones don’t have to worry about the safety of their family member. They no longer have to stress about the safety-related challenges, as now they are in a protected and safe environment. This increases customer satisfaction and makes them more loyal to the medical facility;
- The wander management system provides medical staff with instant notifications in case of emergencies. If a patient leaves the territory of the hospital, loses or removes their bracelet with a label, or doesn’t return to their room after a certain time, the system immediately sends a notification to the staff;
- The patient wandering alert system helps staff manage their time efficiently. Thanks to wander management, employees can find a missing person in a matter of minutes. This increases the overall productivity of the clinic and allows employees to focus on their daily activities.
Wander management systems work based on indoor positioning. Patients are provided with special bracelets (or smart watches/badges), inside of which are tags with identifiers. Beacons are installed throughout the clinic building, sending out signals at a certain cadence. As soon as a person with a tag enters their coverage area, they determine their location and send updates to the smartphones/desktop computers of the medical staff accordingly.
When implementing patient wandering systems, a digital map is provided to the staff, which allows them to track the patient's movement. Surveillance is carried out in real-time, which means that the staff is always aware of where their patient is currently. Mobile tag wristbands are compact, reliable, and easy to manage, and therefore guarantee accurate updates according to the patient’s location.
Indoor navigation is a great tool to achieve sustainability in your facility, which provides numerous benefits for people with disabilities and elderly persons, improving their life. If you are interested in the solutions of indoor positioning and navigation, feel free to contact us by booking a meeting or writing to firstname.lastname@example.org