Hospitals, labyrinths

Hospitals can sometimes appear as real labyrinths for patients and visitors: many services present in the same place, spread over several floors, with a lot of traffic in the aisles; it is easy to get lost. Moreover, for medical staff, guiding visitors and patients can become a laborious and especially time-consuming task, as the time used to give directions to patients and visitors could be better spent providing care. It is therefore important to guide them as best as possible in order to make their hospital experience more pleasant, but also to limit the risks of delays that can impact the whole activity of the services.

Signage…

In our hospitals today, there are more and more different methods to help visitors find their way around the facilities, starting with signs and signage. It is indeed common to find large signs at the entrances of buildings indicating the floor – and sometimes even the aisle – where each service is located or the consultation rooms of each doctor, as well as directional signs in the corridors to guide. There are also maps, mainly in the lobby and in strategic locations such as near elevators and staircases, which indicate the entrances and exits of the buildings, the location of the floor, and points of interest such as reception and administration areas, cafeterias and restrooms.

Good signage can transform hospital premises into a complete welcoming ecosystem. At the Orléans Regional Hospital, for example, services are grouped by “poles” identified by colour: emergency and operating rooms in the red pole, cardiology and neurology in the yellow pole, and paediatrics in the green pole. In addition, each pole has a specific reception area to guide visitors. It is thus sufficient to first go to the pole (distinguished by its walls of the corresponding colour) of a specific service and then follow the indications on the signs or ask the receptionists help to get to the waiting room.

…and its limits

However, these signs may not be intuitive enough for some people, and this can create problems in the hospital, such as a people gathering in front of the maps to find their way, making circulation more difficult and less fluid. Also, with the influx of patients caused by the Covid-19 crisis in the first wave, this method was not sufficient to manage human flows while maintaining recommended social distancing.

Hospital getting connected thanks to wayfinding

Digital solutions for patient guidance

Our hospitals must therefore become more modern, for example through mobile applications or connected terminals, to avoid this kind of phenomenon and facilitate wayfinding within the hospital: we are increasingly used to use GPS on our smartphones, adapting this technology for an application to guide us through the corridors inside hospitals would be a practical solution to avoid getting lost on the way to our medical appointment. We could simply select the doctor with whom we have an appointment to obtain a route through the hospital to his or her consultation room, regardless of the building and floor where it is located in relation to our initial position. In addition, several options could be added to define the route, such as choosing whether we prefer to take the elevator or the stairs to get from one floor to another, or automatically defining an adapted route for a person with reduced mobility.

For staff too

This signage is also useful for the staff, especially temporary workers, new employees or trainees, for whom the knowledge of the place is very limited when they arrive. They will therefore tend to refer to maps and signs to help them find their way inside the premises but having a mobile application with wayfinding could help them navigate more easily and make them save time. Geolocation technologies can also be useful for locating equipment: knowing the location of equipment storage room, or the location of equipment circulating in the service near you, is a plus for caregivers so they don’t waste time searching for needed equipment.


Mobile wayfinding will also be useful for external contributors: when an external technician comes to the hospital to carry out maintenance on a contracted equipment, he will also follow the directions on the mobile application to get to the department where the required equipment is located. The clearer and more precise the directions, the quicker the technician will be able to work on the medical device to get it back in working order.

Ubudu's wayfinding solution in hospitals and healthcare

Conclusion

Good signage within a hospital, wayfinding methods as well as geolocation tools for hospitalised patients help avoid gathering of people to consult the plans, and limit delays in appointments by making it possible to get to the consultation rooms on time. In the case of an RTLS (Real-Time Location System) solution, this also allows for the traceability of patients throughout their hospitalisation process.

Contact us for further information on wayfinding in hospitals.

Ubudu CEO & Co-Founder, François Kruta was interviewed by Jean-Marc Sylvestre on B Smart TV this week to explain how Ubudu RTLS and SDA solutions can help enterprises improve the efficiency and safety of their operations.

After presenting how Ubudu quickly adapted one of its Tags earlier this year to help companies implement Social Distancing at their workplace, Francois explained how the Tags can also be used to locate tools, equipment or vehicles with sub-meter accuracy inside factories or hospitals in order to save time finding them.

Francois also mentioned how 5G will help increase the speed and capacity of the communication to and from connected objects but that for high-accuracy indoor geolocation, other existing radio technologies such as UWB and BLE were being used.

Interested to find out more on how Ubudu can help improve the efficiency and safety of your operations using indoor geolocation, feel free to contact us

Ubudu is pleased to announce a new partnership with Kineviz. Integrating high-accuracy, Ubudu SDA with GraphXR Contact Tracing will empower organizations to drive COVID-19 safety in the workplace. Once a time-consuming process requiring specialized training, automated contact tracing via the Ubudu-Kineviz joint solution provides real-time updates and performs complex analysis within minutes rather than days.

GraphXR-based solutions accelerate analysis and reveal elusive insights in fields including business intelligence, forensics, and medical research. The complexities of contact tracing involve multiple relationships between individuals, across locations, and over time. A network graph is the most effective way to visualize these connections, and GraphXR Contact Tracing performs single-click analysis of available data so that organizations can quickly take measures to prevent or interrupt virus transmission.

Ubudu offers end-to-end solutions for real-time location tracking systems (RTLS) and analytics. Their recently launched Ubudu Social Distancing Assistant (SDA) is a UWB wearable device worn on an armband, wristband, helmet, or lanyard. It transmits highly accurate positional data in realtime, monitoring distance between individuals with 0.1m accuracy and vibrating or sounding an alert when social distancing is broken. The SDA provides unobtrusive and reliable guidance to enable safe navigation of shared workspaces.

With recent surges of COVID-19 in the US, it has become particularly evident that the need for technology-assisted contact tracing is urgent. Contact Tracing is a key factor in the success of countries like South Korea and Taiwan in halting the spread of COVID-19 within their borders. Bringing together GraphXR and Ubudu’s SDA makes contact tracing viable at an organizational scale so that companies can drive workplace safety.

How it works:

Onsite personnel will receive Ubudu SDA tags to be worn on lanyards, wristbands, helmets or armbands. These SDA tags provide real-time notifications with a blinking red light and/or vibration whenever team members come in close contact. Each contact is captured and securely recorded in accordance with GDPR privacy requirements. Along with location and time, daily symptom reports are collected via anonymous surveys. All of this data is fed into GraphXR for automated analysis. Contact trees can be filtered by time and location, visualized relative to individuals or groups, and viewed in the context of publicly available health data from sources like Johns Hopkins. Within a few clicks, risks can be assessed and data-driven decisions can be made to notify individuals, localize quarantines, and optimize schedules to maximize safety.

Conclusion:

The last few months in the United States have revealed the shortcomings of our pandemic response infrastructure, resulting in an ongoing, existential threat to life and livelihood. As the rate of infection surges, companies are taking proactive measures to protect their teams. By combining GraphXR Contact Tracing and the Social Distancing Assistant, Kineviz and Ubudu empower these organizations to reopen the workplace safely and sustainably.

For more information, contact us.

Current COVID-19 situation requires to think about innovative solutions to ensure safety for all employees returning to the workplace. Social distancing appears to be the most effective barrier against the virus, according to the medical & scientific community. Ubudu proposes a simple device which generates an alarm whenever a person comes too close to another : Ubudu Social Distancing Assistant (SDA).

After having ensured business continuity when the Covid-19 crisis took off, notably by establishing home office policies, enterprises are now thinking about how to get employees back to the workplace in the most safe fashion while Covid-19 is around. Whilst a vaccine for the Covid-19 is not expected to be available before several months, key measures such as social distancing will be critical to avoid the spreading of the virus in the workplace, be it an office space, a factory, a school…

But how can sufficient distancing between people be ensured with accuracy?

Ubudu, a technology company which delivers safety and efficiency solutions using location-based technologies since 2011, has been able to repurpose its products to propose Ubudu Social Distancing Assistant (SDA): a high-accuracy social distance monitoring solution that enables enterprises and/or workers to be informed in real-time if social distancing is not respected. As an option, companies can also make use of the contamination chain audit the solution offers in order to identify all the staff that have been in close contact with an infected employee. This would help contain the virus from spreading to the workforce.

Ubudu SDA simply works by providing wearable devices (Tags) to all staff who wear it at all times, for instance around their arm (armband) or around their neck (lanyard). Once equipped, the Tags will vibrate and shine a red light whenever workers are detected as being too close to each other (for eg. 1 meter, this is parametrisable). To do this, Ubudu leverages Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) technology for the most accurate distance measurement technique available in the market.

SDA tag with vibration and light alert

The key features Ubudu Social Distancing Assistant offers are:

  • Short distance alarm with light and vibration
  • 10cm distance measurement accuracy with no latency
  • No infrastructure required
  • Adjustable distance
  • Remote alert via mobile app (optional)
  • Contamination chain audit
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Privacy protection (GDPR)
  • Made in EU

Ubudu SDA Tags are also compatible with Ubudu RTLS solutions specifically built for helping factories, warehouses, hospitals and other workplaces to improve their operations’ efficiency and safety.

Interested in making use of Ubudu Social Distancing Assistant to provide a safe workplace to your employees and contractors until the Covid-19 goes away completely?

Order now Contact us

Ubudu is glad to announce new partnership with Qonda System in Singapore to accelerate the deployment of Ubudu Real-Time Location System to healthcare, distribution and industrial automation sectors.

The Real-Time Location System (RTLS) market for Asia-Pacific has been forecasted to registered a CAGR of 34% ahead of other regions and global growth rate of 27.8% CAGR.  The global real-time location management systems market accounted for a market share of USD1.875 trillion in 2018 and forecasted to increase to USD2.31 trillion by 2028, according to Market Research Future .

The increasing adoption of industry 4.0 and IoT in manufacturing industries have fuelled the deployment of RTLS systems. Leading the adoptions of radio technologies based RTLS are the healthcare, transportation and logistics, industrial manufacturing, government and defence industries.

“Qonda System is very pleased to partner with Ubudu in delivering flexible, multi-technology RTLS platform to address the growing demands and needs for Industrial 4.0 adoption for tracking people and assets. Ubudu ability to support various tracking positioning technologies from GPS, RFID, BLE, UWB, LTE, SigFox, LoRa, LoRaWAN and proprietary wireless communication systems on a single platform gives us the ability to integrate and manage any existing and planned future tracking solutions,” commented Alvin Chng, CEO, Qonda System.

In addition to support for various radio technologies based solutions, Ubudu comprehensive analytics engine offers out-of-the-box applications that provides most of the commonly required reporting and analytic metrics for better workflow analytics, intelligence for better planning and resource optimization.

“We are delighted to have Qonda System as our deployment partner in Singapore.  Qonda System’s experience and deep comprehension of IOT and wireless technology will help us tremendously with designing and deploying cost effective, scalable RTLS solution that customers will see immediate benefits,” said Victor Bogey, Asia General Manager, Ubudu.

“Ubudu’s unique support for hybrid positioning technologies allows a single infrastructure and application for a wide array of use cases. With deployment over 30 countries, more than 3,500 sites and over 800K devices, our solution has been well tested and proven,” commented Victor Bogey.

Airports are relying more and more on automation technologies to offer a seamless passenger experience. At the same time, flight delays must be managed thoroughly by optimising airside operations. This can be achieved by leveraging RTLS to locate and utilise efficiently and safely equipment and vehicles required for performing airside activities such as catering, luggage / cargo handling or aircraft maintenance.

Airports are leveraging new technologies for enhanced passenger experience

The number of global passengers is expected to more than double by 2040 going from 8.8 billion in 2018 to 19.7 billion in 2040 according to ACI. Airports are in increased pressure to meet that growing demand whilst ensuring a better passenger experience. As explained by Alastair Newport in Five trends that will shape the airport of the future: “Growing traveller expectations, an ever-increasing number of passengers and a need for personalisation, means that airports have to prioritise frictionless travel.”

In this context, airports are stepping up their game in the objective of delivering a better and more seamless passenger experience. Airports have started implementing the latest technologies to help passengers through check-in, security, immigration and boarding processes. This is just the beginning and more automation is expected to help airports make better use of their infrastructure and be more efficient.

new technologies in airport

Airports such as Hong Kong, Dubai, Gatwick, Changi or Heathrow are already deploying new technologies such as:
–       Biometrics to speed up identification of passengers at security and boarding,
–       Mobile wayfinding based on AR & RTLS to help passengers navigate in terminals,
–       AI with robots to interact with passengers in a multitude of different languages,
–       Passenger Luggage Tracking through RFID and airport mobile app.

For a good example of a fully automated passenger experience, check out this video explaining the new passenger experience at Changi Airport Terminal 4 where no human interaction is needed throughout the entire process!

Flight delays negatively impacts passenger experience, how to reduce them?

However, one can have the best experience from the check-in counter to the boarding gate, but then be really frustrated if its flight has been delayed!

Flight delays are a key focus area for airports in order to handle the rising number of passengers as well as manage operations costs. Flight delays can occur for a number of different reasons but most of the time it is because of weather conditions, Air Traffic Control and aerodrome capacity.

Whilst the weather seems to be a growing concern amidst climate change, airports need to look into optimising their airside operations in the short term to extract more capacity out of their existing infrastructure: As explained in The Impact of Delays on Customers’ Satisfaction: an Empirical Analysis of the British Airways On-Time Performance at Heathrow Airport: “Delays in the airport airside area can be mitigated by optimisation of demand management, improvement of existing runway capacity, usage optimisation, and physical expansion of airside runway infrastructure.”

This is where making use of Real-time Location System (RTLS) can help airside operations be more efficient. Indeed, airside operations for each aircraft involve the coordination of different resources in a short period of time. For example, a number of different staff, vehicles and dollies are needed for catering, cargo, passenger luggage, fuelling and aircraft maintenance operations. When one of these operations cannot be completed on time because a dolly or vehicle is missing, flights are delayed, aircraft turnaround time is increased and less flights per day can be handled by the airport based on its capacity.

equipment and vehicle tracking for airside operations

Key advantages of using hybrid RTLS for optimising airside operations

Imagine a Digital Twin where airside operators could locate on a digital platform where the closest available dolly is, imagine the airport getting real-time alerts when a vehicle or equipment is missing at an aircraft parking bay, imagine being able to ensure that all vehicles and equipment are being used safely and at near 100% rate.

This can be achieved by using a hybrid RTLS solution such as Ubudu system that can track both vehicles and equipment in outdoor and indoor environments. Indeed by leveraging technologies such as GPS, BLE as well as LTE or Lora connectivity through the same RTLS software, airports would be able to locate each of their assets in airside operations to:

–       Save time finding available equipment such as dollies for airside operations
–       Increase utilisation rates of equipment and therefore reducing the total amount of equipment needed
–       Get notified in real-time of a potential delay in airside operations through automatic detection of equipment and vehicles at each aircraft parking bay
–       Ensure higher safety for driving vehicles by alerting in real-time drivers that they are speeding or that there is an unsafe event
–       Analyse flows of vehicles and equipment movement to understand how to optimise layout of roadways  

Having a unique solution and interface to manage these different use cases will help Airports to not only deploy the solution by simplifying the integration works but this will also help reduce maintenance costs of the whole system by centralising all information.

As stated by SITA in Airports of the Future: 10 Predictions for the next decade: “Airports will use Digital Twin technology to bring real-time operations to life for all stakeholders, improving operational efficiency and enhancing the passenger experience.”

At Ubudu, we already have experience working with Cathay Pacific, Changi Airport and Hong Kong Airport. If you are interested in leveraging RTLS for Digital Twin to reduce aircraft turnaround time, increase your assets’ utilisation rates and improve safety of vehicles used in your airport, feel free to contact us.

When considering Bluetooth-based Real-time Location Systems (RTLS) installations it is common to anticipate that they will be able to cover areas which are moderate to small. Bluetooth 5 brings a new feature to reconsider the status quo and allows to cover large sites with much less hardware infrastructure, up to the point of assets being tracked outdoors.

Bluetooth for RTLS

With its launch in 2017 Bluetooth Low Energy 5 introduced a significant improvement over Bluetooth 4 in terms of range allowing transmitter and received to be even up to 200 meters away. But there was more. Two new Physical Layers (PHY) of Bluetooth 5 –  were aimed to address the specific needs of RTLS (Real-time Location Systems) and IoT applications having substantial impact on the industry and how it is perceived.

How long is Bluetooth Long Range?

In a world before Bluetooth 5 in order to increase the range it was required to increase the output power of the transmitter. The idea behind Long Range is to code the data bits of the signal in a way,so that it is easier to interpret by the receiver. 
Bluetooth 5 added two new Physical Layers (PHY) into its protocol stack. The one called ‘LE 2M PHY’ allows higher data rates as it operates at 2 Ms/s. The other one called ‘LE Coded PHY’ allows to enhance the range reaching up to 1,300 meters, hence the ‘BLE Long Range’ abbreviation. The aforementioned distance has been measured and verified by Nordic Semiconductors in their vast study of their nRF52840 chip

How is it done?

In order to achieve long range, there are two schemes to code the data bits which will divide the regular data rate by 2 or by 8. This results in reducing 1Mbit/s to 500Kbit/s and 125Kbit/s respectively. For each scheme there is a different number of symbols used to represent 1 bit, hence the names  S=2 and S=8 where the digit stands for how many symbols are used per 1 data bit. As a result the data stream is easier to interpret and less subjected to errors by the receiver which impacts the range.

It all comes with a price though. Sending a signal further away will require literally broadcasting more data. In the case of S=8 scheme it will mean that sending 8 bits of data will require transferring 64 bits of data. This means increased radio-on time and increased energy consumption which will need to be taken into consideration when selecting the technology.

RTLS applications

For large sites, even with assets operating outdoors, the extended range is going to be the most important factor. The gains of utilising the Bluetooth Long Range however are not only exemplified in larger maximum distance between transmitter and receiver, but also in enhanced ability to travel through walls and other obstacles. For large industrial environments, where RTLS solutions are often deployed, it is a true game-change. Ubudu has already implemented Bluetooth 5 technology into its products giving customers the possibility to benefit from it.

Slingshot@Switch organized by Enterprise Singapore and Startup SG in collaboration with Agorize gathered the Top 100 Global Startups this November to showcase the best deeptech innovations, proving once more how dynamic the start-up ecosystem is in Singapore.

Slingshot was part of Switch/SFF Tradeshow that attracted more than 60,000 visitors and the 100 selected start-ups had to pitch in front of a jury composed of Industry Leaders including Airbus, Rolls Royce, Continental AG, Engie, Sequoia Capital, General Electric, Schneider Electric etc…

Ubudu is proud to be the winner of the category: “Manufacturing, Logistics and Transportation” of the Startup Challenge. This prestigious award demonstrates our ability to bring value at low costs to Singapore and SE Asia factories, warehouses and hospitals through our hybrid end-to-end location tracking & analytics solution.

Many visitors were curious to know more about the value Ubudu brings to day to day operations in different sectors, from patient flow optimisation in hospitals to reducing Turnaround time in production sites. We had fruitful exchanges with different large companies based in Singapore who see Ubudu solution as a perfect tool to quickly optimize their operations to become more efficient. In fact, every day,  Ubudu solution already saves over 12,000 hours of search time every day, around the world.

Ubudu is now ready to take part in the Industry 4.0 movement happening in Singapore and South East Asia and is looking forward to helping more companies in the region by developing its activities there.

Ubudu is proud to work with Singtel in the Internet of Things (IoT) to furnish an end-to-end service offer dedicated to track valuable assets, locate staff movement and provide customers with way-finding capabilities through smartphones and tags.

From richer insights, to superior technical capabilities, the renowned expertise in IoT Connectivity from Singtel and high-accuracy & real-time Geolocation System from Ubudu will combine a unique value proposition to optimise resources and improve service experience.

In addition, Ubudu is delighted to offer its complementary skills in hardware, software and Location IoT projects.

Ubudu is working hand-in-hand with Singtel to start deploying the solution in Singapore, and is also looking forward to expanding its footprint to Australia through Singtel’s subsidiary Optus.

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“We are proud to develop a long-term strategic partnership with Singtel whose expertise and experience in IoT and telecommunications is a great add-on to our Location System that will enable us to bring value fast and at scale to our customers.”

Victor Bogey, Ubudu Asia General Manager

What an intense week for Ubudu Asia’s team!

After finishing in the top 10 of Slingshot@Switch start-up competition in Singapore, Ubudu has won 2nd place at Schneider Electric Bold Idea APAC Challenge organised during Schneider’s Electric Global Innovation Summit.

We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Schneider Electric both in Asia and Europe!