Why are next level indoor maps so special?

Smart indoor maps are an innovative new technology, but how do they work? Why are they necessary and how can you benefit from them?

Smart indoor maps are an innovative new technology that enables users to find their way around buildings and other enclosed spaces. They differ from conventional maps because they gather and store data about the structure and function of buildings, which enables clinics to provide patients, visitors, service providers and clinic staff with comprehensive information about all locations in the clinic very quickly.

Why smart indoor maps are necessary?

At the moment, the most prominent reason is probably the demand for digital patient guidance systems. The aim is to make it easier for patients to find their way around and relieve the burden on nursing staff. Smart indoor maps can be an enormous help here and save time for everyone involved. But smart indoor maps can do much more than just showing the way. They can also display information about important locations such as patient admissions, thus improving the user experience. They are also able to display optimized routes according to user groups or only show restricted information depending on the authorization profile. In short, smart indoor maps make it easier to find your way around unfamiliar buildings and provide additional information that improves the user experience.

What are the key features of smart indoor maps?

When it comes to smart indoor maps, there are some important features to look out for. First of all, they should be easy to use and offer an intuitive user interface so that users can find the desired location quickly and easily. They should also contain updated information on the availability of rooms, shops and other facilities so that you are always up to date. Another important feature is personalization, so that you can get individual routes and recommendations based on your interests and needs. Finally, smart indoor maps should also offer seamless integration with other technologies such as augmented reality or smart voice assistants to further enhance the user experience. All these features contribute to making smart indoor maps an essential tool for indoor information, orientation and navigation.

How do smart indoor maps work?

Smart Indoor Maps are a great way to find your way in indoor spaces. But how do they work? They are based on the building data that is usually available. This so-called CAD data forms the basis of modern indoor maps. They can be used to quickly generate building floor plans which, in combination with other information, are transformed into dynamic, interactive indoor maps. This creates all rooms and points of interest (e.g. important points such as patient reception areas or automatic pay stations). In addition, all the information can then be linked to each other via routes. In current implementations, millions of routes are generated depending on the size of the clinic. Another important point is 2D and 3D representations. People often find it easier to navigate in a 3D environment, which is why such an approach can make orientation even more intuitive, especially on complex campus sites. Another advantage of smart indoor maps is that they can be updated in real-time. This means that changes to the environment are immediately displayed on the map, making it easier for the user to find their way around.

How can clinics benefit from smart indoor maps?

Indoor maps can help improve efficiency and convenience for patients and staff. For example, by integrating smart technologies and using sensors, indoor maps can help guide patients to their destinations faster while reducing staff workload. Indoor maps can also help increase safety in clinics by highlighting emergency exits, fire extinguishers and other important facilities. The use of indoor maps can also help reduce patient waiting times by allowing them to use their waiting time to look around the building or find out about the different facilities. In short, indoor maps can help improve patient satisfaction and efficiency in clinics.

What technologies are used to develop smart indoor maps?

Various technologies are used to develop smart indoor maps but the digitalization of building data is of crucial importance. It is the key to any sustainable implementation of indoor maps. Until now, high costs have been associated with importing and updating building data. For this reason, many clinics are avoiding extensive implementations and instead focus on displaying a few points of interest on passive, static map backgrounds. Smart indoor maps go much further and, in addition to automatically recognizing floor plans through machine learning, also enable changes to be updated quickly using plug-ins. Clinics are constantly changing, which is why they are constantly being restructured, rebuilt or even newly constructed. This results in high adaptation costs, which are largely eliminated by using smart indoor maps. Another important role is played by so-called beacons. These small devices emit Bluetooth signals that can be received by smartphones and other mobile devices. This makes it possible to determine the user's position within a building and display a blue dot on the map. Another technology used to create indoor maps is 3D scanning technology. Lasers and cameras are used to create three-dimensional models of interior spaces, which then serve as the basis for the maps. The use of augmented reality will also be important in the development of smart indoor maps in the future. Here, virtual elements are shown in the real environment to provide the user with additional information.

What challenges need to be addressed in the development of smart indoor maps?

There are several challenges to overcome in the development of smart indoor maps. One of them is the accuracy of the data. To create a precise map, all details of the buildings and floor plans must be taken into account. This requires a georeferenced representation so that other RTLS (Real-time Location Services) such as asset tracking can be linked. Data security is also an important factor, as indoor maps can contain a great deal of sensitive information that should only be made accessible to a small number of user groups. To overcome these challenges, map developers need to work closely with building owners and users to ensure that the map is accurate and up-to-date so that the users' privacy is protected.

What are the future development opportunities for smart indoor maps in hospitals?

There are many exciting possibilities. Smart indoor maps can already be equipped with sensors that track patients' movements (with consent!). This could identify bottlenecks and overloads in certain areas to manage them more effectively. Currently, indoor maps can display dynamic routes, which means that, for example, people with a disability are routed differently and stairs are avoided. Another option would be to equip the maps with augmented reality technology that provides users with additional information in real-time. For example, information on waiting times or current events at the clinic could be provided. The future of smart indoor maps in clinics is promising and will certainly help patients and staff to find their way around the hospital even better.

To sum up:

To briefly summarize, smart indoor maps offer several advantages. They enable visitors to find their way around buildings quickly and easily and save time and frustration. For hospitals, they offer the opportunity to provide better care for their patients and relieve the burden on nursing staff. They can also be used to optimize business processes. However, indoor maps must be designed in a user-friendly way and be highly accurate. Only then will they be fully effective and useful for both visitors and companies. Overall, smart indoor maps are an important part of the digital transformation and will play an increasingly important role in the context of smart hospitals in the future.

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