Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

ThoughtWire launches smart hospital suite

Steve Rogerson
August 7, 2018
Canadian firm ThoughtWire has introduced smart hospital and smart building application suites for operations performance management (OPM). The vertical-specific applications can help real estate owners and hospitals achieve process change, improve operations and unlock better patient and tenant outcomes.
There are five applications, spanning across two industries, for the real-time orchestration of people, systems and things. The applications expand on the firm’s IoT platform capabilities to provide vertical-specific services aimed at helping businesses gain greater visibility and more automated management of their operations.
The IoT platforms market is projected to surpass $22bn in annual spending by 2023. Despite significant investment in IoT platforms, the RoI for many organisations has been elusive, particularly because IoT platforms require significant development costs to address their business potential. Indeed, a recent report found that 41 per cent of companies said the IoT’s lack of perceived RoI was a barrier to adoption.
Meanwhile, many organisations grapple with complex workflows, siloed data sources, lack of relevant data, absence of predictive analytics and a fundamental lack of a people-centric approach. ThoughtWire’s application suites are aimed at unlocking the value of connected things in built environments, yielding cost savings, an increase in asset value and an improved experience for a built environment.
“ThoughtWire’s goal is to establish itself as a leader in the emerging market segment of OPM,” said Michael Monteith, CEO of ThoughtWire. “Building owners and healthcare providers are looking for proven solutions to achieve a rapid return on their IoT investments, and we’re extending beyond the typical developer-centric approach of most IoT providers to help tap into the true potential of intelligent operations for built environments. With our OPM application suites, building owners now have the ability to experience real process change and unlock better outcomes for their patients and tenants, which can dramatically impact – and even save – the lives of the people they are serving.”
With these vertical-specific applications, building owners and hospitals have more tailored options to:

  • Bring together data that are captured by a variety of systems and connected devices for context-rich orchestration that helps optimise operations and improve workflows.
  • Gain real-time and context-aware insights into how a built environment such as a hospital or building is operating, rapidly respond to a patient and tenant’s experience, and receive recommendations on how to improve operations.
  • Make informed decisions and take immediate action via mobile-ready applications.
  • Sync data from IoT devices and sensors to ensure a variety of different systems are able to talk to and supply data to ThoughtWire’s applications through pre-built connectors, which are integrated into each app.
The smart hospital suite puts the power of managing operations in the hands of the people who are in the best position to impact process change positively, helping hospital staff provide a better patient experience and better health outcomes.
With this people-centric approach to managing IoT-enhanced environments, smart hospital staff members can see how their facility operations are faring inside and out. They can also see how the state of their facility is impacting the patient experience. Hospital teams can more easily bring in new patients, improve the time it takes to care for patients as well as the management of that care, and make changes as needed along the way. Smart hospitals can also save on overall operational costs. For example, one hospital was able to realise an annual RoI of 900 per cent, saving $2.7m per year, through its work with ThoughtWire.
“Failure to recognise patient deterioration is a significant issue for acute care hospitals,” said Alison Fox-Robichaud from the department of critical care at Hamilton Health Sciences. “The use of early warning scores that track abnormal vital signs is a strategy to recognise the unwell patient. In collaboration with ThoughtWire, our hospital has harnessed the power of our electronic health record to alert healthcare professionals in a timely manner. This has led to reduced cardiac arrests and unplanned intensive care unit admissions.”
The smart hospital suite consists of three applications – EarlyWarning, SynchronizedOps and RapidResponse.
The EarlyWarning application can make predictions based on algorithm scores and automate alerts to help teams mobilise and act more quickly and effectively. This application helps hospital staff anticipate which patients may be at risk for code blue – a hospital code used to indicate a patient requires immediate resuscitation – as well as other alerts for patients with conditions that may be deteriorating. The app has been proven to reduce code blues by up to 90 per cent by orchestrating the people and processes required to mobilise an effective code response before it happens. Providers can quickly record vital signs, optimise their care delivery process by streamlining workflows, and enjoy real-time mobile-enabled communications to collaborate across teams.
The SynchronizedOps application helps providers reduce patient wait times by reducing the time it takes to move patients to and from different areas of the hospital. Environmental services and the process to get rooms ready for patients are better coordinated with overall patient flow to increase bed use and improve overall satisfaction. ThoughtWire recently worked with a smart hospital that was facing problems with moving patients expeditiously and using all available emergency room beds. Working with ThoughtWire, the hospital saw improvements that generated an annual $2.7m in savings, yielding 900 per cent in the annual RoI.
The RapidResponse application ensures the information doctors and nurses need is at their fingertips to enable faster response times to urgent situations and ensure they’re able to address patients’ needs effectively to improve overall satisfaction. With visibility into valuable information, situated in the proper context and available across all devices, clinicians can make timely and informed decisions about patient care, reducing the risk of errors, the likelihood of missing key information and the chances of costly code events.
Response time is critical in not only ensuring patient care, but also safety. The RapidResponse application can notify all staff and automate critical workflows if there are wandering patients, in the event that an infant is abducted and if any other security incidents arise. With optimised call routing, clinicians and staff won’t get overwhelmed by code calls and alarms; they receive only the most pertinent information needed and can easily accept and reject calls from a mobile device.
The smart building suite for OPM can increase asset value by raising rental value; reduce operating expenditures by enabling remote monitoring of buildings and automating corrective actions of faults; and lower energy costs by automating efficiency workflows. The suite helps corporate and commercial real estate owners empower building and facility managers collect data, determine which data points are most useful, and give employees as well as tenants access to context-rich applications. The suite consists of PrecisionHub for building and facility managers and the WorkApp for tenants.
PrecisionHub gives managers visibility into end-to-end operations such as energy usage and management, context-rich fault detection, and automated adjustment of building controls. This essentially entails building a digital twin – a digital model of a building that brings together all disparate data into one comprehensive model telling managers about the health of a building and the complex workflows within it. PrecisionHub helps managers remotely monitor alarms and events; quickly onboard new tenants; understand data more quickly and in context; and connect various systems with sensors and third-party applications.
With WorkApp, tenants can easily adjust environmental or comfort controls through a mobile app. This provides them with more control over their building experience including community engagement features, building access controls from their smart phones and wayfinding.
Smart building managers can bring tenants in more quickly and reduce the likelihood that they’ll move elsewhere by improving their overall experience. They can also reduce overall operating costs, such as improved energy efficiency with intelligent monitoring tools, and can increase asset value since smart buildings have a higher market value. ThoughtWire already has customers in the smart buildings space, including Oxford Properties. ThoughtWire’s applications are being used at a 840,000-square-metre building in Toronto, Canada, where it has been projected to yield a 344 per cent internal rate of return over five years.