Asked Questions

Why would a hospital want or need a mobile app?

As of 2015, almost two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone and nearly 20% rely on a smartphone “for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them.” Mobile apps provide numerous opportunities to improve the patient experience by providing on-demand information about hospital navigation, doctors, departments, events and other healthcare-related content.

How does Phunware work with hospitals and healthcare systems?

If your organization does not have an existing mobile solution, Phunware can work with you to develop and deploy a uniquely branded mobile app. Leveraging a variety of mobile layouts designed for our healthcare solutions, we can rapidly deliver your choice of powerful features—including mapping, navigation, and wayfinding, push notifications and more. The award-winning Phunware creative and engineering teams can also create a fully customized solution.

For those looking to add features or functionality to an existing mobile app, we offer a wide range of software development kits (SDKs) for plug-and-play features. Our creative and engineering teams can create fully customized mobile layouts, extensions and integrations as needed.

Phunware works with customers throughout the entire application lifecycle, from strategy and ideation to application maintenance. Our team has designed and developed hundreds of mobile applications, creating category-defining experiences that challenge the outer limits of the most advanced connected devices. We are proud to serve some of the world’s most respected brands, including some of the largest healthcare facilities in the United States.

What kind of features are available for healthcare apps?

Phunware’s full capabilities include mapping, static and dynamic wayfinding, alerts and notifications, in-app promotions, analytics, advertising, location marketing and a robust content management engine. For details, see the Healthcare Feature Overview.

How does Phunware work for multiple buildings or campuses?

Phunware’s solution accommodates hospital systems of any size.

  • For a single campus with multiple buildings, users would have access to multiple building maps—with seamless navigation between buildings via GPS, beacons and/or indoor Wi-Fi.
  • For multiple campuses, users simply select their preferred campus when the hospital app launches. The app remembers this information and brings the preferred campus up each time, unless or until the user requests information about the other campus(es).
Does Phunware offer a kiosk solution? How does it work?

As a complement to a mobile app deployment, we can create extend your solution to a tablet-based kiosk. The kiosk can be mounted on stands at key locations. These kiosk installations would run the same intuitive and feature-rich hospital mobile app that users have on their personal devices.

The Phunware approach offers a number of benefits over traditional kiosks:

  • Content and features can be updated at any time with just a few clicks
  • Tablet kiosks take up limited space and offer maximum location flexibility
  • A tablet deployment can also be used when roaming—for example, with a volunteer assisting a visitor
  • Low initial investment (as little as $200 each, in conjunction with a mobile app deployment)
  • Familiar smartphone-like technology and user experience
Many hospital visitors and patients are seniors. How will Phunware’s mobile solutions work for them?

Mobile adoption among seniors is on the rise. 74% of seniors own some kind of cell phone and 39% own a smartphone. Urban and high-income seniors have even higher instances of smartphone adoption. Even if the senior doesn’t own a smartphone, chances are high that his or her children or grandchildren do. Across the board, motivating seniors to adopt healthcare technology has been less challenging than expected. And at Phunware, we design our apps to be intuitive and user-friendly for all age groups.

Many of our patients and visitors do not speak English as their primary language. How can an app meet their needs?

The Phunware platform has multi-language capabilities. Our apps are commonly translated into Spanish, Mandarin and other languages. We’re happy to help you meet the needs of your community.

Can we customize Phunware’s app to meet hospital brand guidelines?

Absolutely. Our mobile apps are completely brandable and highly customizable. The Phunware production team can work closely with your marketing team to ensure compliance with branding guidelines during development.

To help speed the development process, Phunware offers numerous mobile layout options specific to healthcare needs. We can also work with you to create custom designs and keep them up to date as your brand standards evolve over time. As with any content updates, design and photo changes are published automatically to the app via the cloud—there’s no need to republish the entire app or force an update.

Can our mobile app be used for promotions and other marketing activities?

Yes. You can can promote classes, events, fundraisers, cafeteria / gift shop specials, information, surveys, health tips and more.

The Phunware platform gives you multiple marketing, advertising and promotion opportunities. Here are some examples:

  • Location-based promotions and notifications: When an app user passes by the gift shop, the platform can send a pre-programmed notification offering 20% savings on flower arrangements.
  • Featured app content: Promote a fundraising event on the home screen and/or under the Events tab, and send a notification to all app users reminding them to RSVP.
  • Advertising: Use Phunware’s advertising network to send targeted mobile ads to everyone in a specific area, promoting your new hospital app.
How can hospitals keep their app’s maps and wayfinding assets up to date?

Our cloud-based map editor portal makes it easy for hospital administrators to update maps and wayfinding assets (signs, etc.) to reflect construction closures, staff-only areas and more. At any time, admins can also add, customize, or remove points of interest—such as gift shops, cafeterias, information desks and more.

What is mobile wayfinding and how does it work?

Most hospital patients and visitors are used to navigating with GPS on their iPhone or Android device. 67% of smartphone owners use their phones for turn-by-turn navigation while driving (at least occasionally). Unfortunately, these navigation capabilities usually stop at the hospital doors.

With Phunware, navigation is seamless both indoors and out. Patients and visitors can use your hospital mobile app to find their way from any location directly to the correct department, office or pharmacy, arriving relaxed and on time.

Phunware offers both static and dynamic wayfinding. Our creative services team can work with you to create a custom-branded and informative facility map as part of your app.

  • With static wayfinding, app users can view the map, points of interest and common routes.
  • With dynamic wayfinding, app users can access seamless indoor and outdoor directions in real time, leveraging indoor Wi-Fi, beacons and/or GPS. Users see a blue dot on your branded hospital map indicating their current location and the pathway to their destination. The app provides ongoing updates as users move along.
How does Phunware’s mobile solution compare with other available solutions?

The best way to understand the differences between Phunware’s solution and other solutions is to schedule a demo. Phunware has developed thousands of mobile apps for many of the biggest brands in the world. We leverage those learnings  to create best-in-class experiences so app users will stay engaged, visiting the app often and providing ROI for Phunware’s customers.

Phunware’s mapping solutions also provide best-in-class accuracy. Unlike solutions where the blue dot “wiggles” or appears in inaccurate places (like the middle of a lake or wrong side of a wall), Phunware’s blue dot is highly accurate. Phunware provides turn-by-turn directions similar to what users expect from their iPhone or Android. Phunware’s seamless indoor and outdoor navigation also update in real time, so there is no annoying delay that causes confusion or missed turns.

Phunware’s applications have been installed by millions of users—Phunware is highly scalable and enterprise-ready.

How do beacons work?

GPS technology is great—when you’re outside. Indoors, GPS doesn’t work so well because the satellite signals are blocked by the building(s), and GPS navigation was never designed to operate with the precision necessary for small indoor spaces.

Beacons are small devices (about the size of a matchbook) that send low-energy Bluetooth signals to estimate the proximity of another Bluetooth-enabled device (such as your smartphone). Beacons can even be installed on something mobile—such as a cart or a piece of equipment. Multiple beacons can pinpoint locations at distances anywhere from 100 feet down to just a few inches.

One of the main advantages of beacons is that even if no Wi-Fi or phone signal is present, beacons will still work. Phunware’s navigation system uses beacons to detect an app user’s location through triangulation.

Note: Beacons do not interfere with hospital equipment or technology systems.

How many beacons would our hospital need?

It depends on the size of your hospital as well as your wayfinding goals. Typically, beacons are only placed in patient-accessible areas such as hallways and reception areas, generally about 10% of a hospital’s overall square footage. For more specifics, contact our healthcare specialists.

Do we have to use beacons to get mapping capabilities?

No. You can get many of the advantages of real-time mapping with other technologies, such as indoor Wi-Fi, Cisco CMX and Cisco MSE.

What is Phunware’s Blue Dot and how does it work?

Blue Dot is our indoor location positioning feature. When combined with Phunware’s Routing feature, the Blue Dot aligns with the app user’s route as he or she progresses towards the destination. It all happens smoothly and accurately, without the “bounce” or “wiggle” that often compromises other navigation systems. The experience is very similar to the familiar smartphone GPS navigation.

Can we integrate our existing software and systems with Phunware?

Yes. The Phunware platform is highly extensible to other systems, including hospital scheduling and other administrative systems. Our award-winning professional services team is available to support custom integrations.

Get started now with a demo and free trial evaluation!

Let us help you create a custom mobile app that improves hospital wayfinding, operations and the patient experience. Our pre-packaged healthcare solution is perfect for hospitals and clinics that want relatively low total cost of ownership (TCO) and quick time to market.

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