Why Funding Startups Might be the Best Investment During Economic Distress

March 1, 2020

Case Study: Ubihere

Being at the frontlines of the battle with COVID-19, hospitals need to take advantage of every possible efficiency to grapple with the pandemic. Every day, medical professionals face frustrating and preventable obstacles that can hinder providing streamlined, effective care. Among these hurdles is keeping tabs on the huge amounts of inventory and equipment. Not knowing where an X-ray machine is located can only compound stress in these times when quick, decisive action is all the more paramount—especially amid the high-rise, campus environment that characterizes so many health centers today.

Ubihere, a Columbus-based startup using NASA-based technology, is providing a novel, low-cost, low-power, highly accurate approach to geolocalization in a GPS-denied environment. The Ubihere tag can be mounted or embedded into any moveable asset, allowing for a nurse to see the object’s location in real-time on a tablet, laptop, or smartphone.

Imagine that you are a doctor or nurse in charge of care for a dozen high-risk patients. They need a ventilator — stat. Yet your colleagues in another wing of the hospital needed that same piece of equipment —stat — an hour ago, and you’re not sure in which room that ventilator might be. By affixing one of Ubihere’s tracking tags to high-demand, portable, medical equipment, the system’s signals can penetrate through walls and corridors to report the item’s location; accurate to the centimeter.

Instead of having to walk from room to room checking for the machine and potentially disrupting other treatment, medical professionals can head straight to the source.

Hospitals are clamoring for this technology, and its applications go way beyond the immediate crisis.

As one logistics and supply chain hospital executive put it: “There are so many avenues that we can pursue with [Ubihere], optimizing patient interaction on a nursing floor, making sure food trays are getting to the patient in a timely manner, looking at getting people in and out of procedures more efficiently, reducing wait times for patients waiting for a bed. The list is truly endless, it is a matter of identifying a challenge related to movement of any kind; patients, caregivers, equipment, supplies.

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