The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has become the first hospital in Victoria to offer accessible digital wayfinding for patients, staff, and visitors, through its hospital-wide launch of Australian digital wayfinding solution, BindiMaps.

The newly installed service functions like Google Maps but has been developed to work indoors with a 10 to 20 times higher accuracy than GPS can provide for indoor locations. 

 The new service will allow all Peter Mac patients, staff and visitors, including those with vision impairment or a disability to precisely navigate the hospital with significantly greater ease and accuracy via a simple mobile app. 

 The app uses sophisticated navigation algorithms and a network of Bluetooth beacons and smartphone sensors to offer users a choice of audio directions, text, or map view throughout the hospital, providing accurate, real-time, and step-by-step directions to any destination.  

 It was developed with the help of blind and vision impaired users, to ensure the highest levels of accessibility and inclusivity in its design as possible.

 BindiMaps has already partnered with St. Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and the Sydney Eye Hospital to improve accessibility for patients and visitors.  According to data collated by BindiMaps in these two hospitals, most users searched for medical wards and departments, bathrooms and entrances and exits.

 Around 12 per cent of Australians with disability report difficulty in accessing medical facilities and buildings, whether at their GP, dentist, or in a hospital. This could be because accessibility in hospitals is typically measured by factors unrelated to accessible wayfinding, such as waiting times for services, geographic location, socioeconomic or Indigenous status of hospital services users, and the number and location of services and hospitals. 

 BindiMaps CEO Anna Wright, said on arrival at a hospital, patients and visitors often face confusing corridors and unfamiliar medical lexicon that can bewilder and intimidate. “Naming conventions, layouts, and definitions also vary from one hospital to another, while departments can move around with the expansion and addition of buildings, resulting in out-of-date signage,” she said.

 Photo: BindiMaps founder and CEO Anna Wright.