Healthcare Leader Improves Workflow & Patient Satisfaction

Sustainability Agenda:

  • Waste Reduction
  • Transparency and Work Flow Efficiency
  • Safer and Improved Patient Care Environment

Technology Article:

“In healthcare today, the patient experience is of utmost importance. By accurately capturing where our delays were, we were able to identify our primary challenges and implement solutions to directly impact those areas.”

By: Kristen Brown, Clinical Manager of Children’s National Health System


Summary (Challenges):

Children’s National Health System is a pediatric care provider in Washington, D.C. For over 140 years, Children’s National has pioneered new therapies and treatments across a wide array of medical specialties, from neonatal services to cancer care.

The Children’s National Cancer Center is a very busy outpatient clinic, with 100+ providers, seeing 200+ patients each day. At Children’s National, successful cancer treatment is not just about delivering medication, but also about providing a friendly, comfortable environment where patients can feel safe for the duration of their treatment. This includes providing art and music therapy to patients while they wait.

When a child comes in for cancer treatment, the visit often is a multi-step process that takes hours. Accompanied by their parents or other caregivers, patients must sign in, give vital signs, have blood drawn, wait for lab results, see clinicians, and perhaps sit through lengthy chemotherapy infusions. There were so many moving parts going on at one time. Lab results might take an hour or two and patients would get bored and wander. Or, they might leave the unit for radiology or some ancillary service and would need to be tracked down at every turn. Children’s National spent too much time simply looking for their patients.

The excessive wait times, and a general lack of information made for a less than pleasant patient experience. The clinical processes had become inefficient and there was no data to track the patient flow to find and fix bottlenecks. Children’s National wanted to make the system more transparent to families, making it possible for everyone to know where they stood in line to be seen by their providers.

Children’s National tackled the challenges inherent in paper-based information flows—and in the process also increased its own staff efficiency. The Savance Health Staff Tracking solution was used to improve communication and workflow, and healthcare team organization. This significantly decreases patient wait times and increases patient satisfaction.

Technology Stakeholders:

  1. Healthcare Institutions (Children’s National Cancer Center)
  2. Healthcare Providers (Primary Care Technician, Clinic Operations Manager Doctors, Nurses, Clinicians, etc)
  3. Patients (children) and their parents, other caregivers/family members

Technology Deployment: 

Savance Health deployed customized solutions: Patient Self Check-In, Waiting Room Display, and Patient Tracking & Flow solutions, helping Children’s National completely transform the workflow of its cancer and blood disorders unit so that when a patient arrives at the clinic, their adult caregiver signs them in at an easy-to-use touch-screen kiosk.

Savance Health Patient Self Check-In can pull information straight from an ID card, a driver’s license, or an insurance card, and easily fill out the patient’s address, phone number, current doctor, current medications, insurance, and date of birth. The solution delivers two key benefits: accurate and complete patient information – acquired through a patient-friendly process.

Once the patient has signed in, Savance’s Patient Tracking & Flow solution takes the mystery out of clinical workflows and patient location. The software tracks where patients are at any given time, and how much time they spend in each area. A display screen in the waiting room —with patient names symbolized by pictures of animals to maintain confidentiality— tells families how many patients are ahead of them to see their specific provider.

Another screen in the clinic workroom shows where patients stand in the day’s workflow. This allows Children’s Health not only to find patients quickly without searching the building, but also to see where process breakdowns occur and take steps to increase workflow efficiency.

Technology Benefits:

  1. Simplify patient sign-in with self-service check-in kiosk
  2. Ability to time-stamp patient flow though clinic to monitor detail
  3. Free staff from physically tracking down patients
  4. Optimize patient and staff scheduling
  5. Leverage patient flow data to alleviate bottlenecks during peak demand
  6. Improve patient experience through better communication and shorter wait times

Other references:






Strawberry Tree Hangout


1) Sustainability problem: Public administration & Services / Energy

2) Name of the technology: Strawberry Tree hangout

Company: Strawberry Energy


  • Strawberry Tree hangout is a solar urban device and a smart city platform.
  • It provides free mobile phone charging, WiFi Internet, local information, and environmental sensing.
  • It can be built in parks, campuses and city squares.
  • It brings the IoT to outdoor public spaces that people visit daily.
  • Using different environmental sensors, it collects data about its surroundings and send it to the cloud platform using its on WiFi.
  • As backup power source, Strawberry Tree offers energy in emergency cases when the grid is down.

3) Stakeholders:

  • Government institutions
  • Citizens
  • Companies that want to advertise using this technology
  • Universities

4) First 3 steps:

  • Contact the local government an choose a public space
  • Check what is the need of the city and decide which services will be offer and which data it will collect
  • Advertise the product

vn2216: Viviane Gandolfi

Worms lead way to test nanoparticle toxicity

  1. Technology: A worm! “Worms lead way to test nanoparticle toxicity”

In a relatively short time period, 1 weeks (“That is long enough for us to monitor toxicity effects accumulated through three generations of worms.” C. elegans has a life cycle of about three days, and since each can produce many offspring, a population that started at 50 would number more than 10,000 after a week.”) the toxicity of a nanomaterial can be tested. If the material has a relatively high level of toxicity the worm will act ‘sluggish’, they’ll eat less as well as produce less.

  1. Sustainable issue: With the past centuries reliance on plastic and the more newly findings of plastics non biodegradable and environmentally toxic components, new materials are needed. In order to find biodegradable and non toxic materials research is being done at the nano level to determine how a material will effect the environment. Being able to test a nano material will lead towards smarter and cleaner decisions as new materials are being made and brought into our supply chain.
  2. Technology stakeholders:

-Private companies: manufacturing companies who will us nano materials to replace current non environmental friendly materials.

-Because of the low cost of a ‘natural’ sensor, the worm, funding should be able to be absorbed by private companies, R&D divisions, fairly easily. Additional funding can come from NGO’s, if needed.

-Government agencies for funding and regulation.

-Humane and Animal Rights Organizations.

  1. Process for implementation:

-Connect private companies with NGO’s and Educational Institutions that are spear heading ‘worm sensor technology’ research.

-Fine tune the metrics. How much ‘sluggishness’ equals levels of toxicity in a material that is prohibitive.

-Establish state and federal regulations to monitor companies using this new technology.

Google Smart Contact Lens

1) Problem: Health

Diabetes is a growing problem in the world. As of 2014 approximately 387 million people had diabetes and the numbers are increasing sharply. In fact by 2035 it is expected to have 592 million people with this condition.

Diabetes is a chronic disease, and there is not cure for it. People with diabetes must maintain their sugar levels under control. Uncontrolled blood sugar puts diabetic people at risk for dangerous complications.

A person with type-1 diabetes must tests their blood sugar levels between four to eight times per day. This implies testing blood drops throughout the day. This is disruptive and painful and as a result many people with diabetes do not monitor their sugar level as often as they should.

2) Technology

  • On January 2014, Google announced their Smart Contact Lens project. The project aims to assist diabetic people by constantly measuring their glucose levels in their tears.
  • The technology is less invasive than any devise in the market.
  • It uses a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor. Information about blood sugar levels could be uploaded to smart phone devises.
  • On July 2014, the Google team announced a partnership with the European Drug maker Novartis to create products from Google’s prototype smart contact lens.
  • And on May 2015, Google has been granted a patent for this technology.
  • Currently they are working with different versions of the prototype and they expect to put the technology in the market in 5 years.

3) Stakeholders

  • Google, Google X team
  • Novartis
  • International Diabetes Federation
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Diabetic people
  • Doctors

4) Steps for deployment

  • Continue working with prototypes.
  • Lobby with the Food and Drug Administration to obtain a license to launch the product to the public.
  • Work with the International Diabetes Federation to inform diabetic people about the technology.

1 in 3 New Cars in Norway are ELECTRIC!

1) Energy: We are in dire need of finding sustainable energy solutions in order to move away from the rapidly depleting fossil fuels.

2) Article: Norway’s approach to electric cars pays off in a big way
Website: Grist

  • In Norway, 8,112 new electric cars have been purchased so far in 2015, which means that every one in three new cars bought in Norway in 2015 has been electric.  In the US, 15,000 new electric cars have been sold so far in 2015, meaning one in every 100 new cars in the US has been electric.
  • Norwegians who opt for an electric car are given many benefits, including: they don’t have to pay VAT and purchase tax on the car (usually an additional 50% of the price of the car), they get FREE CHARGING, free parking, and free use of the bus lanes!
  • Norwegians are loving these benefits and responding in a big way.  As a result, the Norwegian government is now changing the benefits, since it will have a hard time keeping up with this kind of success.  Starting in 2018, electric car owners will have to start paying half of the road tax, and in 2020, they will start paying the road tax in full.

3) Organizational stakeholders: Norwegian citizens, Norwegian government, Norwegian companies, utility companies, energy providers, car manufacturers, car salespeople, charging station manufacturers and operators, parking lot owners, Department of Transportation, other countries who want to emulate Norway’s model, etc.

4) The first 3 steps in deploying this technology:

  • Continue to provide incentive opportunities for drivers to continue to purchase electric vehicles.
  • Provide incentives for car manufacturers and salespeople to expand the electric car market.
  • Assess ease and availability of charging stations and continue to expand for driver convenience.

Wastewater Disinfection And Energy Generation Make ‘Hot’ Couple

Problem: Municipal wastewater treatment facilities are extremely energy-intensive and costly to operate and maintain. Traditional systems use UV or chorine chemicals to treat the wastewater.




1. The Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG) has developed a patented “two-for one” technology that  combines renewable energy generation with wastewater disinfection technologies.

2. Their system uses biogas, a natural byproduct of wastewater treatment to drive a turbine that generates renewable energy. About 30 percent of the energy created by the turbine generates electricity while the waste heat is passed through a waste heat recovery unit (CHP) to increase the temperature  of the wastewater to around 165 degrees to disinfect water.  Heat has always been an effective way to disinfect water, but the high expense of traditional heating methods prevented it from being an accepted alternative to UV or chorine.

3. This process has met the standards set by California for disinfection of water for reuse.

4.  The system’s software allows off-site control.

5. In addition to waste water treatment, this technology can be used in water- and energy-intensive commercial industries including agriculture, beer, and beverage and food processing.

6. The company claims significant cost and energy savings in addition to environmental benefits from reduced chemical treatment.

7. PTG has won numerous awards including the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Innovative Technology Award, the Katerva Award, the Artemis Top 50 Water Tech award.


1. Municipalities charged with waste water treatment.

2. Water and energy-intensive commercial companies.

3. Government regulators, policy makers, and planners.


1. Proof of concept through rigorous testing of the systems culminating in white papers and case studies.

2. Targeting of municipalities and commercial customers.

3.  Integration of other technologies to push down costs and chemical and energy use.

Http:// and website at\

Jean Hamerman

How IOT (The Internet of Things) will make Smart Buildings in Smart Cities


1) Sustainability problem: Energy

  • Energy optimization/efficiency is needed to fulfill the growing needs of the over 50% population in urban areas while considering the climate change impacts of energy usage.

2) Summary:

  • By installing sensors to collect various data sources from energy users, a city can study trends and provide better services.
  • IOT with logic can coordinate public transport energy efficiently and facilitate timelines.
  • Buildings can instal occupancy sensors to reduce HVAC and lighting usage.

3) Stakeholders:

  • Local government/municipalities
  • Building owners
  • Homeowners
  • Commuters
  • Property owners

4) Deployment:

  • Identity the data streams and integrate the logic of the various systems.
  • Utilize a test case in one building, install sensors and computer systems.
  • Coordinate test cases for public transit.
  • Create a fully datafied society.

Article: Smart Buildings Article

Drones to become crime fighters by aiding UK police

  1. Sustainability Problem: Safety and Health
  2. Summary
    1. Sussex and Surrey police force have begun to use drones in thier crime fighting toolkit
    2. Criminals have leveraged drones to illegally film football matches and smuggle illegal goods into prisons
    3. Drones were previously tested in Gatwick airport
    4. Technology was found, in some cases, to be successful, cheaper, faster, and safer
    5. This is a controversial technology being used and the greater community will likely express concerns
  3. Stakeholders who will use technology
    1. Police forcers throughout the UK and potentially other locations
  4. Deployment
    1. Roll out test case deployment in pilot area (complete)
    2. Monitor the performance and effectiveness of technology (complete)
    3. Make adaptations and adjustments based on feedback from pilot (in progress)


New Indoor Air Quality Devices

New Devices for Indoor Air Quality May Provide a Catalyst for Residential Efficiency

(1)  As we look increasingly to our homes as havens from a stressful world, the issue of indoor air quality has never been more critical. Technology companies are incorporating sound building science principles to offer real solutions to our specific needs. A few devices that may provide a catalyst for residential efficiency are:

  • Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • Birdi
  • Netatmo Weather Station
  • CubeSensor
  • Alima
  • Withings Home

Detailed information about all of the products listed above can be found by clicking on this link: 6 Smart Interior Air Quality Monitors

(2)   Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term referring to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. IAQ can be affected by gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), particulates, microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria), or any mass or energy stressor that can induce adverse health conditions. According to health experts, these indoor pollutants can manifest themselves in symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, headaches, tiredness, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. Additionally:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air pollutant levels may be two to five times higher than the pollutant levels outdoors.
  • Indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental concerns in the country.
  • Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors.
  • Indoor air pollutants such as tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust and animal dander can create asthmatic and allergic reactions.

With new IAQ measurement tools, consumers are able to monitor the air quality in their homes and make the necessary changes to improve their quality of life.

(3)   EPA, Consumers, Homeowners, Building owners, Tenants, Everyone!

(4)   By applying and understanding measuring strategies, all of the costs and risks associated with poor IAQ can be transformed into benefits and opportunities. IAQ, either in new construction, renovation or in remediation, can translate to greater occupant health and safety, greater productivity, and decreased maintenance costs and liability. The processes to implement these strategies include:

  • Identifying and eliminating common contaminants,
  • Practicing source control,
  • Making wise choices of materials,
  • Following preventative strategies during construction and post-occupancy,
  • Providing good ventilation

Lastly, substantial energy savings can often be achieved by making IAQ upgrades. Upgrades also boost the value of on-site generation where applicable.

New and Improved Option for In-City Deliveries

electric truck

(1) Problem

Category is Mobility. Perspective is city’s transportation department on behalf of mayor’s office.

City truck traffic accounts for tremendous air and noise pollution. EPA estimates that truck traffic accounts for 20% of GHG in the transportation sector, though they comprise only 5% of vehicles on the road. Truck pollution disrupts ecosystems, contributes to municipal CO2 footprints, and reduces quality of life.

(2) Summary

  • BMW Group and SCHERM developed and deployed the first all-electric tractor-trailer in Munich, Germany
  • The truck itself generates almost zero CO2 emission, air pollution, or noise pollution
  • Charging generates 11.8 tCO2e fewer per year than a standard diesel engine truck
  • The truck can run 60 miles per charge, which is sufficient for virtually all intra-city needs
  • Less noise and lower emissions will also make a city more attractive for residents; thus, strategically, better positioned for economic growth
  • This also represents the next step toward self-guided delivery vehicles connected to the grid for real-time data transfer

Phillips, A. 2015. “This 100 Percent Electric Eighteen-Wheeler Just Hit The Road In Germany.” ThinkProgress. Posted July 9, 2015.

(3) Stakeholders

  • Transportation department
  • Sustainability department
  • Unions/ delivery companies
  • Logistics companies (e.g., FedEx)

(4) Deployment

  • Closely monitor results from Munich
  • Gradually replace the city’s fleet with electric trucks
  • Use pending EPA programs to incentivize delivery companies, unions, and logistics companies to transition to electric trucks