Vantiq has been working closely with its partners to implement successful smart building and environment solutions to combat the spread of COVID-19 as well as help transform the world to adopt smart technology. Codenamed Project Q, our homegrown smart office solution was built with partner Bits In Glass using the VANTIQ Back-to-Work Accelerator. We sat down with project leader Jonathan Delulis from Bits In Glass (BIG) to discuss the various ways technology can improve our lives and help us get back to work safely.
With over 10 years of experience delivering IT projects, Jonathan is a seasoned implementation consultant with a deep background and subject matter expertise in the healthcare vertical. As a Senior Delivery Manager with Bits In Glass (BIG), he leads the implementation of custom solutions for BIG’s clients leveraging BPM, RPA, and EDA technologies. When he is not creating complex smart solutions, Jonathan is a passionate bicyclist that rides for a cause. Jonathan has raised over $35,000 for cancer research at the annual, 190-mile Pan-Mass Challenge: one of the highest-grossing athletic fundraisers in the United States.
Q: Tell us a little bit about how Bits In Glass is working with VANTIQ and others to enable a safer workplace.
Jon: Bits In Glass and Vantiq started working together back in December, 2019. I was engaged pretty early on as a bit of a subject matter expert in healthcare to help identify different use cases that Vantiq could potentially play a role in. We looked at things like hand hygiene and compliance in hospitals, using real-time location systems to track people, patients, and assets throughout the facility, and several other kinds of features and functions that you see in a smart building, to build/create/enable what we refer to as a ‘connected hospital’. Many of these features work well with Vantiq’s Back-to-Work Accelerator. We looked at all the features and functions of a connected hospital and we scaled them down because these solutions exist at scale, but they’re not necessarily conducive to a small office. So, being able to enable similar features and functions in office spaces was something that we were very excited to do.
Technology Combatting COVID-19
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
Jon: We are fully remote these days. This includes all of our customer engagements. We really had to adapt with how we work with our different clients and with ourselves to work effectively across all of these remote modalities.
Q: This pandemic is going to leave a lasting impact on society, almost a permanent impact, if you will, on not only our psyche, but all of our behaviors afterwards. Can and how do you make people more comfortable about getting back to normality or just getting back to work?
Jon: It’s really about creating an environment that fosters the right kind of behaviors and measures that are being demonstrated on a day-to-day basis. We can leverage technology to encourage or enforce these kinds of behaviors, so we can put practices into place and make it a little more common and normal than it is today.
Q: What sorts of technology could be put in place to enable a safer workplace?
Jon: Technologies that can provide these kinds of features in an office space are things like thermal cameras. Temperature checking is commonplace across all different kinds of areas such as when you’re walking through a hospital. I’m going to a wedding in a couple weeks. I got an e-mail saying, “hey, we’re doing temperature checks when you arrive”. Getting those kinds of things in place are pretty common.
We can also leverage technologies like real-time location systems that are used in different facilities all over the country, especially in hospitals, to enable things like contact tracing. This is where we can see who and what someone might have interacted with during the time that they might have been infected. So, [these systems are] identifying people that may need to quarantine, areas in the facility that need to be sanitized, and other instruments or equipment throughout the facility that also require sanitization.
Focusing on People
Q: Is it only a technology-based solution that can enable safer workplaces, or is there a point when humans and machines have to work together and collaborate to make people safer and the workplace safer?
Jon: The focus was always putting people at the center of these solutions, understanding the problems and challenges they face, and then leveraging our toolbox of technology, whether it’s with a solution like Vantiq or others, to best implement a solution in an environment that fosters the human needs. It’s all about making sure you’re providing information to the right people. There’s different ways we can enforce that kind of behavior via data privacy: role-based permissions where only the right people see certain information and anonymizing data, so you can only see things like numbers and letters where appropriate.
A Smart Building Implementation for You
Q: What would a Bits In Glass implementation of a smart building look like in someone’s office or workspace?
Jon: As an implementation partner of the Vantiq Back-to-Work Accelerator, Bits In Glass would come in and do a virtual discovery: maybe about a week or two to walk through the framework of the Accelerator and tailor that solution to fit the needs of your individual office. We’ll work with you to understand the different behaviors you want to enable in your office, whether it’s hand hygiene, real-time location tracking, occupancy counting, things of that nature. Then, we tailor the solution to fit the needs of your individual office and deploy in months’, or in some cases, weeks’ time.
To learn more about Project Q and how you can implement your own Smart Office Solution, check out our webinar with BIG, Transforming our HQ into a Smart Building to Get Back to Work Safely.