Mister Beacon Episode #180
Navigating Healthcare Visibility with Vizzia TechnologiesNovember 28, 2023
This week on the Mr. Beacon Podcast we delve into the world of healthcare tracking technology from an unusual perspective, that of a trained landscape architect, with guest Andreas Stavropoulos, Director of Product at Vizzia Technologies. Vizzia is a company focused on software solutions in healthcare, and has been at the forefront of this industry for the past two decades.
Andreas sheds light on Vizzia's journey, learning to collaborate with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to provide the software that complements their hardware. Hear about the role of transparency in delivering value to healthcare customers and explore real-world scenarios, such as staff duress alerts, a safety tool that sadly is very needed, emphasizing the importance of accurate location data within a hospital setting.
We explore the various methods employed for transmitting information throughout hospitals, from infrared to radio frequencies to Bluetooth. The rising trend of duress incidents in hospitals is particularly alarming, and the unexpected places where Real-Time Location Services (RTLS) are making an impact, like in schools for discreet staff alerts.
Turns out Andreas has experience with many use cases, including asset tracking, wayfinding, patient and staff tracking, patient workflow optimization, hand hygiene compliance, and more. Discover how discrete implementation of technology can make hospitals safer and hold them accountable for preventing infections that prolong hospital stays.
We’ll uncover the challenges hindering the widespread adoption of RTLS in hospitals and why less than 50% of U.S. hospitals have embraced this technology. Andreas discusses the intricacies of stakeholder involvement, turnover challenges, and the varying perspectives on the benefits of each use case within hospital boards.
Get a glimpse into the world of tracking technologies that are being used in hospitals, including Bluetooth angle of arrival and Visual Light Communication (VLC). Andreas unpacks the pros and cons, from the cost and difficulty of installing certain devices to the innovative use of existing infrastructure for communication through VLC.
Finally, we discuss consignment use cases facilitated by Bluetooth tags. Learn how this technology could revolutionize the billing process for medical supplies, directly involving insurance companies when items are used or deployed.
I hope you enjoy this episode with Andreas, I found it fascinating. And if you want to read more about Andreas’ transition from Architecture to hospital IoT software products, check out his Substack here: https://www.wiredandinspired.co/p/how-architecture-prepared-me-for-product
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Steve Statler 0:00
Welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast, we're back to the health care market. And we're talking to another interesting company, Vizzia, Andreas Stavropoulos, who is director of product at Vizzia Technologies. They are a healthcare architect of solutions, systems integration company solutions provider. Health care's bit at the vanguard of IoT and real time location systems from the earliest days, and there's a lot of companies making a lot of money selling into this, but it's still a market that is wide open, Andreas caught my attention. He contacted me as a as a listen to the show, but dropped into the conversation that he runs a lab where they evaluate different technologies. And so that got me going. We had this conversation, we don't just talk about the technology, we talk a lot about the business aspects that impacts the solution design and product, what the use cases are, who's buying, but also we go through a discussion of the different technologies that are out there. And so I think you will, you'll find that useful and interesting, even if you are not focused on healthcare. So stay with us for that. Also wanted to use this part of the show to thank the folks at AIM. So aim is the professional association for auto ID, and they work on standards for identification, barcodes, Ambient IoT, RFID. And I was really honored that they have given this podcast the Bert more excellence in journalism award. And Bert Moore is an early writer and evangelist in the auto ad industry did some amazing work. So to have anything that's named after him is really awesome. And I am tremendously grateful to the folks at AIM for giving us this. This is you know, really, for me, it's it's a hobby, it's an excuse to stay current. And it's a way of continuing the life of the Beacon Technologies, book that I that I wrote years ago. But now it's turned into a way of engaging with some really cool people and just having some great conversations. So to get an award like this is humbling, and really, really gratifying. So thank you AIM. And so let's move on and listen to the conversation with undress, I think you'll really enjoy.
The list of Beacon ambient IoT podcast is sponsored by Wiliot, bringing intelligence to every single thing.
Steve Statler 3:18
While Andreas, welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast, I am really excited to have you on because a year a solution provider. So you have to solve all sorts of problems. B, you are focused on health care, which is a very important area in this whole IOT space. It's one of the most fruitful areas for for solution designers and entrepreneurs to focus on. So I think we can learn from you. And three year kind of doing a bit of what I've done, which is to kick the tires test, lots of different system. So I am keen to pick your brains and hear a bit about what you've found. But let's start off where we normally start off where you explain a little bit about this year and and what you guys do.
Andreas Stavropoulos 4:09
Great. Well, thank you so much for having me. It's a real honor to be here. Vizzia is a company that has been in the healthcare space for almost 20 years. And it's a company that has always focused on questions around providing values value to customers through transparency, events, the origins of that were in equipment, transparency, you know, kind of the straight asset tracking, and then eventually Asset Management use case that has evolved over time as different technologies have become more competent and more capable. And also users have become more sophisticated over time. But essentially, you know, visie as a company that you. We, we work with many different OEMs. But we don't build at the hardware layer, we don't do engineering hardware there, we do engineering at a software layer. And then we do, we are present at the sites of all of our customers for the many stages of deploying, designing, deploying, maintaining a solution, because one of the things that became evident early on was that an engineering solution alone, even an excellent one, was not going to fulfill the promise of return on investment. And it was not, you know, so there needed to be kind of a an integration specialist. And there needed to be some level of, I don't know if I would call it exactly white glove service, but. But essentially, sort of carrying forward and ensuring that the promise of the solution was actually delivered on and that has, you know, we've seen a lot of technologies change over time. And so some of it is a lot easier to deploy, to design to maintain to do change management on. But the facts that there is kind of a human component required to educate, to train to check in to expand use cases as the customer needs, that hasn't changed. And we've been focused on that for a long time. And it's been, it's been a strategy in which, as the technology changes, we can evaluate, you know, what our best what the best fit for the customer is because we want to be in a position where you yours after signing a contract, the customer is saying to us, I'm so glad that we went with the solution that you recommended. And the flexibility in solution stack allows us to kind of match the best technology with our hardware, which was explicitly designed, oh, sorry, with our software, which is was explicitly designed to be hardware agnostic. And to be able to ingest information from different OEMs and hardware solutions. We want to be in a in a future state. And we have kind of completed this full circle with many of our customers where they say, thank you for recommending this software to me, I now want to do something else that I didn't even know about. But you did. And so now we actually have a platform that we can do that on. So that's kind of a a short version of Visio. And kind of how it sort of uniquely fits in and has kind of uniquely designed a solution stack with kind of a flexible hardware layer.
Steve Statler 8:24
Great. So you're you're the you're architecting architecting, these solutions. And I think you'll have learned a lot of things on the way. And I want to get into what are some of the use cases that you've focused on. And you know, the lessons that you've learned and your your view on the different technologies. Before we go there, just let's complete to painting the rough picture of your firm. Well, tell me a bit about your customer base, the kind of size kind of customers that you have.
Andreas Stavropoulos 9:01
Yeah, our customer base is mostly comprised of medium to large hospitals, predominantly in the southeast and Southern California. That said, we do have, you know, significant presence of, excuse me, field ops there. So it that allows us to be very present and kind of to fulfill the promise that we make when when we begin to contract with the customer. So that said, we are kind of constantly expanding on those geographies. And there have been instances where customers who are not in that immediate geography, we do find a good way to kind of maximize the value that we can give to them.
Steve Statler 9:51
And then how big is the firm?
Andreas Stavropoulos 9:53
Oh gosh, I think it's approximately 50 People kind of across the board.
Steve Statler 10:03
Very good. So you have quite a lot of capacity there to bring pieces together. And who do you find yourself competing against when you're looking to close new business? What sort of companies? Is it? I mean, I'm, I tend to get very focused on the OEMs, the original equipment manufacturers, the people that are making the technology. So are you finding yourself competing with a Stanley Black and Decker someone who's got their own solution and an ecosystem around them? Or do you just consider them as a potential supplier to a project that you'd be designing?
Andreas Stavropoulos 10:50
Yeah, that's, that's a great question. So the, you know, depending on the OEM, they, they may offer a full stack solution. So are, you know, let's say I'm the OEM, my hardware, my software, my crew deploying it, or, but there's also a lot of OEMs out there who recognize that there are limitations. And they need to focus their expertise, really on the hardware and providing that. So oftentimes, we will collaborate with those OEMs, who are looking for, they're looking, they're really looking for a best in class software solution to go with their hardware. And that that includes OEMs, that that may even have their own software, but recognize that there are kind of some unique capabilities of of ours, because we've been specifically making software for, you know, 15 years. And that's, that's a significant. That's a significant lead time you when you're talking about answering the specific questions that users in hospital are looking to have answered. So to backup per second. We have gone up against probably most OEMs, who are in the space. And we have also been in a situation many situations where a hospital has been dissatisfied with a solution that they've implemented, it could be because there are technical limitations. And you know, maybe the reality of owning a hardware solution don't quite match up with the promise. And so that is a situation that is fairly common for us to where we are looked to, to essentially remediate a hospital from a failed implementation. Or perhaps an implementation that didn't, necessarily was not a complete failure, but degraded with time, due to some level of neglect, and had become more of a, I won't say liability, but you know, it wasn't providing value in in it, according to kind of the original promise. So I think that Visio has a reputation also for being looked to, to remediate situations from some other providers.
Steve Statler 13:48
I used to work at this great company called Sequent Computer Systems and amazing culture, pioneering technology. And one of the other aspects of the company, which was really cool was the CEO who's a fantastic storyteller, and salesperson, he used to be general manager of Intel's microprocessor products division. And from him, I learned the value of storytelling and metaphors. And the metaphor he loved to use was second surgeon, which seems to be kind of very apt for what you're describing. And you know, the story is, you find out who's really good after you've kind of rushed in and you've had your knee surgery with basically the first doctor you could find that was available. And suddenly you realize that actually, this is more complicated than you think. And you're experiencing pain and then you really look around and ask around and find who is the best in this business because my second surgeon needs to really be able to fix the pain that I'm in. So it sounds like you're sometimes the second surgeon who I mean I'm not super experienced in the healthcare space other than being a consumer of it. So who are the big OEMs? That you run across in? In this in this marketplace?
Andreas Stavropoulos 15:15
Yeah, I mean, the the ones that you mentioned, Stanley, Santa Tour, Synth Track. Let's see who else? Kontakt.io? Oh, yes, it's potentially HID. So there's, there's a lot of folks, you know, I think that the, it's not difficult to describe the value that is possible in the healthcare environment, right, you know, things are expensive, they disappear. It's extremely complex. So in the narrative to create, and the spreadsheets to create are quite simple. And the the sad, the pitch that you can make to a CFO, is quite simple. And the pitch that you can make to the Director of Clinical engineering, you know, also resonates. But, but it is really, the the longevity and kind of capability of the solution that's going to determine how valuable it how valuable it is the customer. And there's, there's an inherent asymmetry in, in a hospital looking for a real time location solution. And the asymmetry is very simple, it's that this is a decision that they will make, once, you know, twice, you know, give, given the tenure of the availability of RTL LS, you know, you're not talking about someone who's making a decision and sort of staying fresh on research and information. And so the asymmetry of there is that they have very imperfect information. Whereas we are tracking all of these developments. And we're actually bringing in each of these technologies that we think will be promising, again, for this to address the specific challenges of healthcare, which are different, they're different than warehousing. They're different than, you know, fabrication. And because we've been around for a long time, we know where all the bear traps are, and what does it look. So essentially, you know, we are sort of a professional buyer of hardware, and we don't make those decisions lightly. We very, very carefully consider different technologies, and kind of square that against needs that the customer has explained. But also, we do take a little bit of liberty to know that the customer may actually have future needs, that they're not able to articulate, because they don't know about them, or they're just not along that journey, you know, they're not on that path for sort of RTLs adoption, or kind of organizational sophistication to be able to use use cases or things like that. So we're looking out for our customers, and trying to source the best hardware for them. And that's based on lab testing, there's very, very few places that you can actually do side by side comparisons of RTL RTLs, let alone have 5678 systems operating simultaneously. And in the lab, we construct simulated clinical environments that create some of the, you know, sort of the bear traps that I mentioned earlier, where we know that the technology sometimes falls flat and sometimes doesn't deliver. It could be related to the presence of glass, it could be related to, you know, the presence of a lot of metal like around the headboard of a bed, you know, the positioning of an inroad. There's a long list of things that a hospital when they're considering a solution, unless they've done this, you know, unless they're unless their CIO or whoever the contact person is whoever they who the champion of the project is, unless they've gone through this multiple times recently. They're not going to have the sort of fresh information. So So I think that's where we provide a lot of value.
Steve Statler 19:51
It's a great point. How is that clinical hospital environment different to a manufacturing environment or a retailer environment from your solution design architecture perspective?
Andreas Stavropoulos 20:04
Sure. Well, it can not always, but it can start with the architecture. So, you know, in, in a hospital, we're typically dealing with a lot of rooms that are in close proximity to each other, drop ceilings, concrete slab floors, metal stud walls, some combination of glass wall and not that's, that's evolving, more more, more recently constructed hospitals have more glass. And the typically, so. So you're getting into really like a condensed environment where your room size is very small. But you still need to know, in an ideal case scenario, you really want to know, is it in the room? Or is it in the next room? That's a very, very important distinction, depending on the use case, not I'm not gonna say that that is the only acceptable threshold of location quality. But once you start to move up from sort of the simple use cases, to the more complex ones, you know, you don't want to be sending out a staff duress alert, which is, you know, a call for security to come help. And unfortunately, that's becoming much more common. But you don't want to send out a staff to wrestler from the wrong room, which could also be in the wrong wing of a hospital.
Steve Statler 21:45
Yeah, I remember I remember being told the infrared technology got a real place in health care because of that, you know, light doesn't go through walls, radio waves do. And obviously, you can solve the radio waves bleeding problem in a variety of ways. But are you saying infrareds still being a predominant solution? Or is it giving way to two other things?
Andreas Stavropoulos 22:16
Both I would say both are true. I think that, you know, there's a spectrum of use cases which demand performance in a couple of dimensions, one of the dimensions is latency. The other dimension is accuracy. So you've got those, and then you have the other consideration of form factors and availability of tags, which there's a lot of specific requirements in healthcare, you know, when when folks clinicians are trying to track something as small as a small telemetry box, you know, up to a, you know, larger medical equipment. So, when you overlay like a lot of those requirements, and you try and kind of consider use cases that may not be front of mind right now, but are increasingly front of mind for customers. Like, like I mentioned, like a staff duress use case or an instant wandering or patient workflow or hand hygiene compliance, it then just becomes a question of what type of solution are we going to create and recommend, that will satisfy the will basically take that customer as long as they want to go on the ark of of use cases, and there are, you know, in infrared was, is is, you know, what I call kind of a bounded signal, right. Like I said, there is some complexity when you get into more glass. Ultrasound is a is a bounded signal. And then RF, as you mentioned, can can bleed and, you know, get into interference and things like that. That said, there are significant advances in in RF and Bluetooth that is making it behave more similarly to something bounded. But there are still trade offs in that you might be trading a high level of, let's call it room level accuracy, you might be trading that for increased latency, because in order to develop the quality of that location, the processing time that's required to run the algorithms is greater than just like a binary read from from an ultrasound from an infrared I'm in the room.
Steve Statler 25:01
So, I don't quite understand the can you go into that latency thing a bit more? Are you talking about Cloud Analytics that kind of smoothing out the signal strength fluctuations? Is that the right?
Andreas Stavropoulos 25:16
I mean, what I'm what I'm talking about is some of the more successful Bluetooth systems that that we've tested. Our they are, I call them successful, because they do have pretty good accuracy, kind of like yours. But the reason they have their level accuracy is because the tags are collecting information over a specified amount of time. And then, you know, they're sending those packets up to the cloud to be resolved into a spot a location and, you know, just the the, the time required to kind of collect location information, sending into the cloud, processing it and resolving that into a geo fenced area on a map. That is where we see latency kind of accumulate over those various stages.
Steve Statler 26:13
I can't get this juris use case out of my mind, why why do you think the incidence is going up?
Andreas Stavropoulos 26:21
Oh, I think that's a much larger conversation, related to kind of violence in our society, then really, we, we will probably have time to get into but yeah, but I think suffice to say that there was just a New York Times article, I think about a week ago, talking about emergency departments, acts of violence, and kind of the increasing need for for that use case for staff to be able to send a discreet communication saying I need help. And, again, unfortunately, that use case is also present in a much broader swath like schools is another area. We are not, we are not in that, you know, vertical, we're not we're not providing solutions to that environment. And it's very sad. But but but it is a reality.
Steve Statler 27:26
Yeah, one of I have a friend that works at PricewaterhouseCoopers PWC. And they've deployed RTLs systems in most of the hotels in the Las Vegas Strip. Yeah. And they, their system uses a low power wide area network technology. And that's exactly the use case, it's the all of the cleaners and the hotel staff who are frequently getting threatened or assaulted. And it's kind of very sad. So let's move on from that use case. And I am interested in just going through some of the key use cases, you've touched on them already. But where do you think the ROI is? Where are the trends going? Is there anything kind of has there been an epiphany, and it seems like improving the patient experience helping them find their way through this labyrinth, automating the check in it's seemed like COVID was a driver for automating the check in. But I sort of see a lot of half baked temps to do this. And people with systems in place that aren't really used half of the time. So what are you? Let's let's spend a bit of time on the use cases and what's who the winners are. And the losers are in the in the use case race where the value is where the difficulty is?
Andreas Stavropoulos 29:04
Sure. So when I think about use cases, I and I think I mentioned this previously, I kind of structure them in my mind along the spectrum of performance requirements from the RTLS with those two dimensions of location, accuracy and latency, and roughly the, the progression that I think of use cases in medical RTLs are, you know, kind of acid tracking? We're starting obviously, with the lowest level requirements, so and, you know, moving to maybe Wayfinding, patient tracking, staff tracking patient workflow, hand hygiene compliance staff duress, elopement, that's, that's kind of the spectrum that I might have use cases that I might kind of put along along that line. And the you know, we're in a situation where the the the ROI and the case for RTLs, with regards to asset tracking is becoming very well understood. Even though the majority of hospitals don't have RTLs, I would say that the vast majority of hospitals, and people in decision making positions in those hospitals have knowledge of RTLs. And probably, based on the number of studies out there, probably believe that it could indeed provide value to their organization. Over time, and if it's done well, that said, like, you know, some of the I'll call it like the up and coming use cases are our patient workflow, and staff duress, and hand hygiene compliance. I'll talk about hand hygiene compliance a little bit, because that's, that's kind of come on fairly strong lately. And I do think was, you know, although not a lot of movement happened during COVID, I would say that a lot of awareness was created during COVID. of hospital and quiet as hospital acquired infections and the role that technology can play in in reducing this. So hand hygiene compliance is is quite demanding, right? Because you have to know, when did a caretaker enter a room or zone or a geofence? boundary? You know, whatever we're gonna call it, when did they enter that? And when did a hand hygiene event occur? And how are we defining that? are we defining it? are we defining it because we have a piece of hardware that says when soap was dispensed, are we defining it because we have a high level of location accuracy, and a very low latency, so a very responsive system, and we could actually create, like a small geo fenced area around the sink, you know, so there's questions about how to define it. And the reason that a lot of folks are trying to solve this as quickly as possible is because number one is related to patient care and the quality of care and readmittance. And, and that, of course, is also linked to how hospitals are compensated for their services. They, you know, if if a hospital acquired, infection occurs, and that patient needs to stay in the hospital, there is some portion of that, that the hospital needs to essentially foot the bill for. And so the there's a strong level of impetus, you know, is there a way that we can use this technology, but simultaneously make it as invisible as possible? And once we use it to figure out what's going on, how do we then percolate those findings into, you know, adjusting and training the behavior of the people that are doing that frontline work? So that's, that's, that's become very significant lately, along with staff duress, I would say.
Steve Statler 33:35
I was speaking to someone, I think it was at a Cooper conference in Finland. And they had been using angle of arrival, I was actually a US solution provider, based in Florida, and their system, I believe, would have some kind of visual indicator that the doctors wore that showed if they had were on top of their hand washing or not. And the idea was that the patient's family would say, you know, Doctor, why is that red light flashing on your, on your lapel there, and green light isn't on and then the doctor would be so embarrassed that they basically had been caught not washing their hands, because that was basically the indicator that that compliance went way, way up, because the thing that doctors fear the most is, is losing that feeling of superiority losing face in front of nurses and patients and patients families. And OSH. It now seems so far fetched. I can't believe that it actually worked that way. But how do you tell people that they need to wash their hands if they haven't?
Andreas Stavropoulos 34:53
Well, first things first, we need to collect the baseline data to kind of understand what the level of compliance is. And then we need to have those tricky discussions with the customer, like what level of surfacing and transparency do you want in this data? The example that you just mentioned is dramatic. No, I mean, it's it's like someone showed up in a room and they're wearing a, you know, a big A on their shirt or something. So, you know, that's, that's obviously a very dramatic example. And that organization, I'm sure had to think carefully about whether how we want to present this and how we want to do change management within within our ranks. So I think that we don't consider it to be our place to prescribe how an organization changes, we really see our role as providing the best information to the level of granularity that is desired, which can be individuals, you know, it can be, well, Steve, you are not washing your hands, my friends, you know, are the same thing of me. But, you know, getting that last mile. And that kind of goes back to the communication piece that I that I keep talking about, like really making the, you know, implementing it, we have suggestions, we have ideas, we have things that we've seen be successful. But ultimately, the customer or kind of the manager of that of that program needs to decide what's going to work for their organization, or try something. And then if that doesn't work, try something else.
Steve Statler 36:41
So just to reiterate, most hospitals are still not doing any of this is that is that a fair question to say?
Andreas Stavropoulos 36:51
I mean, the numbers are changing rapidly, right? So you know, if I'm looking at the number of hospitals that have an RTLs, you know, I might be only able to get data from 2022 or 2021. And, but yes, the, I believe we are still under 50%, you know, penetration of RTLs, in in mid to large sized hospitals. And that's, that's not even talking about the different use cases, that's talking about, like the most basic use case of asset tracking. And so, you know, that does create some opportunities and questions around, you know, some hospitals, they need a solution now, and they may be able to afford, you know, this solution, and it might be a viable solution for their most pressing pain point, which is asset tracking, shrinkage of the fleet utilization, things like that. And so part of part of the process of really working with the customers to understand how forward thinking they are, are they kind of fixated on the known, tried and true ROI in asset tracking? Or are they also kind of thinking of the spectrum of future uses that we know from talking to hospitals all across the country is coming, it's coming fast. And it's linked to real, real dollars for the hospitals, many of which are struggling. So, you know, that's, that's, again, sort of that role that we can play as, as a strategic adviser, we're, you know, we're not we're not we don't do consulting work. But as part of the sales process, we do sort of like to say, you know, are you aware of these things? Do you know that this is happening? Have you considered and that kind of may change the, the stance of the of the hospital on the different solutions that they're, they're going to look at or consider.
Steve Statler 39:03
So it sounds like you're doing consultative selling solution selling? What what's your, what is your diagnosis of the patient, in this case, the hospital administration, why are they still not using these tools that have been around for a long time?
Andreas Stavropoulos 39:23
I think that it's a you know, adoption of a new technology is very complex, and getting people to the drive by a hospital to adopt a new technology can come from any number of places it can come from, perhaps the CIO, it can come from perhaps the CFO, it can come from the Director of Clinical engineering, it can come from the director of nursing, biomedical engineering, so that is a little bit of a messy process to kind of understand. And once you have that project champion, they may be kind of the spiritual champion of the project, but they may need to spend somebody else's money to achieve that. So the level of internal coordination that's required to really launch this campaign to adopt a new technology is is just, you know, the sales cycles are very, very long. And I think that is why there's a lot of companies that are kind of raising their hand and saying, hey, you know, we're in this business, we got this, we can manage your assets. And they may not realize that it could take five years for them to make a sale. That's a little bit of an exaggeration, but a very, very long time. And so given that cycle, I think that also leads to hospitals, making decisions that are inherently a little bit more conservative about companies that have seen this, been there, done that, you know, that that are going to be around in 510 years, as opposed to kind of like, hey, you know, we got your engineering solution, we got to, you know, let's deploy it. So I don't think it's and and, you know, I can keep adding layers to this cake, but you've got the you've got the layer of hospitals are always positions are always turning over, you know, at every level.
Steve Statler 41:31
That is the challenge, isn't it, when the if the time to implement is 36 months, and the average tenure of a CFO is 24 months, then you've got an inherent problem there. And you've got to hope that you've got someone who's beating the averages, or maybe their successor will see an opportunity to take credit for something that's teed up and ready to go. But that is actually one of the issues is that massive churn of staff and I see that in, in retail, we you forge relationships, all throughout business, you forge relationships, and you're, you're taking a gamble, you're betting on the person as well as the institution that you're selling to. They're just in the same way as they're betting on on you. So I just does that actually factor in your qualification? Do you think like, yeah, this person's got a problem I can solve, they've got budget, the project's big enough. But this, this guy, or gal is just gonna be around long enough to see this through.
Andreas Stavropoulos 42:39
I mean, it's impossible to like, use that as you know, we can benchmark that we can plan for that unless they tell us which be unusual. But so we really, we try and diversify the the interest in the solution and try and bring in as many stakeholders as possible throughout the process. So that if somebody does do work, they are not the only kind of champion of the project, somebody else gets to pick it up. But you know, we've had things stall out for a long time, because somebody left and they kind of got put by the wayside and was of interest to somebody else, but it wasn't their prime, you know, it wasn't their priority. So, you know, kind of got iced for a while, and then somebody else comes in, or something happens, and lo and behold, you know, let's go let we're ready to do this thing.
Steve Statler 43:33
They do want to get it to the technology, which is sort of the hook that got me interested in, in this conversation. But this is just too good to give up the because I think, again, our audience, I like to think our solution designers and entrepreneurs, be the technical or business. And so what we're talking about is like very important. For the longevity of anyone that is designing solutions, you can be the best architecture in the world. But if your building never gets built, then you know, what's the point? So where's the money in the organization, you did a really nice job of a numerating who the stakeholders were, but presumably all stakeholders are not equal. And you pointed out that one stakeholder may have to dip their hand in and other stakeholders pocket who tends to have the deepest pockets.
Andreas Stavropoulos 44:32
To be honest, that would probably be a little bit more of a sales question than then I am intimately knowledgeable about but between those those three roles, you know, typically money can be found, or it sometimes it's not even an issue of finding money. It's just an issue of proving that the solution will actually generate money and save money, and that's kind of the the mental hurdle. Like, yes, this is going to cost us but not doing it is going to cost us more. And, you know, sharing that message, and not not just us, here's the important thing. It's not just us sharing that message, it's, it could be us saying, why don't you go talk to our other customer who is in your analogous role at a different hospital, because, you know, we drink our own kool aid, but you should drink, you know, whatever kool aid you want, and go talk to somebody out there who has benefited from some of the solutions. And that really hands down is, you know, just extraordinarily powerful when it when we're in the situation where we are referring to other successful projects, and allow people to speak to their counterparts, who really understand like the the specific challenges that they're in the specific questions that they're trying to answer, and have lived for years, with, you know, kind of the the fruit of a solution that's been implemented.
Steve Statler 46:08
Very good. Well, let's get back to the technology. Then we talked a little bit about light based systems and kind of eased our way towards radiofrequency based systems, but what are the what would you say, are the prime tools in your kit bag that you find you're using now, and, you know, how has that changed?
Andreas Stavropoulos 46:38
It's changed quite a bit in and I'll kind of go go back deep here in company history. But when the company was founded, this was all RFID technology using handheld scanners and people going around constantly circulating in hospital to scan a room, typically a room where inventory is expected to be like a clean room or a soiled room and scanning the barcode scanning the barcode on the door jamb, and, you know, and then uploading asset locations, as frequently as the rounds were completed to kind of simulate a real time visibility. And that was very, you know, that was, that was a, that was much more effective than not having any solution and efficacy of that actually led Vizzia to be selected by a hospital to run their equipment distribution center. And so that's kind of a tangent and another kind of real world environment where we have learned a lot of lessons about equipment distribution and the specific challenges in it. And we still do that in Southern California. But to you know, to get back to your question, there's there are so many technologies out there that are are really kind of trying to crack the nut of relative low expense, longevity, wide coverage of use cases, easy to deploy easy to maintain, you know, I could keep going, but those are, those are some of the, those are some of the big ones. And so, you know, I think that people are different OEMs are going about that in their different ways, according to sort of the heritage and expertise in that organization. And I think it can be achieved. I have seen just a lot of progress, you know, I mean, there's, there's Ultra wideband is very impressive and in some regards, but I think the discussion that we see when we're looking at the different dimensions to evaluate an RTLs It reminds me a little bit of like, you know, like, like Pokemon cards or something like that, where you know, you have a I never played Pokemon, so I hope this I hope this holds. But you know, you have like a character on a card and they have different attributes of like strength or make Dungeons and Dragons that's I can relate to that. You know, and so, there is no solution out there that is just across the board like the obvious winner. We are in a period of immense competition right now, companies duking it out, and there to some extent, they're kind of duking it out in the dark, because if you know if you are trying to develop an RTLs it's not like you have access. It's not like you can order a Demo Kit. From every other, but you know every other OEM out there and kind of bring it in and deploy it and figure out how to do better than than it. So part of what we do in the lab is we provide feedback to the OEMs in in an anonymized fashion, about our understanding of the capabilities of that system, and how they stack up against kind of other offerings. We look at cost models, we look at ease of deployment, ease of ownership, you know, accuracy, like all those, all those kinds of different dimensions that are, you know, a long list, but, but I suppose that, you know, the highest concentration of OEMs, right now appear to be working in Bluetooth, and to kind of use leverage the standards that exist and the ubiquity and availability of hardware to try and best crack that nut as best as possible. And, and even, you know, organizations that may not have a heritage of Bluetooth, like they're, you know, they've been created based on different locating technology, they are also looking at, are there ways that I can integrate Bluetooth? And what what does that what does that mean? If we were to do that, like, what use cases does it support? What does it unlock? What value does it create? So that's, you know, I mean, that's, that's like, at a very high level, obviously, I'm not getting too granular on it. But that's, that's a lot of what I see. And kind of where the hotspot of of interest is, when you are considering RTLs that are maybe standalone solutions. And by standalone, I mean, you know, that are not necessarily leveraging, like, access points that have Bluetooth. The The other interesting area where I think there's a lot of movement, and I can certainly see a lot of potential is riding on the back of infrastructure that already exists and is ubiquitous in a building like lighting, you know, so it could using attempting to use visual like communication to establish location, it could be embedding Bluetooth sensors, in light trays, which are, you know, obviously, like in every room, and are already wired are going to be installed by a different, you know, a non special or a, you know, an electrician, so it doesn't require retaining a specialized trade to do that. So those are, those are kind of some of the areas that I see a lot of movement. And I think that there's a lot of smart consumers out there who are kind of waiting for something to break in a significant way that really does result in a system where you know, your Dungeons and Dragons card, if that system like has really high marks across all of the dimensions except for cost, Omar Yeah.
Steve Statler 53:21
And maybe it's a matter of having a few of the right cards that complement each other. So you have, you know, you have a team that where there's people that are good defense and attack and all that sort of stuff. I've actually never played Dungeons and Dragons, but played a lot of computer games that I think had been derived from it. What so what about, what about angle of arrival for Bluetooth? Are you seeing take on that? Because that seems to be you can imagine a system that have Bluetooth readers that do angle of arrival, but it also can, you know, just listen as well. And, you know, I was like well, this is basically an ecosystem that Cooper just owns. But now, there are other vendors, Chinese vendors, and the Bluetooth 5.1 standard has been out long enough that there's more than one source for angle of arrival. Is that becoming established? Would you say?
Andreas Stavropoulos 54:30
I would say that there's a lot of interest in it. I you know, when I think of a solution like that, which you know, angle of arrival, typically the the devices are fairly expensive due to the complexity of the Tennessee side. And, you know, typically they're going to require Poe so refund it right Power Power over Ethernet. And when you look at those two requirements, and you kind of compare it to the real close knit scale of hospital rooms, that's, that's a heavy lift, to bring Poe into every room. It's a very disruptive process in a hospital, like you're moving ceiling tiles, you're doing dust isolation, negative pressure areas. So, you know, although it can result in a very durable, very accurate system, there are just some kind of architectural and realistic constraints in it. So, you know, for example, the, the hockey puck tracking, I think Koopa does a movie, like that is a brilliant use of that you've got a wide open area, you have really clear sight lines, you know, you have that, you know, very high level of accuracy, extremely low latency. But I suppose I question how well, a system with those requirements kind of maps on to an extremely different architecture and environment?
Steve Statler 56:31
Yeah, good observation. Interesting. You mentioned negative pressure. And I think I understand that, but can you unpack it a bit?
Andreas Stavropoulos 56:42
And, yeah, it's, it's simply that if you are in a patient room, if you're moving around architectural acoustic ceiling tiles, you're going to generate dust, and you need a way to contain the dust. And so you have to set up some some kind of, let's call it a tent around the workspace so that the dust does not bleed out into the rest of the patient room. So you know, the requirements, if you're trying to install something where you need to move around acoustical ceiling tiles in a live hospital environment? Well, first of all, you can imagine that it's not possible if the room is being used. So then you get into a deploy scenario where we're trying to kind of play whack a mole, where like, is that room empty? Like, can we get in there? Who's coming? Like, are we going to bed come in, like, you know, do we have the time that we need, it's very messy, essentially, to, to do that. And not to mention the cost, you know, I mean, anytime you're adding Poe, you're adding switches, you're potentially paying for union labor, you know, you're you're, you're creating a lot of disruption was less in a kind of a greenfield or a new project. But to kind of retrofit an existing hospital, to the point where you need POV in every room or even every other room. Like it's very demanding, somebody needs to feel very committed to that particular approach.
Steve Statler 58:11
And which is difficult. When you're pioneering if everyone was doing it, then it would just be the cost of doing business. But before you get kind of mass adoption, then it's it's a little tricky. You mentioned VLC visual light communication, and it occurs to me last time we covered this was years ago. So can you just explain briefly what that is?
Andreas Stavropoulos 58:33
Sure, visual light communication is rides on kind of the similar idea of let's leverage a ubiquitous element that is required to be present in a building or, you know, in our case in the hospital, so we're leveraging these lighting trays. And we are, we are controlling the flashing, essentially, the light in a way that we can communicate information about the specific location of that light fixture or a group of light fixtures. And it's super interesting. I think it's, you know, just the idea that it could potentially use or leverage or with a small modification, you could achieve ubiquity across a hospital is very appealing. The challenge is that you know, to it is visual light communication. So if you don't have a visual of it, you are not going to know where you are. And you know, in order to get a visual of it, you need to you need a camera, you need some kind of, you know, lens on on the tag on the track tag, and you you're going to need a chip that's going to add more expense than kind of a bluetooth chip. And so I think that there are circumstances where it can make a lot of sense and can be very powerful. But there are also some, you know, constraints in that, using an iPhone, for example, with a front forward camera. And walking around is is a perfect match for visual like communication, like someone who's trying to navigate, they have their phone out, it's seeing the sequence of flashes, it's communicating with the cloud to understand where it is, you know, great use case. But you know, something like where you have a tag, the tag could potentially be under a patient gown or on the bottom side of a bed or, you know, in some location that is required, due to the clinical needs of that equipment. It may not see some of that.
Steve Statler 1:00:50
Yeah, it's phenomenal technology I went I was the Qualcomm, we got to tap into this treasure trove of IP and technologies that have been developed by Qualcomm Labs, which is like, basically Qualcomm at the time of spending, I think, about $5 billion a year on r&d. So they're just so much and VLC visual light communication was one of the technologies they worked on, because you could use the phone and it had the camera. And so in many ways that was free, and everyone's getting LED lighting that has this ability to essentially transmit Morse code only so fast, you can't see it. You don't take the flicker. And then they were showing centimeter level accuracy in x, y, and Zed dimensions, which is just phenomenal, very, very impressive. If you've got the camera out, and so I think our answer then was well, we use BLE in combination with VLC. So you'll know that you're in the zone because of BLE BLE could push out a message that triggers an app, you open the app, and then the app starts using the camera and you're off to the races. But a lot of fun. I feel like we've been going for a while here, I feel I'd love to go longer. But we should probably wrap it up any other key technology trends that you think we should cover before we move on to the fun part of the show where we get to talk about your background and music choices.
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:02:28
Well, I am excited about the work that that you are doing and kind of how we are going to move into a level of just extreme ubiquitousness of tat, that, that provide a wide range of price points and capabilities that allow us to you know, I'm keeping an eye on kind of the progress and movement in that space. And I'm, I'm quite excited about it. I'm quite interested in, in how it develops.
Steve Statler 1:03:06
Yeah. So I mean, my day job is that Wiliot, also, they're a sponsor of this podcast. So we'll take a minute just to talk about that. I absolutely have been planning to do this. But we've been flirting in this area of healthcare for some time. For all the obvious reasons, that's kind of a well established market and, and the tracking of infusion pumps and other high cost capital assets. That's been that's a well trod lane. It has all the issues that you've described, but I think the opportunity to when you're using a we call them pixels, but postage stamp sized stickers that can broadcast Bluetooth. The way I see that working is yeah, I've I'm using my battery powered tags for and maybe even doing angle of arrival for certain use cases. But I can use that infrastructure to also listen to the broadcast from these things. And then I have the option to start tagging, consumable assets, not just fixed assets. So I can start tagging the facemasks back in the day when those were in desperately short supply, and I can see where those are being ordered. And one of the use cases I really love is the consignment use case where you have increasingly, you know, hospitals or business capitals in short supply. You know, we're seeing providers or products that are saying to hospitals, you don't even need to buy this product. So I'm going to supply you with whatever it is arm braces or knee braces. And I'm going to put a supply, on your, in your hospital in your clinic, you don't need to buy it. When it gets dispensed and given to a patient, I'm just going to build the insurance company directly. And that works great as long as you don't lose track of the, the arm braces and the knee braces. And so if you have the ability to tag them with, with, with a Bluetooth sticker, then you can start to form this financial engineering, which is really got nothing to do with radio waves and angle of arrival. It's just like her making sure that you solve the problem of a busy nurse not signing out and doing the paperwork, you can see where products have gone. And that allows you to suddenly take a whole bunch of costs and capital requirements away from the hospital and start, you know, some very innovative financial engineering as well as wireless engineering, but I think, yeah, and tracking instruments and operating theatres, it's so many interesting use cases.
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:06:11
So I will I will add a small comment that we we do track rental consignment equipment. And for and we have it we have a module again, we've been really dialing in software very, very specific to our users. And so we have a module that allows customers to track rental equipment. And for some of those customers, the one of the reports that we create is their source of truth for billing. We're not down to you know, the the mask level, but that that is true for rental consignment equipment, in some cases. Very interesting. Well, actually, one thing I did want to ask you about was the Wi Fi access point, providers the Ubers the Cisco Meraki is that they will have a play in RTLs. Are you seeing them getting any traction? There's certainly a for companies like ours, they're a gateway from Bluetooth to the wide area network. And so they have a role to play there. But they can also do crossgrain location tracking zonal loesche location tracking is that greatly uptake? Yeah, well, it's getting a lot of uptake of conversation, for sure. You know, because that the idea that, Oh, we've already got all the hardware that we need, very appealing, who doesn't want to believe that they, you know, the new API's that they just, you know, installed? Who doesn't want to believe that those are capable of additional use cases? So it's a very compelling idea that you can leverage existing technology. And, you know, it's it's been around for a while, but it is really gaining traction right now. I think that the question that it's all about just understanding, what are you trying to accomplish? Because yes, you can get, you know, moderate level of location, accuracy, leveraging that existing technology. And of course, it has to be installed at the right density, you have to have good coverage, you know, it's not just like we selected this model. So you know, we're good to go. There are plenty of other conditions that need to be met. And I believe that you also need to enable those services and pay a fee to use them. So if you are combining kind of all those things, where you're looking at, you know, you're looking at costs to enable the service. Okay, you've got the service enabled. But do you have a great piece of software that does what you need to do with that information? If not, who's who's providing it? Where is it coming from? How are you creating value from that information? And even if you do have a great piece of software, like, let's just be really clear about what that type of accuracy, which would not fall under the, you know, level of like room level certainty. It's like you said, it's kind of much more zonal. We're drawing a bigger circle around our blue dot is bigger. What are we trying to solve for? What can we solve for with that information? And if you're talking about the, you know, some of the entry level I'll call them entry level, but they're the entry level and more familiar use cases like asset tracking. That might be fine. You know, that might that might be all that you need. You send an Equipment Technician out, and you say, it's in one of those four rooms. I don't know which one but, go check, you'll find. But, you know, again, like when you move up the spectrum of use cases, the question to the customer is then ensure that this is a solution. Are you okay? Knowing that this infrastructure will not be able to provide you at any points? Not I won't say at any point, but you know, for the foreseeable future, it will not be able to support these use cases. And when you bring in, you know, a use case, like hand hygiene, for example, which has real numbers associated with it, and real, you know, tied to reimbursable rates, it's, you know, the financial argument to invest in a system that can support that changes with those use cases.
Steve Statler 1:10:51
But what about the electromagnetic field sensing? Are you seeing anything from that we've had, gosh, we've had one of the leading vendors of that on the podcast a few months ago, and there's another one which I came across recently called orient spelt with two eyes. They're an Israeli company. And it seems pretty amazing. They're basically looking at the Earth's and the building's magnetic fluctuations, which are like a signature. And, you know, rather like when you run a magstripe, through an old fashioned credit card reader, you get data, that data comes from the compass in your phone, and you can work out pretty accurately, as long as the person's moving. Where where they are, is that anything that hit your radar yet or not?
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:11:50
No, but I am going to check out that podcast.
Steve Statler 1:11:54
Yeah, so have a look, I made a senior moment in terms of who the previous vendor was, but it was definitely earlier this year. And as I say, orienta, our competitor, and we're finding that very interesting, because we see the value of mobile readers, the phone is a great reader of Bluetooth tag technology, especially low cost tags. And in the future, it'll be an energy source, either because the firmware will be activated on the phones to use the radios that are kind of sitting latent. Or when we have our next generation of tags, they'll be able to slip away at weaker sources of energy, that's going to allow us to use the phone more and more as opposed to fixed infrastructure. And you know, whether it's a phone or some kind of zebra Android device, then there's, you know, more and more staff are being given tablets, or being given phones, it seems to me at least, and then you can use that to essentially survey and crowdsource the location of tags. And we've seen certainly in the retail context, you can cover pretty much the 100 100% of the footprint of the store over a given period of time, have somebody walking around with their phone with that. So that means you essentially you combine that with something like Orient, where you can tell where the phone is, so I know where the phone is, I know what the phone can see. Then I don't need to stop punching holes in walls or worrying about Ethernet. I will I will definitely learn more about that.
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:13:48
You know, I had some experience with the like RF fingerprinting and kind of the the capabilities of that. And I'm, I'm reminded a little bit of Do you remember that Matthew McConaughey movie where he communicates across time using gravity with his daughter?
Steve Statler 1:14:08
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:14:10
Since I rewatched, that movie, I think I watched it, you know, when it first came out, and then I rewatched it. And I made a mental book, bookmark to myself, thinking I need to learn more about gravity. This is really, really cool. Yeah.
Steve Statler 1:14:27
Well, yeah, so the magnetic field reading it's it's a cool area. It's been around for a while, and it seems to be getting traction. And, you know, no, infrastructure is the is the promise, but to like all these things, it has limitations. Well, very good, Andreas. Thanks so much. We've got another part of our conversation to do but thanks for the business side of it. And I urge people to stay on and hear hear what your three songs are and how Landscape Architecture meets RTLs That's a very interesting man made. Thank you so much. It was an absolute pleasure. So I was really struck when I was looking at your LinkedIn profile that you seems like you started off as a landscape architect, is that right?
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:15:19
I did, I did. I went to UC Berkeley, and earned a master's degree in landscape architecture, and worked for a brief stint into kind of the economic collapse of 2008 2009. And then started a firm, mostly because that was the option that was available at the time, there were not a lot of places hiring. And I had a couple of good relationships. And one thing led to another and I started and ran a design firm in the bay area for about 10 years. We had a small crew there, and then we moved to Portland. And so we had a Oregon, Portland, Oregon, correct. To, we opened up another small office there. And, you know, we were kind of in the back in the backdrop it was, we were starting a family at the time. And we kind of had this realization. And we as my wife and I, we had this realization that oh, my gosh, we're really far from all of our family. And so long as we have the option or can create the option to have our family kind of in the context of more family, and that geography and people were welcoming towards that we decided to make a big move. And with that came a significant career change as well.
Steve Statler 1:16:53
Oh, so you it was when you move to Albuquerque that you gave up the landscape architecture practice?
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:17:00
It was it was they were almost synchronous. They weren't in you know, 100% synchronous, but yeah, yeah, it was, it's been, it's been a transition that I've reflected on quite a bit. And I've done a lot of reading and actually some writing about it, too. If you know, if anybody's interested, I can, yeah.
Steve Statler 1:17:23
I'm interested well, because my father was a landscape architect at one point. And so you know, we're all obsessed with our fathers, or at least I am, and, and so any profession that he had is immediately, about four times more interesting to me. He was also a philosopher. And I am always struck when I talk to people who are in technology who come from an area that seems completely unrelated. And both of those are and I've met some brilliant computer scientists and technologists to just develop great mental faculties. And somehow they've pivoted, how did you get from landscape architecture to real time location systems, which is like computing and radio frequency technology? And it's like, I can't think of anything further away.
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:18:22
Well, okay, um, this is a great opportunity to make make an argument then. Okay. So, you know, first I should say that the, the space that vizier inhabits is not the hardware layer, we we work with a lot of OEMs and leverage their technology and create a software product using it. We are a hardware agnostic company. So we, you know, and I can talk about that a little bit later. But, um, but essentially, you know, what I'm creating is, is a product of value and the process of creating that software product, especially, you know, because it is, there's a lot of stakeholders, it's complex, there is bureaucracy, it has geospatial components to it. ie a large part of the success of it is communication and adoption. And if you look at all of those skills, like what else is an architect, but a product manager of a building? So, go ahead. It's he is, it's a compelling argument. And yeah, I could I could really keep going, but I'll keep it kind of succinct at that level. But I was, you know, it was a little bit you know, it was a little bit of an abrupt transition and it took me a little bit of time to put all the pieces together and realize that a lot of the van I'll tell you that I was carrying forward and had to retrain for a different subject matter. But you know, as as a landscape architect, and for folks who may not know that simply an architect of outdoor spaces, plazas, schools, playgrounds, Cetera, it's all the same process of understanding your stakeholders, understanding what they need, putting together a concept design, understanding the technical constraints, working with very working with kind of individuals who are excellent at their individual craft, but also often need some kind of cross functional communication, let's call it. So I've been, I've been very pleased, and I'm very grateful towards my design background for and, and, you know, the professional work that I did to learn a rigorous design process and what that looks like. And, and I think that, you know, especially in the context of we make software for hospitals, essentially. And a hospital is a complex social, physical environment. And one of the things that I like to believe one of the things that I believe I can add in value, is the the knowledge that the success of a solution is so much. It is not, it is an engineering solution. You know, all of real time location systems are a marvel of engineering. But in order to provide value, it's less of an engineering problem and more of a communication challenge, a support a, you know, sort of what, what this, it's relying on a lot of skills that folks with engineering backgrounds, sort of pure engineering backgrounds like to call soft skills. But they're not really soft, they're just skills. And they often kind of make the difference between two excellent, and well engineered products, one of them being widely adopted and use and thriving, and the other kind of withering on the phone.
Steve Statler 1:22:33
Yeah, that makes sense. And I feel like you just rewired my brain. And that's partially what you have to do when you're selling a product. And when you are getting people to use it, they you have to persuade them to change to see things in a different way. And there are so many of those non technical aspects to success of any enterprise. And in doing this, you've made me even more interested in what your music choices are. So what would give us your three songs.
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:23:08
All right, well, I three, the first is, is an album actually. And it's an album that was left by the previous owner in a used car that I bought, when I first when I first kind of made my big, I'm going west to explore the world and find myself, you know, so are we talking CD cassette, a track or a big vinyl record that was left on the back sheet? No, it was a CD. It was also the first car that I that I owned that had a CD player. So it was very exciting. And it was a Dixie Chicks album called Wide open spaces. And it kind of corresponded to to that phase of life, kind of driving west into the unknown to kind of go on a journey of self discovery. So that was, that was one and I liked the songs but more I like, you know, what it what it represents, and kind of how it reminds me of that specific journey.
Steve Statler 1:23:08
Outstanding. What's number two?
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:23:08
The number two is something I had listened to the other day. So we live close to the Rio Grande River, which is home to the largest contiguous cottonwood forest in I believe in the world. And this time of year, it's stunningly beautiful outside and so I listened to went for a bike ride the other day, and I listened to into the great wide open and it kind of has this ascendant soaring quality to it with, you know, the strong Southwestern light coming in through the cottonwoods and the yellow trees. And so it was just a it was a very kind of beautiful moment. I'm not familiar is it? Is this an orchestral piece or whose? It's a Tom it's Tom Petty. So, yeah, it's kind of a Yeah. It's actually out of out of the realm of what I typically listen to. But you know, it just kind of surfaced at that moment and went with it. And then the last one was a song that some friends of ours performed when we got married. And it's a song Emmylou by first aid kit. And it was and they performed it without lyrics. And so it just has a very special place in my heart, because mine's we've my wedding. And also, you know, some friends who are lovely enough to lug some instruments out to kind of.
Steve Statler 1:25:43
Where did you get Where did you get married? Man that is small. And whereabouts in California is Volcano?
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:25:50
Volcano's in the foothills. Tank, it's not. It's It's been a while. So it's, it's east of Sacramento. And it's in in the foothills. So I'm struggling a little bit to tell you what it's is. It wasn't near that much, which was part of the draw.
Steve Statler 1:26:10
Okay, so you just tried to find a place where no one would bother you and to cut down on the expense because you knew that there wouldn't be people there? Or is there no other connection?
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:26:23
Yeah, well, okay. So you're really, you're really pulling at the ball of twine now. So I was actually working on a project out there a residential project. And we went out there to do a site visit this is this is my landscape architecture days, and really just loved the place and realized that it had one park, it had two small hotels, it had one of everything. And so we decided that that was all we needed. We needed one of everything we needed to double the population of the town. And we needed to have a great party. We did.
Steve Statler 1:26:58
Amazing. Well. This has been great. Dress, it's been a delight. A real pleasure. Thanks so much for joining us today. Likewise, I'm so grateful for the amount of sharing that you do.
Andreas Stavropoulos 1:27:13
I feel like you have generated and been extremely generous with all of your conversations in a very brave way. So I just wanted I'm grateful for that as a person who has learned so much from your media and your sharing.
Steve Statler 1:27:31
Wonderful. Well, I appreciate that. Thank you. So that was undress. I love the combination of landscape, architecture, and IoT, who knew there was a connection, but I'm a believer now. I am very grateful that you stayed with us for throughout what is a pretty long episode. So thank you for that. Thank you for Aaron for editing Brooke for promoting this episode. And again, thank you for giving us your time and sharing, sharing the fact that you that you listen or watch our podcast. We'll see you next time. Stay safe.