Archive for February 2015
The use of health apps has skyrocketed in 2014. Flurry, a mobile analytics company, has followed over 6,800 health and fitness-related apps, and sees a growth of 62% based on measurements of the number of times the app is opened and used. Overall growth rate apps otherwise is 33%.
By 2017 the app market is predicted to reach 26 billion users. Among its key drivers is the world’s aging population with its increasing need for medical care. In the United States alone, Tighe notes, almost 20 percent of Americans will be older than 65 by 2030, making them more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and other age-associated conditions. This changing landscape is forcing to create new ways to monitor people health and provide assistance with making health wise choices. And here mobile medical apps have already proved efficient and thus are gaining more and more popularity.
This boom has been also supported by most global IT corporations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook. So here are some recent actions in that area showing that these companies treat this market segment really seriously:
- Google recently launched Google Fit and directed towards more consumers within training and nutrition.
- Apple has partnered with the company Epic. Since Epic handles over 51% of the medical records in the US, it gives Apple a very solid position in healthcare sector. Apple has, in iOS8, also included a personal health platform, HealthKit, which integrates other applications and gathers information for the user will appear in Apple Health app.
- Microsoft invests in a separate solution and will with Microsoft Health Vault offer a platform where people can gather, store, share and use health data online.
- Facebook has integrated MapMyFitness so friends can cheer on each other, share results and compete against each other. This has also contributed to the large increase in the use of health and Fitness app, where distribution is large via the social networking channel.
There is even an opinion that the increased use of health and fitness apps will destroy the market for wearables. It’s hard for them to compete with mobile apps, as the number of smartphone users is really big. So when the software is already integrated into smartphones they automatically become efficient devices for collecting health data. To put it short, the benefits of using mobile apps to wearable medical-devices include 1/ cost savings because there is no need to develop a completely new device, 2/ enhancing existing platforms by adding more sophisticated sensing and data capabilities, 3/ using an interface that consumers know well and is already part of their everyday life.
Healthcare IT outsourcing
Health apps are built up not only by global IT companies, but also by healthcare providers to be used by doctors, specialists and by patients, of course. And here healthcare organizations increasingly take over the idea that IT outsourcing can help them bring their apps faster to the market while they could focus on their core activities.
This tendency has also been stimulated by changing government regulations concerning hospitals and clinics in lots of countries. And while some organizations are broadly outsourcing a mobile applications development, others are handing out the responsibility of IT management and overseeing their entire IT infrastructure.
The global healthcare IT outsourcing market is growing continuously. According to an article by Nearshore Americas, a recent study made by the Everest group states that the global healthcare IT outsourcing market is increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 12%. This gives us an insight on how much demand healthcare institutions now place on IT outsourcing services. According to TechNavio IT outsourcing in the global healthcare and life sciences sector is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.6% through 2019.
Among the trends to watch besides going mobile, there is hosting on the cloud by health-related organizations to make their operations safer, using analytics-as-a-service technologies due to growing interest in Big Data, etc. Therefore 70% of healthcare organizations worldwide are expected to invest in consumer-facing mobile applications, wearables, remote health monitoring, and virtual care.
So the world has been ready for a while to embrace healthcare apps and demand for them is not going to slow down any time soon. Among the top medical apps they call CDC Vaccine Schedules, Family Practice Notebook, ASCVD Risk Estimator, etc.
What health-related apps have you tried and which ones do you use daily? Thank you for sharing!
Nowadays there are a lot of browsers that users can choose starting with the old standby Internet Explorer and ending with the newer Chrome and Firefox browsers. If none of those browsers is really your cup of tea, you could try a new one. The “novice” is called Vivaldi and it comes from a team that includes the сo-founder and former CEO of Opera John von Tetzchner.
If you used Opera in the past, you might find that Vivaldi feels rather familiar. The overall look of Vivaldi is a mix of a classic browser UI and the more modern interpretations in browsers like Chrome and Microsoft’s upcoming Spartan.
Vivaldi is filled with awesome features. Here are some of the things you might like when you check out this browser:
Vivaldi looks good. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that tabs and menus change colour based on the dominant pallete of your active page. This chameleon effect looks fresh, but it can be turned off if it doesn’t suit your tastes.
- Speed Dial
Another great thing that everyone loved about Opera was the Speed Dial feature, and that’s also present in Vivaldi. It allows you to organize websites based on your interests all on one page; e.g. News, Sports, Health, Tech.
- Tab Stack
Open too many websites at once? Couldn’t find what you wanted under all those excessive tabs? Tab stack helps you to group tabs into themed groups allowing you to maximize tabbed resources without needing to scroll left and right.
- Quick Command
Vivaldi features quick commands for easy navigation, allowing users to create custom keyboard shortcuts as well. Whether you’re searching through its various settings, from bookmark panel to download panel, a single keyboard shortcut can do the trick. More geek stuff happens when you go straight to settings then click Navigation to customize the shortcuts.
With this function you can easily jot down what’s on your mind while browsing. Notes automatically remember which site you were “looking at” and allow you to add tags for future reference.
Right now, the browser is only a technical preview, but there are big plans for Vivaldi in the future. In the coming months, there are plans to add sync, mail support, better performance and extensions. Tatsuki said that Vivaldi will be shaped by the community for the most part, so the feature set will be guided by user demand.
You can download and install Vivaldi on Apple’s Mac, MS Windows and Linux from the web site: https://vivaldi.com/
Can Vivaldi succeed against Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and even Opera? Have you tried the new web browser? Please, share with us your thoughts and experience here below.
Business Development Manager
Professional Software Development
If you’re looking for Android automation that isn’t as challenging as Tasker, find bellow the ideal solution 🙂
Tasker is the de facto standard for Android automation. The only caveat with Tasker is its rather steep learning curve. For anyone wishing to add automation to their Android device, Tasker is the app to use — if you have time to invest in learning the ins and out of the app (the end result is worth it). If you don’t have time to spend diving into that which is Tasker, there are other apps that make automation easier. One such app is MacroDroid. Although it doesn’t have the impressive abilities of Tasker, it can make automation an option for those less than Android adept.
You’ll find only one version of the app on the Google Play Store — the free version. This version is limited to only five macros, with a few actions and constraints per macro. With an in-app purchase, you can gain access to the Pro version and unlimited macros (with unlimited actions and constraints per macro) for $2.99 (USD).
Let’s install MacroDroid and see how you can make it a part of your daily Android life.
Installing MacroDroid is quite easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
- Search for MacroDroid
- Locate and tap the entry by Arlosoft
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing carefully
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept
Once the installation is complete, you’ll find the launcher in your app drawer or on your home screen (or both). Tap the launcher, accept the license, and you’re ready to automate.
The MacroDroid home page (Figure A) is perfectly designed to make it easy for any level of user to get started.
MacroDroid running on a Verizon-branded Droid Turbo.
The first thing you might want to take a look at is the templates. From within this listing (Figure B), you can get an idea of what MacroDroid is capable of (you can even edit specific templates).
The template section offers plenty of pre-fab automation macros.
Each automation macro is broken down into three categories:
- Trigger — what causes the action to occur
- Action — what the automated task actually does
- Constraint — add an option that must be present before the action can occur
To add a new macro, tap the Add Macro button on the main window. Let’s create a macro that sets the phone to silent when you arrive at work (Note: The details of creating each macro will vary). The first step is to select your trigger (Figure C).
Selecting a trigger for your macro.
Search through the list and tap Location Trigger. You’ll then be prompted to select from Area Entered or Area Existed. Select Area Entered and tap OK. Next, you have locate the area on the map. You can tap the radar button at the top to select your current location. Tap the check when finished. (Note: You can’t enter an address, so you must manually find the location on the map.)
Now, select the Action from the list. For our silent mode macro, locate and tap Set Volume. From the pop-up (Figure D), you can adjust the volume for alarms, music, notification, ringer, system sounds, voice calls, and Bluetooth voice. Adjust the volume to fit your needs, and tap OK.
Setting the volume to silent for when you enter work.
You can add more actions for the trigger (for this example, we only need the one). Tap the right-pointing arrow to move to constraints. For this particular action, we do not need any constraints (Figure E), so tap the right-pointing arrow at the top right of the window.
Adding a constraint to a macro.
The last step is to give your macro a name and tap OK. The macro is now in place and will immediately start working.
That’s really the basic in and out of using MacroDroid. If you want to dig a bit deeper, you can also create variables for your macros. You can create boolean, integer, and string variables that can then be used in the Actions category (for example, to help you count how many SMS messages you receive from a single contact during a day). To create a variable, tap Settings (from within the MacroDroid main window) and then tap Edit MacroDroid Variables. Tap the plus sign [+], give your variable a name, and select the type from the Type drop-down (Figure F).
Creating a variable.
Once the variable is created, you can edit it (say you need to change the integer from 0, which is the default, to 1). After the variable is created, you can then use the variable as an action by selecting Set MacroDroid Variable (within the Add Actions screen) and choosing your newly created variable from the list (Figure G).
Setting a variable as an action.
Depending on the type of variable, you can define how the variable is to be used (such as Value + 1 for an integer).
Although MacroDroid isn’t as powerful as Tasker, if you want to enjoy automation on your device (and don’t want to have to endure the steeper learning curve of Tasker), this is your app. Give it a try, and see if it doesn’t perfectly fit the bill for your Android automation needs.
Do you automate your Android — or do you prefer everything to be under your specific control? What type of mobile user are you? Let us know in the discussion thread below.