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Technology holds the key to future advancement in almost all arenas of life. The drastic and unpredictable shaping of the technology raises the eyebrows as to what the future generations will have at their disposal in terms of application and programs. Every part of life is made easier through invention of applications that function as guides, amplifiers, substitutes and solutions to ample life challenges. Imperativeness of technology is growing beyond measure day in and day out. The fascinating factor about technology is about the evolution of mobile phones. Currently, mobile phones form the largest gadgets for the internet access all over the world. The improvements in the applications installed in phones make phones a necessity commodity. It has become a common scenario to witness individuals glued to their phones, whether at work place, home, travelling or even at school. The much interaction that takes place online has been criticized to result to physical isolation and dissolution of personal ties, morals, and ethicality.
With the iPhone being introduced into the market and invention of other smartphones, the world has evidenced a robust upsurge of phones applications that have engulfed almost every other part of life. In their book, authors of The Apps Effect have expressed the feeling of “app effect” to reflect the feeling of going apps. The most thriving business in the internet is the purchase and download of phone apps. The apps effects are characterized by surprising influence in the every pillar of life, speedy adoption, promoting life performance, growing form text to visual relay of communication, and increase in gadgets. Nevertheless, the apps effect also possesses arguably negative effects such as addition, loss of culture, personalization, and dependency, which result from craving for better (Bloem et al., 2012).
The apps have won the hearts and trust of many in supporting the daily chores. Immediately after buying an iPhone, Samsung galaxy or other smartphones, people look forward to pumping the phone with compatible apps. It should be noted that compatibility of these apps may vary from the operating system of the phone. The apps effects are encroaching on every aspect of life, with both customers and programmers focusing on enriching their lives with apps.
The programmers are coming up with new apps covering the unharnessed aspects of life. Others are improving on the already devised apps, adding aesthetic and functional preferences that will appeal to customers. As a result, customers are increasingly reviewing, referring, recommending or outsourcing apps online. These feelings and the behavior of society towards apps are what the authors of The Apps Effect characterize as the apps effect. This effect emanates from the ascribed imperativeness of the mobile apps in contemporary society. The social influence on the same matter also plays a vital input in supporting the topic.
Part II: Availability of Apps in Every Aspect of Life
Apps have dominated almost every other aspect of life in the current setup. The degree of installation and usage varies from one app to the other depending on the popularity, functionality, applicability, availability, efficiency. There is in no doubt that the largest proportion of the apps available online has not been installed in most of the phones. However, some common apps and their substitutes dominate availability and usability in almost 80% of the iPhone. Customers will install apps that they deem crucial, helpful, and capable of using. Installing apps that are not used frequently or at all are criticized as unworthy and waste of resources. Moreover, most of the apps that are in large demand include those that are associated with fun and social life. The youth comprises the largest demographic category of individuals downloading these apps in escalated rate. In addition, the elderly group is believed equip their iPhone with what may be termed as “formal” or “mature” apps, aimed at promoting their daily chores rather than entertainment purposes. The diversity of apps available in online stores and even the physical shops covers ample if not every aspect of life undertakings. These applications suit people of all ages across the social divide in the current world.
In the field of entertainment, there are almost all kinds of apps that serve to entertain and keep busy the iPhone and other apps compatible phone users. Such apps as Shazam enable the phone to detect the details of a song that may need to know, right from the artist, producer, and when the song was produced. This saves time and energy in trying to search for the song online. Instead of doing DJ mixing, Spotify, Jubebox or Songza app enables continuous playing and listening of music online without the interruptions of adverts. Therefore, the individuals can enjoy leisure or concentrate with their work while listening to music that they prefer. Pocket app allows the use to collect several images, photos and files together in a pocket that is easy to retrieve. These files can also be sent to different people with the aim of sharing. This is more or less compared to Instapaper app that also allows sharing of videos and photos.
Communication has also been enhanced by a number of apps. Skype app facilitates online video calls, thereby facilitating perpetual contacting. GroupMe and WhatsApp app promote organized chatting with a group of friends. The app creates a chatting room promoting exchange of ideas. Difficulties in translation of signs and languages, especially among travelers, have been diluted by the invention of Word Lens app. The person using this app points the phone screen to sign to be translated and receives corresponding interpretation immediately. Therefore, the individual can traverse several countries with different languages
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Organizing daily activities in a straightforward and convenient approach has also been made easy. OmniFocus app is helpful in reminding the operator of its enabled phone when to tackle what task based on the person’s locality. The app uses the application of GPS and WiFi to identify locality and ascribed activities that take place there, thus possible to follow a feasible timeline of activities. Still The Good Food Guide 2011 allows an individual to locate a restaurant in his vicinity with the dish variety, it finds appealing to his appetite. Find My Car app helps in locating your car much more easily by fixing a snap of the location of the car in the app’s map. This will form the basic information of location the car from whatever end. These are more or less of Google Map app that is used in fixing direction from one point to the other.
When it comes to shopping, Venmo app facilitates the transfer of money from one bank account to the other. This can also be done while transferring money from one credit card to the other. Tracking the trend of spending and usage of money has also been eased through invention of Mint.com app. This app also classifies the spent money into categories that are convenient to remember. For instance, the month money may be grouped in months, weeks or days or even depending on how the money was spent- on clothing, food or transport. This enables the app user to maintain a good account of his expenditure. It has been a culture among many main cities that supermarkets issue their loyal customers to possess shopping cards. Carrying these cards is sometimes nuisance. This has been solved by Key Ring app that stores the cards codes for as many cards as one possess. Shopping is thus paid via phone. The individual can also deposit cash to his bank through Bank of America app while in America saving the long queue in the banks.
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In the health sector Drinks Tracker app helps in controlling alcoholism among alcoholics. The person keys in the strength, size and quantity of drink consumed and the app does the calculations, giving the actual units that are safe for the individual. First-aid app is also crucial in saving lives of many individuals through giving directions on how to offer first aid measures on a number of accidents. This app is crucial in helping people who before they get attended by medical practitioners. Moreover, the blind people got a reason to smile owing to an app that identifies the color in iPhone. The Color Identifier app uses the camera to identify the color then pronounce it loudly for the blind to here. This has eased the life of many blind people in the society by at least helping them identify the colors in the environment.
In conclusion, apps have taken over almost all sections of life right from social, economic, health, political, and even religious aspect. Ample activities, which are done physically, can be accomplished through involvement of apps that acquit individuals.
Part III: Use of Mobile Apps in Healthcare
The use of mobile application has had an effect in almost all spheres of life. The certain thing is that the devices have had a profound impact particularly on the healthcare industry. (Williams, 2012) Assert that today accessing health information from mobile devices has become a ‘new norm’. As smartphones and tablets integrate themselves into everyday lives, we are finding new and better ways to use them on a regular basis in the health sector.
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Mobile application in the healthcare industry has truly been likened to a revolution. Twenty years ago, nobody would have thought about the changes witnessed today in healthcare provision. All these changes have been defined by the day today use of mobile application. The most crucial thing about this use is the way doctor-patient relationships have been improved. Healthcare providers, as well as their patients, have been the greatest consumers of this innovation. Others include the institutions in the healthcare provision. In the new tend, new devises have been introduced in the market taking everybody by surprise. Not long ago, when the smart phones and tablets were introduced, their effect was felt in almost all aspects of life.
Who would have thought that such gadgets as smartphones and tablets would play any role in the healthcare industry? Even if there was anybody who would have thought so, these devices ought to have been made many years ago. The simple explanation for this is the revolution they have caused in the provision of healthcare services.
In the course of this revolution, nee terms have been coined. For instance, mHealth has been adopted to be used to stand for the practice of using mobile devices for healthcare services. The potential of these devices has been recognized by healthcare providers. These include the doctors and medical institutions and centers. All these have recognized the considerable potential that mobile devices application has on daily activities.
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In the healthcare industry, the use of mHealth has been widely employed by doctors, clinicians, and nurses. The most common application lies in accessing their patient’s history, scheduling appointments, and seeking other information related to their field. In addition to this, their patients are using technology to know more about a disease. These devices are capable of giving a description of a certain disease that one may be suspecting (Williams, 2012). These include symptoms, medications; ways to manage and seek for medication. Medical institutions have also become consumers of this great innovation. Most of the medical institutions have fond the mobile application helpful. It enables them to advertise their institution to a large mass from where they draw their students. The applications have also assisted these institutions to circulate course materials to students, and in sharing research knowledge.
When we talk about healthcare application, there are two categories. There are those that can be downloaded by individuals for their own personal use (Doarn, 2011). The other category is those that a doctor can use to offer medical care to a patient, regardless of location. However, healthcare apps for consumer do not prescribe medications or diagnose the disease. What they do is that they play the role of a guide to let someone know if something is possibly wrong, so that one can contact a doctor for extensive information. Some people use them to monitor blood pressure over time. Others depending on the device allow someone to enter his or her symptom, and they eventually offer relevant information on the illness that will match the said symptoms.
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For the other category that is used by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, they are more innovative. Some are used to monitor fetal heart rates in high risk pregnancies. Others are modified in such a way that they help the doctor to view the patient’s record that will help him to get to know the status of the patient. Anywhere from the hospital the doctor can stay on top of the patient’s current conditions and his or her needs. With this form of technology, doctors are able to get up to date test results and X-rays of their patient lying in his or her bed without the doctor being near. This technology has made it possible for professionals to access reference information at exceedingly fast pace than ever before.
Innovations in the healthcare industry have not been easy to apply. Some doctors, new to the technology, have been spending much longer at their patient’s bedside trying to learn the application. Hopefully, in the near future this will be a thing of the past. This will guarantee faster diagnoses and better patients care, and an improved standard of living.
Keiser Permanente made a substantial contribution to the healthcare industry, when it made its entire healthcare system, which is the most extensive electronic medical offering record anywhere in the world to become available to its members via Android app (Doarn, 2011). Many downloads were made. It is intriguing that most of Kaiser Patients booked appointments, checked their laboratory tests, ordered drugs and even communicated with their physician’s right from the palm of their hand.
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The technology is almost changing on a daily basis. New touch devices and multi-touch have become the order of the day. The present mobile revolution has encouraged people to carry their own devices around not only for communication purposes. Continued innovation is seen in the healthcare industry. The Apple has made an outstanding contribution to the industry as its target. They have developed a cuff that can take blood pressure and pulse, and connect to an iPhone and send the data to an online profile. The data can then be accessed by the doctor. In the healthcare, texting has also been employed. SMS services companies are entering into partnership with health providers in order to integrate an appointment reminder system. Imagine, how convenient is to receive information such as change of appointment, or schedules right at your sitting room. Texting has also been employed to send texts with community audience. These may include mobilizing community for blood donation drives or medical camps.
Having explored this evolution, it is possible to make predictions on how the trend may have yield during the next five years. Probably by 2018, smartphones will have lead to improved healthcare. This digital technology will eliminate the need for the doctor and the patient to be on the same location (Doarn, 2011). Imagine a case where patients with chronic diseases, living in rural areas with limited access to doctors, are able to ‘visit’ specialists located far from patients. The patient will not have to move to such distant in search of rarely specialized healthcare. Perhaps the government and insurance companies will not have to dictate that a person will have to make visits himself. This will be to the advantage of the elderly. They will have to decide when to visit the healthcare provider at own convenience.
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By the year 2018, it is also possible that patient engagement will be encouraged. Perhaps, long lines and lack of transparencies in cost and quality will have been a thing of the past. Probably, there will be no inconveniences, such as waiting for too long in the physician’s office to be attended. Imagine being notified through a text message, when the physician is running late. Imagine that there is an automatic app to remind someone the number of pills to take and the next time to swallow them. Imagine an app to remind the patient that he is running low of his pills, and it asks if he wishes to pick them. It could also know where he is, and it mentions the chemist to get the drugs. It is probable that in five years’ time, there will be large call centers with nurses, pharmacists, doctors, and other health professionals watching and managing inbound patient’s data. Digital health apps will also be coordinating patient care in a complex environment.
In conclusion, the experience in healthcare provision will never be the same again. Digital app will play a significant role in cutting down the rampant medical fraud witnessed today. All in all, these apps will, of course, have an astounding ability to track people and transactions for purposes of claims to curb fraud. However, the digital apps technology will make the health care safer. This is by giving the patients tools to manage their own health. No papers but digital apps. Imagine apps reminding one when to take pills, monitor their side effects, and remind of appointments and so on. This will certainly be a massive advance for patient safety (Williams, 2012) (Doarn, 2011).
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