Startup & MVPBY RabIT software engineering · March 11, 2020

Thanks to increasing healthcare costs and the wide availability of devices like smarthphones, smartwatches and different IoT sensors, demand for digital care is rapidly on the rise. Through healthcare mobile app development, innovators were able to greatly increase cost-efficiency of healthcare service delivery, and help answer this growing demand.

However, there is still much to be done, and plenty of room for new innovation. According to Grand View Research, the global home healthcare market size was valued at USD 281.8 billion in 2019, and is expected to have an average growth rate of 7.9% over the next decade.

 

healthcare mobile app development market size

Source: grandviewresearch.com

 

A rapidly growing population forces governments to constantly expand public health care systems. This means that healthcare expenses will also continuously increase throughout the foreseeable future.

In order to make health services more accessible to patients everywhere, innovators must find a way to make them more scalable and less fixed in time and space.

 

What Are the Factors Accelerating Healthcare Innovation?

 

According to a 2019 research conducted by Deloitte, the key factors driving innovation in healthcare are:

  • Cost pressures on traditional models
  • Shift to prevention and well-being
  • Consumers’ heightened demand for transparency, convenience, access and personalized products and services
  • Consumers’ increased access to and control over personal health care data

Thankfully, new technological advancements make it possible to answer the most pressing challenges in this sector. One of the most effective tools here is data management, which has evolved from just storage to drawing insights. This helps medical professionals make better-informed decisions and increase diagnostic precision.

However, newly emerged security challenges may prolong the innovation process. When it comes to digital health, privacy is one of the most discussed concerns among patients and healthcare professionals as well. Keeping personally identifiable health information safe must be a top priority during every healthcare mobile app development project.

Mobile health requires the use of strong encryption and authentication processes to ensure the security of these data.

 

Benefits of Mobile Health Apps

 

  • Increased speed and cost-efficiency of delivering healthcare services – With solutions such as video visits or AI-powered chatbots, smaller services like patient diagnostics and check-up visits can be delivered at a larger scale, using much less resources.
  • Physicians can access health data from anywhere – Completing health care services becomes much less fixed in time and space, increasing the availability of professionals, regardless of their location.
  • They enable predictive and preventive care – Healthcare mobile app development allows providers to gradually switch from reactive care to a more preventive approach. Providing consumers with their own personal health assistant can greatly raise their awareness about potential health risks, monitor their diet, body weight, heart rate, etc.
  • Increased precision – With the integration of AI, machine learning and advanced data analytics technologies into healthcare processes, professionals are able to make better-informed decisions and spot irregularities they would’ve likely missed otherwise.
  • Healthcare services become easier to scale – Healthcare mobile app development also enables providers to answer the rapidly growing demand from patients through increased service accessibility.
  • They can help solve staffing challenges – Staff shortages are a major issue in today’s healthcare systems. Adopting advanced technologies that accelerate decision-making and eliminate routine administrative tasks is another step toward solving this challenge.

 

Most Significant Areas of Innovation in Healthcare Mobile App Development

 

1. AI-POWERED CHATBOTS AND DIAGNOSTIC SYSTEMS

These types of applications help physicians determine which disease or condition explains patients’ symptoms and signs. Patients can use these apps themselves without having to set up a doctor’s appointment.

After asking a series of symptom-related questions, the diagnostic app uses great amounts of data from electronic health records (EHR) to compare the new information to other, similar cases and provide a diagnosis. Technologies like Natural Language Processing allow these questions to be read and answered more intuitively, making the whole process feel much more natural for patients.

Of course, using an app doesn’t substitute a full diagnosis provided by an experienced professional using specialized medical equipment. In more severe cases, diagnostic apps usually recommend patients to go see a doctor as soon as possible. Nevertheless, dealing with routine queries using AI-backed messaging and voice systems can help organizations decrease physicians’ workload and realize cost savings.

 

2. CLOUD COMPUTING SOLUTIONS

Cloud computing is an appealing choice for healthcare organizations trying to build out, run and maintain infrastructure for patient record-keeping needs. Public cloud systems are more suitable for providing generic health information. On the other hand, private cloud systems can be used for more security-sensitive cases, like pharmacy orders, patient bills and physician inquiries.

HIPAA compliance is one of the biggest issues in this environment. Organizations often don’t fully embrace cloud computing because of the strict health information security regulations.

 

3. BLOCKCHAIN SYSTEMS

Peer-to-peer systems with shared digital ledgers promise great possibilities for healthcare organizations. The increased security, portability and integrity of patient data will make creating, modifying and distributing healthcare information much more efficient. Blockchain technology also allows healthcare providers to always have access to patient health records, through a shared system that is used by everyone, while still complying with HIPAA and GDPR regulations.

 

 

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4. BIG DATA & PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS

Collecting and storing patient health data has been possible for a decades now. However, analyzing these massive pools of accumulated information and drawing actionable conclusions has proven to be a challenge. More recent advances in data science will allow experts to feed patient information (personal and family medical history, previous test results etc.) into AI-based systems to draw relevant conclusions for their effective treatment.

 

5. INTERNET OF MEDICAL THINGS (IoMT)

IoMT has emerged as the combination of IoT development and telehealth technologies. It mainly includes wearable devices such as smartwatches, ECG and EKG monitors, smart scales and others. By providing consumers with devices that communicate with each other, and are easy to use, they are able to accurately and consistently monitor their own heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, and other vital health information. The results can also be forwarded to their local physician for further analysis.

 

healthcare mobile app development

 

6. AUGMENTED REALITY AND VIRTUAL REALITY (AR/VR)

From educating new students to planning procedures, or foster post-surgery improvement for patients, Augmented and Virtual Reality applications show a lot of promise. With their help, professionals are able to place patients in more enhanced and simulated environments without having to use physical therapy. While monitoring these sessions, data can also be gathered to assist therapists in devising customized treatment for each patient.

 

Also, more focus is being placed on developing so-called Smart Health Communities – groups of public, nonprofit, and commercial organizations – who’s goal is to prevent disease and improve people’s well-being, while operating outside traditional healthcare systems.

To achieve this, they are making use of the previously mentioned innovations in data-fueled technologies like AI, NLP, Internet of Things, AR and VR.

 

Examples of Successful Healthcare Mobile App Development

 

AI-POWERED CHATBOTS & DIAGNOSTIC APPS

K Health develops a mobile app that uses AI to deliver personalized primary care for patients faster and cheaper. The company is comprised of doctors and developers who are passionate about using advanced machine learning techniques to turn clinical health data into knowledge that can help patients better manage their health.

  • Over $97M raised since 2016

 

 

Sensely’s avatar and chatbot-based platforms assist insurance plan members and patients with the insurance services and healthcare resources they need, whenever they need it. The company has developed separate chatbot applications specifically for insurers, employers and pharmacies as well.

  • Over $26M raised since 2013

 

 

MENTAL HEALTH PLATFORMS

The importance of caring for people’s mental health has gained a lot of attention over the past few decades. Advances in healthcare mobile app development also provided some great tools for online therapy and aiding mental stability. The main goal of innovators in this sector is to provide anonymous, easily accessible and affordable mental care for anyone, anywhere.

 

Talkspace is an online therapy startup that offers affordable and confidential therapy with a network of professional and licensed therapists. With online messaging therapy, users have access to a licensed, professional therapist, without having to schedule an appointment.

  • Over $106M raised since 2014
  • Over 1 million users.

 

Headspace is a digital health platform that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. The company’s content can be accessed online, or via the Headspace mobile app.

  • Over $168M raised since 2014
  • Used by more than 8 million people in over 200 countries.

 

 

INTERNET OF MEDICAL THINGS (IoMT) PRODUCTS

Fitbit is developing wireless wearable sensors that automatically track data about a person’s activities, such as calories burned, sleep quality, steps and distance.

Their trackers collect activity data automatically while it is worn by the user all day. The collected data is wirelessly uploaded to a website where the wearer can see their data and track their progress toward personal goals. Other than trackers, the company also produces smartwatches, smart scales and other accessories.

  • Over $66M raised since 2008
  • Reportedly almost 16M devices sold in 2019

 

CLOUD DATA MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

Flatiron Health is a healthcare technology and services company focused on accelerating cancer research and improving patient care. They connect community oncologists, academics, hospitals, life science researchers and regulators on a shared cloud-based platform.

Their platform enables cancer researchers and care providers to learn from the experience of a large number cancer patients.

  • Over $313M raised since 2013

 

AR/VR APPLICATIONS

Oxford VR’s highly immersive VR therapy, provides patients with treatments that are: faster and more effective than traditional therapy sessions, significantly lower cost to health providers and loved by users.

Their focus is on developing clinically validated, cost-effective, user-centered treatments with significant impact on patients, the health system and wider economy.

  • Over £13M raised since 2017

 

 

Summary

 

In order to be able to answer the growing demand for accessible and accurate healthcare services, organizations must continue to explore emerging, innovative tools and technologies.

The possibilities offered by the technological advances listed in this article are still only partially explored. Apart from achieving great financial results, innovators also have the opportunity to help improve people’s well-being and quality of life on a global scale.

Utilizing the potential of data science, AI, cloud computing and other emerging technologies is certainly a challenge. This is why we offer our help as development partners to healthcare organizations and HealthTech startups all around the world.

If you have a project in mind, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation session.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

WebBY RabIT software engineering · January 21, 2020

What is a PWA?

Progressive web apps (or PWA) are the perfect cross between native mobile apps and websites. PWAs are web applications that load like websites, but can offer functionalities traditionally available only to native apps. They can be loaded with the push of a button from the user’s mobile home page, without having to go through the whole app installation process beforehand.

Service workers are used to provide the best of both web and mobile native worlds. These service workers lie between the network and device to supply the content. Among many other properties, they are capable of utilizing cache mechanisms efficiently. This allows PWAs to work in offline mode as well.

 

Why are PWAs gaining in popularity?

This relatively new mobile technology allows you to provide a swift and smooth mobile native experience to your customers without intrusive app installation pop-ups. Your team can build them using a basic web stack (JavaScript, HTML & CSS).

World-leading companies from all industries are reportedly already experiencing higher web traffic, customer engagement, and conversion rates thanks to PWAs.

PWA has the highest reach with companies like Flipkart, Twitter Lite and Starbucks reporting increased user retention rate.

Here is a closer look at some of these successful progressive web apps.

 

Examples of PWA development projects in practice

 

Twitter

With close to 330 million active monthly users around the world who consume, create and share content, it is no wonder that Twitter wants to keep their mobile web experience as fast, reliable and engaging as possible. This was the main objective when they decided to upgrade their web application to a PWA.

 

examples of PWA development - Twitter

 

It’s safe to say that they’ve succeeded. Twitter Lite helped deliver a more robust experience and helped:
• increase number of pages per second by 65%
• increase number of Tweets sent by 75%
• decrease bounce rate by 20%

All this while requiring less than 3% of device storage space compared to Twitter’s native Android app. Instead of installing the app through the App or Play Store, web application visitors can choose the “Add to Homescreen” option directly from their mobile browser.

 

Instagram

Instagram was one of the first major companies to adapt PWA technology. If you somehow haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a social network service for sharing photos and videos. Following in Twitter’s footsteps, they upgraded their web application, giving web app users access to functionalities that previously were only available to native app users.

 

examples of PWA development - Instagram

 

The Instagram PWA now supports push notifications, has a web manifest and can be installed on both iOS and Android devices, using up much less storage space.

There are still some noticable navigation issues, but the pros outweigh the cons overall in terms of user experience thanks to the increased speed and lightness of the app. According to recent news, Instagram will expand the compatibility of the PWA to Windows Mobile OS as well.

 

Alibaba

Alibaba.com is the world’s largest wholesale trading platform, serving 200+ countries and regions. After upgrading their site to a progressive web app, they saw a:
• 76% increase in conversions across browsers
• 14% increase in monthly active users on iOS; 30% on Android
• 4X higher interaction rate from the “Add to Homescreen” prompt

 

Alibaba's progressive web application

 

Alibaba released its PWA in 2016, and they closed that year with $15,69 billion in annual revenues. Such a significant rise in mobile web conversions contributed a healthy amount to increasing this number to over $60 billion by the end of 2019.

By understanding how mobile web users interact with their business, they were able to deliver an excellent user experience to both first-time visitors and repeat visitors. Their PWA is also able to deliver push notifications the same way the native app does, achieving the same open rate on both platforms.

 

 

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Trivago

Trivago is one of the world’s most popular hotel search engines. The travel industry has been heavily disrupted by internet technology over the past two decades. Ever since their founding, they have been fully aware that they need to utilize emerging technologies in order to stay ahead of the competition.

 

examples of PWA development - Trivago

 

Because the majority of users access their service through mobile phones, succeeding on mobile platforms quickly became the company’s number one priority. They finally decided to design a progressive web application to improve their user experience.

Since then, more than half a million people added the Trivago site to their mobile home screen. Engagement for users who use this functionality increased by 150% thanks to push notifications. This increased engagement also lead to a 97% increase in clickouts to hotel offers for PWA users.

 

Starbucks

The reasons behind decision at Starbuck to develop a PWA were twofold: The company wanted to introduce ordering functionality to their website, while also making it more accessible for emerging markets. This way the service would be available in locations where internet connections are less reliable, like rural communities.

 

examples of PWA development - Starbucks

 

Because PWAs are built around the concept of “offline-first”, they are great for cases like this. Much of the application is available without an internet connection. Customers can modify the product in their order, and the information gets sent directly to the POS.

Starbucks now has a fast, performant, easy-to-use PWA that is 99% smaller than the 148MB native iOS app. By utilizing React, the development team was even able to include content-specific animations which are common in native apps, but rarely achieved for web apps.

 

Tinder

Tinder was also among the early adopters of PWA technology. They had noticed that session times are typically longer on web than their native apps. Users typically chose web more often to send messages and edit their profiles, so the company decided to focus on improving performance and user experience primarily on this platform.

 

examples of PWA development - Tinder

 

They chose React and Redux as main technologies. JavaScript performance optimization was used for improved load times, service workers for network resilience and push notifications for chat engagement.

Tinder is still iterating the progressive web app, but has already experienced great benefits. With the PWA they were able to cut their load times by 61% from 11.91 to 4.69 seconds. It’s able to deliver the core Tinder experience for only 10% data investment. The PWA is also 90% smaller than their native Android app.

 

Pinterest

Low engagement rates were the driving force behind the development of Pinterest’s PWA. The company realized that their mobile website only converted 1% of users into sign-ups, logins and native iOS and Android app installs.

 

Pinterest's progressive web application

 

Of course, this was far from ideal, and something needed to be done to increase web engagement. It took only 3 months, and the resulting improvement in business metrics really speaks for itself. People started spending 40% more time on the new PWA compared to the old mobile site. This lead to an increase in user-generated ad revenue by 44%, and core engagements also rose by 60%.

Performance also improved significantly. Due to its monolithic build and some CPU-heavy JavaScript, it took 23 seconds for the old mobile web site to become fully interactive on load. This wait time got reduced to only 5.6 seconds for to the new PWA.

 

Telegram

Telegram’s PWA was already available when its rival, WhatsApp Web got released to the market. It offers almost the exact same features as the mobile version, while being much lighter and faster than a conventional application.

 

Telegram's progressive web app

 

Beside the usual perks, this PWA has a small downside too. To start using it for the web, users must signed up on a native Telegram app first, and verify their details. This is necessary due to the company’s high security standards. All messages get encrypted on the cloud, and there is also a secret chat feature that doesn’t get stored on the company’s servers.

These examples of PWA development demonstrate that these new type of apps provide real value that is measurable in both user engagement and increases in profitability.

 

When should you consider PWAs?

Instances when PWAs can be especially beneficial:

  • If you want to make an e-commerce website together with an app – PWAs provide an easy way to increase user activity by allowing them to “save” your web shop on their home screen, and serve receive push notifications anywhere.
  • If you and your team are comfortable with web technologies and want to build apps in a limited time. You can write it with classic web technologies like HTML, CSS and JS.
  • If you are going “everywhere first” instead of mobile first – PWAs reach the widest range of users and devices via the browser.
  • If you want the lowest cost option for your development team – PWAs only have to be written once.
  • If you care about low-end devices, or users with poor internet connections – PWAs provide a smooth experience on slower devices too, and even work offline.

Some other benefits of PWAs:

  • PWAs load directly from the browser without having to download an app
  • They are also able to deliver real-time updates and push notifications, which was a feature reserved only for native apps in the past
  • PWAs use 10-1000X less storage space compared to native apps, and they require much less mobile data to load pages

 

What are the downsides of PWAs?

  • Your app won’t reach users who are searching in the App or Play Store
  • Somewhat lower UI responsiveness and performance compared to native apps.
  • PWAs don’t have access to all mobile hardware functions such as fingerprint scanning, advanced camera controls, Bluethooth, etc.
  • Running robust web apps on a smartphone uses up battery charge fast

 

Hopefully we were able to inspire you with these examples of PWA solutions. The tech provides many opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes to engage more with their mobile site users, and reach real benefits in terms of bran loyalty and online profits.

Now it’s up to you to review the possibilities to increase mobile web user experience for your customers and take action before your competition does.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

WebBY RabIT software engineering · March 08, 2019

There is a wide selection of cloud solutions available for businesses and individuals worldwide. Choosing the right solution may prove difficult if you aren’t familiar with frequently used cloud services such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and others.

This is why we are dedicating this article to clarifying the meaning, benefits, risks and common use cases for these popular cloud services.

 

What is IaaS?

Infrastructure as a service provides consumers with access to fundamental computing resources like processing, virtualization, storage and networks. IaaS solutions allow you to deploy and run arbitrary software such as operating systems and applications. The cloud service provider (CSP) controls and manages the underlying cloud infrastructure, but you have control over operating systems, storage and deployed applications.

 

Practical use and benefits of IaaS

Using IaaS solutions allows you to:

  • Avoid the high costs of buying hardware and setting up a new server infrastructure on your physical location
  • Access your files and data with higher security
  • Save several days or even weeks worth of time spent on setup and installation
  • Scale your computing resources up or down quickly, to meet your changing business needs

 

Potential risks involved with IaaS:

  • It can be more difficult to guarantee compliance with data management regulation. You must clearly establish accountability and control over sensitive information in your systems from day one.
  • Potential data loss is another risk when you choose to rely on a cloud service provider. It is essential to have a reliable disaster recovery plan in place to minimize the damage in case of an incident.
  • With the flexibility and accessibility of the cloud also comes reliance on the CSP. If your IaaS provider’s system goes down, so will yours. It is essential to check if they have a comprehensive recovery plan and policy in place before making your decision.

 

Dilbert by Scott Adams

 

IaaS Examples

Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, HP Public Cloud, Cisco Metapod, DigitalOcean, Linode, Rackspace

 

Who is IaaS for?

IaaS is a flexible solution that can be utilized by everyone who wants to manage software without having to worry about hardware. It is also a great choice for organizations that only need computing power on the short term, or for certain operations that require high capacity computing resources (e.g.: large batch processing).

 

Potential users of IaaS solutions:

  • Startups that are delivering a proof of concept, or require fast scaling within a short period of time.
  • SMBs that need a fast start and scaling without investing in too many resources in hardware.
  • IaaS is an ideal solution for Agile teams as well. It provides them with high flexibility while decreasing their reliance on corporate bureaucracy.
  • Also a viable solution for side/personal projects. Low-cost starter packages of CSPs allow anyone to set up an infrastructure quickly, without having to invest in physical systems.

 

What is PaaS?

Platform as a service provides a cloud platform allowing customers to develop, run and manage applications. As a customer, you only control the applications and data on the platform, while the cloud service provider manages operating systems, middleware, virtualization, servers, storage and networking.

 

Practical use and benefits of PaaS

Using PaaS solutions allows you to:

  • Reduce the costs involved with software development and deployment
  • Avoid the need of setting up additional server and storage space that would lie dormant once the development process is complete
  • Reduce the costs of managing software updates and maintenance
  • Achieve a faster time to market, greater speed and agility throughout the development process

 

Potential risks involved with PaaS

Same as with IaaS, you will also be susceptible to server malfunctions or compliance issues if you choose a dodgy PaaS provider. To be safe, double check accountability, control and disaster recovery principles and guidelines. Another potential issue worth mentioning is that these solutions require a very stable connection, and enough bandwidth to run smoothly at all times.

 

PaaS Examples

Heroku, Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, OpenShift, Force.com, Apache Stratos

 

Who is PaaS for?

Teams that need extra computing power without wanting to worry about operating systems, server administration, and associated costs (energy, acquisition, maintenance, human resources etc.). Organizations that experience frequent spikes in computing requirements, don’t have the resources or don’t want to manage IT infrastructure internally.

 

Potential users of PaaS solutions:

  • Development teams who need a highly scalable and flexible platform to manage their applications and data during projects.
  • High-growth businesses that would likely experience a higher ROI from scaling a virtual platform, compared to developing their own physical systems.

 

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What is SaaS?

Software as a Service solutions are ready-made software products built on the cloud, and made available for customer’s use on a subscription basis. You can most often run this type of software as a web application without installing anything on your local devices. Everything, including applications and data, is stored and managed on the cloud. Chances are, you have already used multiple such software products. SaaS solutions are mostly available to use for a monthly or yearly fee, and they often have a more basic free-to-use option as well.

 

Practical use and benefits of SaaS

Using SaaS solutions allows you to:

  • Integrate new software solutions into your business processes quickly, without losing time and money on installation
  • Access applications and data from any location, at any time, on multiple devices
  • Let the software provider deal with hardware and software updates, removing this responsibility and workload from yourself
  • Scale your selected application by simply upgrading your subscription as your business grows, or more users need to access the software

 

Potential risks involved with SaaS

The lowest cost among other cloud solutions comes with the highest level of reliance on the software provider. Everything, including applications and user data is managed by the CSP, which can easily lead to privacy and data security compliance issues. Also, you often have to sacrifice customization for high accessibility, if you decide to use a ready-made solution. This can result in you subscribing to a software product that doesn’t serve your business as well as an in-house solution could.

 

SaaS Examples

Office 365, Semrush, Asana, Salesforce, Planning Pod, Dropbox

 

Who are SaaS solutions for?

Depending on their specific needs, anyone can benefit from the right SaaS. There is a wide range of applications available out there that provide solutions for businesses and individuals alike. SaaS are ideal for organizations that don’t want to invest into building their own in-house software solutions. They are also handy for individuals or freelancers who don’t have access to as many resources as enterprises.

 

IaaS, PaaS, SaaS – A Simple Comparison

Your choice of cloud services should coincide with your organizational needs and overall business plan. The core benefit of using any cloud solutions is the ability to digitize and scale your business in a much more time- and cost-efficient manner.

 

iaas paas saas comparison infographic

IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS

 

Read more about why you absolutely should digitize your business processes here:
7 Reasons Why You Need to Start Business Digitization Right Now

 

When should you run your server internally (on-premises)?

Having your servers set up internally can also carry significant benefits for your organization.

Most notably, you can guarantee a higher level of security and resilience compared to having external storage. Holding internal systems behind firewalls and backed up as part of a standard set of security procedures makes your data inherently more secure against external attacks.

Also, without using outsourced suppliers, you can guarantee GDPR compliance with much less difficulty.

Consider internal, external and even hybrid hosting options in accordance with your unique organizational needs. It is generally advised to host your software and data internally if you only use it internally. If you have to share your data with external parties (partners, customers, etc.), it’s typically best to host it externally.

Choose the hybrid option if you need to use data in-house and with outside parties as well. The latter is the case for most organizations today. Hybrid hosting guarantees them the optimal combination of security and collaboration.

 

Summary

Today’s IaaS, PaaS, SaaS solutions (and their different combinations) help you digitize and scale your operations faster than ever before. This also means that things can take a downturn just as fast.

Taking your business to the cloud requires careful planning, research and coordination. It is important to be familiar with CSP policies and procedures in  order to make use of their benefits and minimize potential risks.

We hope that this article managed to help you see the world of cloud services more clearly. Happy cloud diving!

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

Startup & MVPBY RabIT software engineering · May 24, 2018

If you haven’t been living under a rock with no WiFi for the past few years, you probably noticed that blockchain startups are all the rage nowadays.

By today, the term blockchain has become synonymous with cryptocurrencies, thanks to the media hype surrounding these topics. To be fair, virtual tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum were really the driving forces that popularized blockchain technology.

However, it is important to understand that there is much more to blockchain than moving and keeping track of cryptocurrencies.

High security, decentralization, immutability, transparency and trust are only a few reasons why industries like finance & banking like blockchain technology.

However, the system also has some pretty significant disadvantages that people rarely talk about. Slow and expensive data encryption / decryption, high costs of maintaining a large computer network, opposing regulation all pose significant barriers to fully adopting blockchain technology.

Despite these obstacles, there already are a lot of blockchain startups out there that are trying to utilize these benefits in new and innovative ways.

 

HERE ARE 10 OF THESE BLOCKCHAIN STARTUPS:

 

OpenBazaar

OpenBazaar is a permissionless online marketplace. It utilizes Blockchain technology to create a decentralized network, that allows everyone to connect directly to other users and trade with them. Unlike other eCommerce sites such as eBay or Amazon, this network isn’t controlled by a company. This means that there are no mandatory fees to pay, and that trade is censorship-resistant.

 

FarmaTrust

FarmaTrust is a tracking system which was created to make sure that counterfeit drugs do not enter the global supply chain. This blockchain startup exists to provide security to pharmaceutical companies, governments, regulators and the public. Their system also utilizes Artificial Intelligence and advanced data analytics to help everyone in the pharmaceutical supply chain identify counterfeit drugs before they reach the market.

 

Ripe.io

Ripe.io is building an unprecedented food quality network that maps out the food journey to answer what’s in our food, where it comes from and what has happened to it. “Building the blockchain of food”, their main goal is to change and improve the food supply chain through blockchain and the Internet of Things.

 

CPROP

CPROP is a blockchain real estate transaction management platform. It was created to solve the main problems and relieve the stress associated with buying and selling property. The platform uses blockchain technology to make the entire transaction process viewable for all permissioned parties to see, building much needed trust and transparency.

 

 

ShoCard

ShoCard is a mobile digital identity card that provides verification of your identity via the blockchain. Enterprise identity authentication, faster and always accurate customer authentication for banking and retail, passenger verifications for airlines, driver license always on your phone. These are only a handful of possibilities of ShoCard.

 

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Props

Props created a decentralized ecosystem of video applications to solve what they call the biggest problem in “social”: a few platforms dominate and control the digital media distribution. Their strength depend on the millions that contribute, yet those only gain a fraction of the value they provide. Props helps users earn for their contributions to a network and have a stake in the community they are growing.

 

Voatz

Voatz wants to make voting easier, tamper proof and verifiable. They want to make voting possible with the simple push of a button from home instead of going to a voting office. Voatz could eliminate all of the flaws in our current voting system, thanks to the implementation of blockchain technology.

 

 

Tealet

Tealet is an online farmers market for tea. Independent tea growers are connected directly to their retail and wholesale buyers. Tealet serves as a transparent supply chain platform that provides optimized online marketing, international logistics, and low-cost payments via cryptocurrency. Furthermore they teach local farmers to produce their own quality tea instead of just producing in batches.

 

DentaCoin

Dentacoin is the first blockchain concept designed for the Global Dental Industry. They created a platform with their own ERC20 token, configured to be used globally in an attempt to improve dental care worldwide, while making it more affordable thanks to the power of the crowd.

 

 

Arcade City

Arcade City created an application which aims to beat Uber at their own game by moving ride sharing and car hiring to the blockchain. Their platform combines the idea of sharing economy with collaboration to help top drivers earn more than ever before, fully secure.

 

Remember, the technology is still in baby shoes. These blockchain startups are among the early adapters. Nobody really knows how efficiently blockchain can be implemented in these industries on the long term.

Although there are already a lot of ideas for implementation, most of these would be possible to execute without blockchain as well. A lot of blockchain startups are simply using the insane media hype around the technology to raise capital faster.

While most of these ideas sound really attractive in theory, we would advise everyone to look at them with a healthy dose of scepticism for now.

The system still requires a lot of invested time and money, and more support from regulatory authorities. It is not just a disrupting technology, but a base for transformation with the potential to change the world.

 

The fact is that interest for Blockchain is still growing every day. Some statistics from a Deloitte survey:

  • Nearly 75 percent of executives see a business case for it
  • Only 22 percent surveyed don’t see a compelling application
  • 43 percent of the respondents said blockchain is one of their top-five strategic priorities.
  • 25 percent of respondents expect to invest more than $5 million in blockchain technology during the next calendar year.

SOURCE: Deloitte

 

In the near future, this new technology could help you offer your services from a completely new angle, potentially even transforming your entire value chain. On the other hand, investors could also end up losing interest in blockchain systems in a few years, causing it to fall out of favor.

Only time will tell.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · April 10, 2018

Today, companies of all shapes and sizes are starting to use digital technology to bypass the limitations of the physical world. New advances in this field allow them to release their products to the market faster, to reach the right customers, while offering a near perfect user experience. Although the world started business digitization decades ago, we are still only taking baby steps compared to what can be accomplished in the future.

In this article we will help you ask the right questions to determine if you can use digital solutions yourself to help your company reach its full potential.

There are a lot of reasons to start digitizing your own company, and a blog post wouldn’t be enough to talk about everything here. For now, we collected 7 common reasons why you should consider introducing digital technologies to your own business processes.

At the end of each point, we will provide you with some questions that you can ask yourself. Our goal here is to find out if it is time for you to start thinking of business digitization as a real growth strategy.

 

So why is business digitization important for you?

 

1. Your industry is open for disruption

No matter which industry you are in, everyone is susceptible to disruption. Thanks to digital technologies, new or existing players can revolutionize the way people perceive a product or service, making what other companies offer in that industry obsolete. Do you want to be disrupted or become the disruptor? The choice is yours.

disrtuption in business digitization

Uber is probably the best and most used example for disruption. The company used business digitization perfectly to provide an unbeatable user experience. They simply offer a faster, cheaper, more comfortable solution compared to taxi services. Ever since they appeared on the market, cab companies have a reason to fear for their existence. Don’t think this can’t happen to you.

 

 

If someone finds a brand new (and better) way to solve your customers’ problems, you have to respond. One way to prevent your business from falling behind is to follow industry trends closely, subscribe to every channel that is gaining in popularity, keep track of what your customers, competitors and partners are talking about. These channels can become excellent sources of new ideas and ways to help your target market.

Another important thing to do is to take every competitor seriously. A lot of market leading companies just decide to laugh off newcomers rather than devote time and resources to really get to know their strategy. History tells us that a lot of them wake up one day to realize that they have already fallen behind. Just think of what people said about Twitter back in 2006, and where the service is now.

 

Some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you aware of competitors who are offering new ways to answer customer needs?
  • Are you up-to-date about the newest trends in your industry?
  • Do you have the opportunity to become a disruptor for your industry?

 

2. You need to improve everyday efficiency

No matter how efficient you think you have become by today, there is always room for improvement thanks to new technological solutions. Using outdated legacy systems, operating processes manually that could be automated, poor communication between workers and managers, etc. Symptoms like these suggest that you are dealing with real problems that can be solved using digital solutions.

digitization

A custom-built enterprise management system can provide solutions to many of these problems by itself. You will find that business digitization greatly increases speed and efficiency, especially if the system is built specifically around your business. Also, you can finally transition from the pen & paper format to the Cloud, which is beneficial for both your business and the environment.

The fact that you are already using some kind of software doesn’t guarantee maximum efficiency. Software constantly needs to evolve and adapt to new business conditions, and scale together with the company. If your current software is slow and unreliable with frequent crashes, or incompatible with your newer systems, you probably need to consider updates or replacement. Replacing your inefficient software usually saves you money on the long term, compared to the high costs of maintaining outdated systems.

 

Some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have any manual work processes that could be automated?
  • Is your current software system causing frustrations among your employees?
  • Are your software maintenance costs outpacing the value it provides?

 

3. You are not offering the best user experience

Do you feel like you put a lot of effort in your business but don’t get the results you want, while the competition seems to have no problem at all? Maybe you are not offering the right customer experience to your target audience. A fast and smooth user experience is imperative to succeed on the market, as customers today are used to instant gratification.

Pizza Hut can be a good example for new and creative customer experience solutions. They know that their customers hate waiting for their food in restaurants. They found a way to fight boredom by making the entire ordering process interactive using touch screens. 

Guests can even play games together while they wait for their pizza. Here’s the video.

 

Suitcase is another company that used business digitization to find a creative solution to one of mankind’s oldest problems: “most men hate shopping”.

They gather data about your measurements and taste preferences on their website. Then their team puts together hand picked outfits to meet your preferences and finally sends them to your doorstep. In a few clicks men can get a suitcase personalized to their needs. Don’t like what you get, send it back entirely or partially for free. This way men can always look their best without ever having to go shopping themselves.

Now think about your own business. Think about your customers’ needs and everyday problems, and try to find new creative solutions for them. You don’t have to be a multinational giant to offer the best experience, you just have to think outside the box.

 

Some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Do your customers face any difficulties while using your product / service?
  • Can you make your product / service easier to access for your customers?
  • Can you tap into new sources to gather feedback about your customers’ needs?

 

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4. You are not using the new channels to their full potential

Here we won’t talk about the uses of social media for example, because others have already got that covered. We want to emphasize the importance of data-based decision making when it comes to online channels instead. Correct use of data separates successful online campaigns from just throwing money out the window.

Data from your social media pages, website, webshop, blog and every other platform you are using should be collected, analyzed and taken into account while executing your online strategy. Tracking conversions, engagement, website traffic, lead generation and other important KPIs is essential to optimize your online efforts.

Most companies are not using big data to its full potential yet. It is difficult to integrate all the information from these separate sources, and see the full picture. For example, every social media platform has a different interface, which makes it difficult to compare the information from each site.

Social media API integration can provide a solution for this problem. You can create a software solution that gathers all the data from your social pages and integrates it in a single platform. Having everything in one place can help you gain a deeper insight into your customers’ behavior and save a lot of time as well. This is just one example of the endless ways business digitization can help you get more value out of your data.

 

Some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you know what channels are your target audiences using?
  • Do you have a clear goal and strategy to reach your audience?
  • Can you use data to help your business adapt to your customers’ needs and habits?

 

5. You are not thinking about mobile users

If you start business digitization without adapting to mobile users, you are definitely doing something wrong. People are shopping, browsing and socializing on their phones more than ever, and the numbers just keep growing. Our own AdWords data also shows that about 70% of website visitors found our website through their mobile phones.

family cell phone plans

 

Even if you don’t sell your services through mobile devices directly, you should still find a way to engage mobile users. Don’t hesitate to develop an app that complements your product. Look at what Nike has done. They just sell sport equipment, but still created an application that tracks your progress when you go out for a run.

digitization

In the healthcare industry doctors usually have their hands full with people asking for consultancy, so they needed electronic medical record (EMR) applications to become more time-efficient. Developers delivered, and these apps now make it possible for patients to track, monitor and save their own data and ask questions through the app, ultimately saving the doctors valuable time.

Hell, someone even created an app for farmers to track where their cattle are, check if their livestock is healthy or when the cows are due to be pregnant. The possibilities are limitless. Be creative, find solutions, develop your idea and gain profit.

If you do decide to optimize your website for mobile users or create your own mobile app, make sure that the final product is highly responsive, clean and easy to navigate on every device.

 

Some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Is my website adapted & responsive to mobile users?
  • Can you compliment your traditional product / service with a mobile app?
  • Can you use Appification and Gamification to your advantage?

 

6. Your supply chain has too many players

Digitization and new technologies allow your business to make the value chain shorter and offer more value to your customers. Today, companies can take everything into their own hands including distribution, promotion and building brand awareness.

You can buy shoes directly from Nike, tools from Black & Decker, cars from Tesla, laptops from Apple and so on… 

digitization

 

Today, everyone can set up their own online retail channel with relative ease. New players often start selling their products in their online stores first, and only open physical stores later when their brand has already gained recognition.

You don’t have to be a globally recognized brand to create a successful sales channel for your products. Ecommerce web builder platforms like Shopify or Magento can help you get started even if you don’t have any web development or design skills. Once your webshop is ready, you can get traffic by running an online ad campaign with AdWords, Facebook and Twitter Ads, etc. You have every tool you need to get started today at your fingertips.

You can also take branding and promotion into your own hands through content marketing. Find the key interests and pain points of your target audience, create content that is helpful, informative or simply fun for them and share it through channels like a blog, social media or websites like Medium.

 

Some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Can you create more value by bypassing the middleman?
  • Can you use any online tools to build your own sales & media channels?
  • If you are the middleman, can you become a media brand yourself?

 

7. You are not utilizing new technologies yet

Ignoring new technologies and solutions will cause you to fall behind to more innovative companies. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and big data are just a few examples for technologies that can offer you brand new opportunities.

Amazon is the perfect example here. They have tons of information about their customers. They are now using AI to predict consumer purchase behavior to reduce shipping time as much as possible. Their ultimate goal is to achieve a one-hour delivery time for any order. 

It goes without saying that they also need to incorporate big data technology into their processes in order to achieve this. Amazon already has a famous IoT product as well, called Alexa. It acts as your personal digital assistant that allows you to use voice commands to shop online, turn on other devices around the house, and much more.

You don’t have to be a huge company like Amazon to use these new technologies. You can experiment with sales & marketing automation yourself with the help of AI and big data. For example, machine learning can help you make effective use of all your collected data about your customers.

For IoT, think about new solutions to add digital technology to your existing product in a way that creates additional value for your customers. Smart fridges that help you order groceries, smart shirts that can track your heart rate, smart cups that show drink temperature, etc. The possibilities are endless when it comes to IoT.

 

If you sell a product, make sure it is compatible with the future. Use data to your advantage, make smart use of digitization and AI to analyze everything that you can. Keep following trends and developments, and more importantly, act now! Anyone can become the next big thing, so why hesitate?

 

Some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you actively following the newest developments in your industry?
  • Can you add a digital element to your traditional product to add more value to it?
  • Can you find new sources of customer data, and a way to analyze it?

 

SUMMARY

In this article we tried to address some important new changes and opportunities that digitization can offer for modern businesses, big and small alike. Our goal here is to encourage you to question your traditional way of doing business, and help you rethink your entire company in order to succeed in this rapidly changing environment.

Other than opportunities, the digital revolution will definitely bring many new challenges as well. This is why it is more important than ever for you to follow latest trends and developments not only for your company, but for your entire value chain.

We wanted to state that it is no longer an option to ignore business digitization. Today’s businesses must become agile, and be quick to adapt to unexpected changes in their environment. We hope that you can get some new and creative ideas from these examples, that will help you reach success in the new digital era.

 

Thank you for dedicating your time to read this article! We want to help companies and entrepreneurs succeed during the 4th industrial revolution. If you’d like to talk about implementing digital solutions for your business, feel free to schedule a free consultation.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.