Specialist apps are transforming the working lives of professionals
From Angry Birds to Facebook Messenger, apps have become integral to the way we communicate, shop and play games online. However, along with the more frivolous aspects of apps comes a serious side – their use in the working lives of business professionals. Apps are increasingly being developed which service a real need in business and industry. The portable nature of apps on mobile phones and tablets gives professionals access to a host of information at their fingertips, enhancing the way they work from day to day. Here we take a look at five business sectors harnessing the power of apps.
For busy doctors, effective communication is extremely important. The Tonic app is a secure way for healthcare professionals to discuss cases and receive their colleagues’ input on difficult diagnoses. The app also provides updates on healthcare news, educational material and information on drug and technology releases – keeping doctors up to date with the wider medical world. What’s more, search facilities give professionals easy access to clinical guidelines and scientific articles, combining several useful medical tools into one functional app.
As the computing power of smartphones and laptops has grown, so has their usefulness to designers and creative professionals. Nowhere is this more evident than in architecture, where architects can now make use of interactive apps to engage with their plans in visually stimulating ways. One such app – BIMx – integrates 2D and 3D building project navigation. This enables designers to switch between the 2D images of their plans and 3D representations of what a building will look like in the real world. The app also includes collaboration functionality for architects to work together, and is compatible with Google Cardboard VR – bridging the gap between the design studio, the construction site, and the finished product.
Safety is a hugely important aspect of heavy industry, construction and manufacturing. Cartasite, a provider of safety solutions for the oil and gas industry, has developed an app for lone workers in remote oilfield locations. SPOT is an app and communications device which can be used by workers to send messages back to their headquarters or call for help in an emergency. Satellite technology locates the GPS coordinates of workers and processes their communications, keeping them connected even in areas without mobile phone coverage.
4) Social work
Social workers have to deal with a range of different tasks, for which they are often overstretched and underfunded. IBM’s Case Advice app – part of their range of mobile solutions for government – enables social workers to view and process cases from one integrated platform. The app is ideal for use during home visits, as it automatically logs the time, date and length of a visit, eliminating the paperwork that is necessary for court records. As the social worker makes assessments of the home, this information is logged on the app, enabling any changes to be tracked over time. The device’s camera can also be used to capture evidence in support of a worker’s recommendations, ensuring that outcomes are improved for children and families in the system.
5) Event networking
Whilst it is not strictly a business sector, networking is something that all professionals must engage with from time to time. However, today’s digital technology is increasingly turning the exchange of business cards into a thing of the past. Intelligent networking apps such as Grip match up event delegates with the most relevant people, products, sponsors and exhibitors for them to meet. The app uses artificial intelligence to make recommendations based on a person’s business sector and interests, with these suggestions improving in accuracy the more the technology is used. Whilst this kind of tool will never replace those chance encounters which go on to be surprisingly useful, it helps event attendees to seek the most relevant types of business relationships for them. This turns networking – which can often be an overwhelming and daunting process – into a more focussed and manageable activity.
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