Lab+Life Scientist Oct 2015

Page 22

integrated technology

Bob Mudge*

There’s an app for that Context and location aware mobile apps, integrated with allied technologies, are transforming business processes for biotech companies as they offer the promise of greater accuracy of reporting and improved safety and compliance.

22 | LAB+LIFE SCIENTIST - October 2015

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security than ever before. Typically produced as hybrid apps (HTML5 web apps wrapped in a native app shell), these offer the best of all worlds. They can be very quick to produce with readily available web y applying mobile technologies to

skills, they offer the same ‘evergreen’ functionality of

traditional paper-based business processes, both

websites meaning no need to constantly download

companies and industry sectors are gaining massive

app updates, yet they can access all the device

leaps in efficiency and employee productivity.

functionality to provide a native user experience and

‘Consumerisation of IT’ and the omnipresence of

incorporate advanced API integration for dynamic

powerful portable computing devices makes these

data sharing between an organisation’s existing

business transformations more accessible than

backend systems.

ever before.

Using such apps on a smartphone, smartwatch,

Even though most are very tech savvy,

tablet or Bluetooth-linked device allows the user to

biotechnology organisations are facing the same

interact with proximity beacons, RFID devices, QR

pressures as many other industries in responding to

codes and NFC tags. Such devices send a signal, alarm

reduced budgets and tighter operating requirements.

or prompt and the app reads that signal in the context

Now, new proximity technology coupled with

of the user’s location, activity or authentication.

enterprise mobility apps is allowing these everyday

This can trigger a variety of responses from the app

devices to make the previously complex and

depending on what that tag/beacon is associated

expensive process of scanning, tagging and tracking

with. Beacons, still a relatively new technology,

far more efficient, accurate and cost-effective.

can, for example, send text, audio, images or video

Highly bespoke activity-centric apps (a concept

to the user’s device within a predefined distance so

Ovum has coined ‘soldier apps’) can now be

the user is aware that they need to take action at a

developed far more quickly and incorporate greater

particular location.

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