By Paul Pluschkell, EVP of strategy and cloud services at Genband and founder of Kandy
The mobile revolution has put technology firmly in our hand and opened the door to new ways of delivering services in multiple fields. One of the truly exciting developments we’re seeing is the rise of innovative apps that are not only changing, but also saving the lives of people all over the world.
With real time communications, mobile developers can now embed limitless human to human communications into their apps. Suddenly the technology in your hand, pocket and purse becomes more than a tool for work and play; it also becomes a trusted helper that can assist with some of life’s complexities.
Becoming more human
Some of the most powerful examples we’ve seen are in healthcare, where new apps are able to provide help to those who need it. In just the last few months, real time communications developers have built apps that provide real time support to people suffering from depression or at risk of suicide, revolutionise emergency response to road accidents, transform the aid available to diabetics, and help physicians offer enhanced care to their patients.
This real time communications technology is helping mobile developers make communication ‘more human’ and enabling a widening array of mobile applications that abolish distance and facilitate immediate response. By humanising technology, these developers are helping usher in a new world where it becomes more contextual and customised, gaining the ability to make a real difference in people’s lives.
For example, MindMe is a suicide prevention application that uses a secure, real time communications platform to allow individuals and therapists to connect instantly. A user in distress can pull up the app and assess his or her state of mind and approved strategies for addressing negative emotions are suggested, all the way to connection with a trained therapist who can help mitigate the situation and provide relief for the patient at risk, all via the patient’s device of choice.
Frank Fleming, MD of Interlecta, which founded MindMe along with equal partner Cornell Medical College, is convinced of this enormous potential: “WebRTC platforms are literally enabling life changing interactions. It was key for us to select an option that combined these capabilities with advanced mobile communication DNA in order to build the application we envisioned.” Referring to Genband’s platform as a service, Kandy, he added: “Kandy made it easy and we already know that additional functionalities and features are possible.”
Another area where this is having a particular benefit is with people that suffer with diabetes, who require continuous glucose monitoring. Measuring glucose readings and sharing that information with doctors on a regular basis is critical for patients’ health, but travelling to and from multiple appointments to do this can make it difficult to lead a normal lifestyle.
The easy implementation of real time communications has enabled developers to remove these limitations. For example Diabetic Kandy enables diabetics to manage and instantly share their glucose readings with their doctors, limiting in-person visits without having an impact on the care they require, as doctors have instant access to all the data they need and can also text, voice or video call with their patients at any time.
Crisis situations often require multiple parties to intervene, which can be difficult to manage on the spot. Mercury, billed as ‘the road emergency response angel’, offers help during a car crash or emergency and can be used to bring together insurance companies, hospitals, first responders and the victim via videoconferencing, enabling an accurate real-time assessment of the situation even before arriving on the scene.
Meanwhile, Skywriter MD, a real time true virtual medical scribe service provider, is revolutionising physician workflow and helping physicians increase the amount of time they can spend with their patients while decreasing their heavy documentation burden.
All of these apps and their many companions are helping to bring tighter integration between the healthcare field and individual patients. When the technological revolution first entered the healthcare space it was about bringing new capabilities to more people but it couldn’t really treat these people as individuals. Now that the real time communications revolution has begun, a more intuitive, fluid and personalised era is upon us, helping to make our lives simpler and healthier.
Genband is a global provider of real time communications software solutions for service providers, enterprises, independent software vendors, systems integrators and developers in over 80 countries. Genband’s Kandy.io platform as a service means providers can deliver differentiated offerings that weave rich communications services into business and consumer applications both mobile and on the web. Kandy quickly enhances software applications with real time communications to deliver a more human and context-based experience.