Top 5 Medical Apps for Clinicians

With the explosion in medical apps available on the app stores, it’s not surprising that there are more ‘digital tools’ available to help healthcare professionals carry out everyday tasks. As with medical apps for patients there are thousands out there which aim to create efficiencies and improve access to resources on the go and we’ve selected our top 5 currently available (in no particular order).

Figure 1

This app has earned itself a lot of press recently and is a great way of allowing medical and nursing professionals to share and discuss patient treatment options by sharing medical images in a safe and secure environment. It takes a serious approach to privacy and medical app compliance with the app running on a HIPPA compliant infrastructure and algorithms like automatic face blocking built into the app to protect patient details. This is a clever app and fills a void where healthcare professionals are increasingly using unsecured or generic apps like ‘What’s App’ to share and discuss patient cases.

http://www.gponline.com/app-review-figure-1-medical-images/article/1309858
http://www.imedicalapps.com/2013/07/figure-1-app-review-instagram-physicians/
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/figure-1-medical-cases-for/id645948529?mt=8
https://figure1.com/

iOS & Android

Figure 1 Figure 1

 

Doximity

Doximity is the largest US network dedicated to healthcare professionals with over 50% of doctors signed up. It’s been going since 2012 and provides HIPAA-secure communication & electronic faxing, tailored medical news and career management. One of the biggest attractions is ability to earn CME credits as it’s been made very simple to do, but the most popular part of the app, is the ability to send secure HIPPA compliant faxes with each medical professional registered to the app being assigned their own dedicated fax number, free, for life. Interestingly the co-founder of LinkedIn, Konstantin Guericke, sits on Doximity’s Advisory Board so that might give an indication of where Doximity sees it’s future.

http://33charts.com/2013/08/12-things-about-doximity.html
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/doximity/id393642611?mt=8
https://www.doximity.com/

iOS & Android

Doximity Doximity

Prognosis (For Junior Doctors)

This is an interesting app aimed at healthcare professionals, junior doctors, medical students and nurses. By simulating a number of different clinical cases it allows you to test your diagnostic ability. With new cases added to its library each week you are presented with a short detailed review of the diagnostic process which is supported by up-to-date discussions around that condition.

http://www.prognosisapp.com/
http://www.juniordr.com/index.php/technology/best-medical-smartphone-mobile-and-ipad-apps.htmlhttp://www.imedicalapps.com/2010/11/prognosis-your-diagnosis-app-simulation-clinical-cases-iphone-free-medical-app-review/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prognosis-your-diagnosis/id392489854?mt=8

iOS & Android

Prognosis Prognosis

 Vital Signs (NHS Workers)

This app is something a little different and has been designed specifically for the wellbeing of NHS employees. It’s purpose is to help keep NHS health professionals fit and healthy but also to provide a support infrastructure for help with alcohol misuse, healthy eating & mental wellbeing at work. There are also a range of work tools available within the app like hospital maps, local transport information and the latest health & safety guidance.

http://www.vitalsigns.nhs.uk/
http://www.ahsc.org.uk/ahsc-healthcare-apps/
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/vitalsigns/id585262640?mt=8

iOS & Android

Vital SIgns Vital Signs

NICE BNF

The NICE BNF app kind of encapsulates the digital transition in the medical profession. Going from what used to be hard copy buried deep within a hospital ward, the information is now available in your pocket. Once the initial download has taken place the app works off line without the need for an internet connection and its recent re-design makes it a pleasant and easy to use system allowing you to set bookmarks combined with a really good search facility. It is a free app but in order to login you will need a free Athens account that’s available to all NHS clinical staff.

http://www.nice.org.uk/about/what-we-do/nice-apps-for-smartphones-and-tablets
http://www.imedicalapps.com/2012/09/british-physicians-bnf-app-nhs-clinical-staff-free/
http://review2013-2014.nice.org.uk/support/British_National_Formulary_BNF/

iOS & Android

BNF BNF

Connecting your medical app or website to the NHS : The N3 Network

N3 logo

Many ideas for medical pp development and healthcare web design projects we deal with are based around some interaction with the NHS but integrating with NHS services and facilities isn’t always straight forward. One of the barriers to entry is the NHS N3 network. N3 is the broadband network for the NHS which connects all NHS locations and over a million employees. It connects hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacies and many other service providers to securely facilitate sharing of healthcare data including sensitive patient records.

If your app, website or service needs to interact with NHS data then you may well need to be connected to the N3 network. As specialist providers of health related apps and websites, Genetic Digital’s customers often fall in to this category with web services we develop (which are often the backend of an app) requiring access. However, just to muddy the waters somewhat, N3 connectivity isn’t always mandatory (which can be true for non Patient Identifiable Data only); some NHS trusts have a more relaxed approach than others depending on their internal IT policies and configuration.

So who needs an N3 connection? There are no hard and fast rules but, broadly speaking, if you want to exchange data with an NHS trust (or trusts), especially sensitive data such as patient records, then you’ll need to be on N3. Even if it’s not a requirement if you are offering an on-premise solution, it’s often a commercial advantage if you can offer it. Given two competing services, an NHS trust could well choose one that offers services via N3 over one that doesn’t.

One point worth noting is only traffic from England can flow over the N3 connection so you can’t manage the service from an Indian call centre for example or push or pull patient data from Scotland, Wales or any other country. Knowing where your data resides is vital in applying for your accreditation to connect to N3.

How do you go about connecting to the N3 network? It’s a multi-step process with the first being deciding who you will contact to request access. For this, there are two options, one is to deal with the HSCIC direct (the N3 service provider) and the other is to deal with an N3 commercial aggregator. Dealing direct the process tends to take longer and commercial aggregators are organisations who have been granted power by the HSCIC to vet, assess and grant end user access requests to N3. This latter route is often much quicker and enables you to work with experienced staff who can offer direct support to help complete the required documentation.

Once a request is made there are then two parts of a pre-assessment questionnaire that need completing:

  • The HIGCAP – an eight question form asking about the nature of the connection, name of the company making the request, contact details, ISO certification status etc.
  • You then need to get a sponsor to complete their portion of the form – a sponsor is a responsible individual within an NHS organisation who will vouch for your connection application, for example, a senior manager with knowledge of your project.

After the above two are completed they are assessed for pre-approval. Once pre-approved you move on to:

  • The LCA – Local Connection Architecture questionnaire – this is a comprehensive break down of why the N3 is required – what the connection is for, the type of data etc.

If using a commercial aggregator, a meeting or conference call is usually had to discuss the LCA and help complete it. Once completed to the satisfaction of the provider, N3 approval is granted and a connection is setup.

Once an N3 connection is setup, the end user (our client for example) is obliged to complete the IG Toolkit. This is a process similar to ISO27001 certification which ensures procedures and policies are in place to prevent misuse or negligence of the N3 connection and associated service. They have until the end of March to complete it, so, if access is granted on the 30th March they have 1 day to complete it, if access is granted on 1st April they have a full year. Yes, this is odd. Because of this, completion is not strictly enforced and can (and does) take longer to complete. However, ultimately it needs to be done annually.

What type of connection would I need? For our customers, the need is most often for hosting a server which can connect to N3. Commercial aggregators such as Redcentric own their own data centres with a direct connection to the N3 backbone.  Once approved, our clients can host their servers, either physical or virtual cloud based, in the data centre and their app or web visitor traffic flows in over the public internet and out over the N3. To ensure integrity of the N3 service, you are obliged to utilise a managed firewall that monitors and filters all traffic that crosses over the N3 boundary.

If your service is connected outside of a data centre, in a pharmacy for example, then, in addition to the N3 connection and firewall, you would need to purchase a broadband connection from the commercial aggregator at rates comparable to standard DSL providers.

What about the costs? There are no direct costs associated with obtaining an N3 connection but, like all network connections, there are ongoing costs for using it. There is a minimum 3 year contract and costs increase depending on the speed required. Connections are sold in increments of 1Mb/s which, despite sounding slow (a domestic high speed broadband connection is upwards of 50Mb/s), when dealing with low traffic levels and small packets of text data often used in apps, the basic 1Mb/s can sometimes suffice. Additionally, there are costs for the firewall, hosting in the data centre if necessary and costs for an external DSL connection if required. In all likelihood there would also be consultancy costs associated with completing the IG Toolkit.

In summary, there are commercial benefits to having an N3 connection available to your service and in many instances it will be a necessity. But it comes at a price, both financial and administrative so the decision to apply shouldn’t be taken lightly and should be based on your specific needs, requirements and business opportunities.

Thanks to Redcentric for their expert N3 knowledge that helped shape this article.

To find out more about how Genetic Digital’s expertise in developing healthcare and pharmaceutical websites and health apps could benefit your project contact us now.

Can Text Messaging Improve Patient Engagement Outcomes?

Text messagesMedication non adherence is a significant problem, it always has been and it will continue to be so with an estimated cost to the NHS of £600m* a year! So what can be done to improve patient outcomes? Changing patient behaviour is key to this and there have been a number of clinically led studies conducted that demonstrate that apps can help to improve compliance.  But, when looking at patient engagement, perhaps there is another solution where a person-centric approach is more likely to improve the odds of success. A successful engagement programme needs healthcare providers to be able to reach their patients in familiar and effective ways and by doing this, patients are encouraged to take an active role in their treatment which will in turn lead to better healthcare outcomes.

This is where I think text messaging could be the answer.

It’s a cost effective way of providing a more personalised experience with a greater reach than just smartphone users. Last year over 145 billion* text messages were sent and despite the rise of instant messaging platforms among younger users, text messages remain device agnostic and one of the easiest ways reach anyone with a mobile phone.

The Personal Touch

Your health is a private matter and the more personalised the experience, the more likely patients are to respond and take an active role in managing their own treatment. Medication reminders, exercise reminders, appointment booking, pre-op instructions, post op advise can all be communicated ‘one-on-one’ and doing this on a personal level, knowing that a real person is supporting them, can be a real motivator to empowering them to make the necessary changes.

A GSMA study in 2012 showed that 54% of consumers wanted to improve their healthcare using their mobiles in more personalised ways, taking more control in their treatment.

Patient Preferences

Reach

In order for any patient engagement programme to be successful the number of patients you are able to reach is very important. Patients comes from a variety of backgrounds and demographics with a range of communication preferences. Combined with the fact that it’s not always possible to be connected to the internet, text messaging offers the lowest common denominator and most reliable way of contacting patients. Text messaging also is the quickest way to reach the most people. The average text message is read within the first 90 seconds, whereas the average email is opened within the first 90 minutes*.

Security

Clearly security and compliance are also considerations for any healthcare system that communicates patient information. The text messages can be stored securely inline with HIPAA compliance but because security depends on the cooperation of all parties involved in the transmission process there are bound to be challenges. However if the tool is used correctly, with guidelines in place to support patients with their treatment plans and not for discussing medical issues, many of these security concerns are negated.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that apps and smartphones will make communication easier, reduce costs and improve efficiencies throughout the NHS. But let’s not just assume that apps are the answer before considering all the technologies available to us and the way in which patients use them. Familiarity, reach and simplicity can play a big role in the success of an initiative like this and, used in the correct way, could see tangible benefits in terms of outcomes and cost savings.

*http://europe.newsweek.com/health-apps-created-surgeons-put-patients-control-313531
*http://www.hsj.co.uk/resource-centre/best-practice/qipp-resources/how-improved-medication-adherence-can-prevent-costly-medicine-waste/5041067.article#.VVXLXJNVhBc
*http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/13/number-text-messages-sent-britain-falls-first-time
*http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/11/30/the-best-and-worst-of-mobile-connectivity/
Image credit: Amancay Maahs (https://www.flickr.com/photos/amanky/3211478871/)

World’s first prescription only app

welldoclogoTake Two Pills Twice a Day – and An App

Without our mobile phones we would be lost, appointments would be missed, and our lives would fall apart. We rely on smartphones to get us up and get us through the day but are we ready to rely on them for medical advice? An innovative new app is due to launch later this year, as BlueStar’s prescription only app for smartphone becomes a trailblazer in its field.

Could this potentially be the start of something momentous, and poses the question – just how far away are we from being prescribed apps with our medication?

Do we even want to go down that route? What are the pitfalls and the benefits? Is introducing this remoteness and prescription by app to be welcomed or feared? Will GP’s be comfortable prescribing an app with medication and how will a prescription only app be paid for? Furthermore, what restrictions will be placed on marketers with regards to promoting the app, will it fall under the ABPI code of practice as do prescription only medicines (POMs)? So, are we likely to see the buzzword POA (prescription only apps) being added to the pharma jargon dictionary?

WellDoc – a prescription only app

The Blue Star app can be downloaded to tablet, computer or smartphone in the normal way but will only become interactive with a special prescription code issued by a pharmacy. This is the first healthcare app that needs a doctor’s prescription to work and it is being trialled in a small area of the US where it is already causing quite a stir, as several large US corporations have announced plans to incorporate the app into the health cover that they offer their employees. The precise cost of the app is not yet known but speculation is that it is very likely to be some way over $100 per month.

This medical app has been put through its paces by the FDA in the USA and was approved for use in 2010. The app has been designed as an aid for people with type 2 diabetes. It prompts them to check blood sugar levels and gives them useful information about controlling fluctuations in glucose levels along with other advice to help them manage their condition. The prescription only app will offer encouragement and praise for regular blood sugar checking and might also issue helpful reminders to take medication with food, for instance.

Following in the wake of Nike’s FuelBand, an app that is designed to record health related performance, Blue Star’s app does not monitor a patient directly but rather provides a platform for them to use to record the information needed to best manage their condition. The question is how will doctors receive this innovation? Not having immediate control of their patient may not sit well, but BlueStar plan to calm any qualms by sending patients statistics to doctors who can then use the data to make adjustments to treatment. Another potential stumbling block may be the perceived intrusion that might be resented by patients if no immediate improvement or benefit is seen. Only time will tell if the prescription only app is going to become mainstream.

Genetic Apps Launches

genetic_appsThe last 6 months has been an exciting time in Genetic Digital’s growth and we’ve established ourselves as one of the UK’s leading experts in the area of health and medical mobile app development.

We’ve built some highly innovative apps for the likes of the NHS and pharmaceutical brands and we recently completed the development of our first MHRA approved app which we believe to be only the second app in the UK (the first one being Mersey Burns App) to carry the CE mark as a class 1 medical device.

As a result of this specialism we’ve launched a dedicated website called Genetic Apps which will contain specific content relating to our health and medical app development services. Over the coming months we’ll be adding more new resources and insightful blog posts to help you keep up to speed on this fast evolving and innovative area of digital and mHealth.

When is an app classed as a medical device?

Recently we’ve seen a number of apps with dosage calculator functions, some award winning, released to app stores but surprisingly these don’t seem to carry the CE mark to show that they have been registered with the MHRA as class I medical devices. There are currently over 11,000 medical apps in UK App stores aimed at HCPs which cover a huge number of disciplines from reference guides to dosage calculators. Everyday more and more are being added but how are HCPs supposed to know if the tools they are downloading have been thoroughly tested and are safe to use?

In the UK there is no official requirement to register smartphone or tablet apps either as software or devices with the MHRA and the guidelines that are available are just that, so it depends on what the app does and the level of patient risk associated with it as to whether it should be classified as a device or not.

MHRA Risk Indication

The European Medical Device Directive MDD 93/42/EEC says:

‘medical device’ means any instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, including the software necessary for its proper application intended by the manufacturer to be used for human beings for the purpose of:

  • diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease,
  • diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of or compensation for an injury or handicap,
  • investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process,
  • control of conception

and which does not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but which may be assisted in its function by such means;

The inclusion of the word ‘software’ means that potentially all healthcare apps could fall under the medical device banner. However the meeting minutes from the Medical Device Technology Forum in 2010 show that the MHRA will apply further criteria to understand if ‘software’ needs to be categorised as a medical device.

  • Electronic Health Records (EHR) – while views apparently differ across Europe, the MHRA believes that if software is purely a record archiving and retrieval system it is unlikely to be considered a medical device. However if it includes a module that interprets data or performs a calculation, then it is likely that this module (or system) may be considered a medical device, depending on the claims of the manufacturer. 
  • Decision Support software will generally not be considered a medical device if it exists to provide already existing information to enable a healthcare professional to make a clinical decision. However, if it performs a calculation or the software interprets or interpolates data and the healthcare professional does not review the raw data, then this software may be considered a medical device.

Now, common sense must prevail but for example, an app that calculates BMI is highly unlikely to fall within their definition of a medical device, but a dosage calculator which produces a recommended dose based on a patients details, would.

Based on the information available and to ensure patients are not being put at risk, if you are thinking of developing an app that will use patient data to either contribute to, or make a clinical decision then you should submit a registration for the app as a class I device with the MHRA.

Notifying the MHRA

If you want your app to carry the CE mark as proof that it conforms to the Medical Device Directive, you will need to notify the MHRA as soon as it is applied to the device. This process involves producing a declaration of conformity which includes a detailed technical document that proves that the design conforms to the directive. As part of the technical documentation you will also need to have undertaken a controlled test and risk assessment to demonstrate that the app supports and improves upon any existing process used to present the same information. Once all the documentation is in place you can submit your registration with the MHRA and your fee for the registration which currently stands at £70.00.

Ultimately there is no definitive answer as to whether an app should be registered as a device and until such a time as regulation dictates that all apps are registered as medical devices, it’s down to the nature of the app and what it does, applied with common sense that will dictate if an app should carry the CE mark.

What would be interesting however is to understand that if apps carry the CE mark, would they be more likely to be seen as a trusted source by HCPs for use within their professional day?

References: d4.org.uk, mhra.gov.uk

NHS Health Apps Library

In March this year The NHS Commissiong Board launched its Health Apps Library with the main aim of  making it easier for people to find health and medical apps that they can trust and which adhere to NHS safety standards in health IT.

With over 40,000 healthcare related apps available globally, a key focus for the NHS is on ensuring that the apps listed in the Library are all clinically safe and suitable for people who are living in the UK.  Dr Maureen Baker, Clinical Director for Patient Safety, and her team  developed a review process that applies, for the first time, safety standards in health technology to health apps.

At the time of writing this post I was able to discover around 70 apps listed on the site, so it is by no means a comprehensive source of information yet. The main focus is on apps aimed at patients but I would imagine that it would also be a useful place to list apps that are aimed specifically for use by healthcare professionals. As we know, many HCPs are using apps in their day to day roles to help perform medical calculations and diagnose patients etc, so adding a list of apps that have been tested and approved for use by HCPs would no doubt be of great value to them.

How to install, use and build Sencha Touch 2.1 apps on Windows

Sencha Touch is a Javascript Framework used for building high performance cross platform mobile apps. My experience with installing Sencha Touch was horrible. The docs are severely lacking with outdated and conflicting information. With much experimentation, web searching and thanks to some help on the Sencha forum I managed, finally to get it installed. This post deals with installing Sencha Touch, generating your first app and ‘building’ it so it’s ready for production web use. It doesn’t cover coding a Touch app or packaging your app for iOS and Android which I expect to cover in another post.

This was a piecemeal process and very much a learning experience. There may be errors in my recommendations or assumptions but the end result works for me. If I were to do it again I’d most likely choose a more ordered folder structure for the various installations just for the sake of good housekeeping.

Briefly, if like me you struggled to cut through the marketing hype, these are the core Sencha Products and what they do:

  • Ext JS – Javascript framework for developing desktop apps.
  • Touch – Javascript framework for developing mobile apps.
  • Architect – Standalone product for developing Ext JS or Touch apps using a GUI (as oppose to hand coding)

For the record, I am only concerned with Touch. I tried Architect but found the documentation so lacking that I gave up and decided to just use Touch instead. Unless you are an OEM, Touch is free to use. Architect is a paid product.

Installing and using Sencha Touch 2.1

What you need – I provide specific download links in the instructions below:

1. Apache

First up, if you don’t have a local webserver installed, do it now. Because I’ve used it before, I chose Uniform Server, a WAMP server (Windows Apache MySQL PHP). Uniform Server downloads as an exe (Coral_8_7_2.exe in my case). Run the exe and point it to the folder you want to work from. I chose:

C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha

So the path to my web root is:

C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha\UniServer\www

Next we need to allow other devices on your network to access the new Apache installation. This assumes the IP address used by your network is 192.168.1.X. If it’s different, you will need to change the input below accordingly. In the above folder there should be an .htaccess file. Open it in a text editor and change line 9 from:

Allow from 127.0.0.1

To

Allow from 127.0.0.1 192.168.1.0/24

192.168.1.0/24 allows any device using an IP in 192.168.1.X range to access your server.

Click Start_as_program.exe form C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha\UniServer folder. Don’t worry about passwords if prompted. From the interface click ‘Start Apache’ and it should open a browser window with the Uniform Server homepage.

To access your server from another device (i.e. your mobile or tablet) you need to enter the IP address of the machine you installed Uniform Server on in the web browser. To find your IP Address, open a command prompt (start > type ‘cmd’in the search box and press enter) and type ipconfig. In the first few entries you will see a line that says IPv4 address. Make a note and type this in your mobile browser address bar and you should see the Uniform Server homepage.

Note: Your IP Address could change every time you restart your machine so you will need to know it to be able to see it from your mobile or tablet.

2. JRE

Next install JRE – Java Runtime Environment. Download from:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre7-downloads-1880261.html

I chose Windows x64 ( jre-7u10-windows-x64.exe at the time), you should choose the correct version for your system. I left the default install options which made the install path:

C:\Program Files\Java

3. Ant

Install Ant. Download from:

http://ant.apache.org/bindownload.cgi

Ant is a library used by other tools when building applications. Download, unzip and move the files to the folder of your choice. I chose c:\ant because that what’s mentioned in the install guide. Assuming you used c:\ant, you should have the folders C:\ant\bin, C:\ant\etc and so on.

Now, open a command prompt. At the prompt type:

set ANT_HOME=c:\ant
set PATH=%PATH%;%ANT_HOME%\bin

Close the command prompt window.

4. Ruby

Install Ruby. Download from:
http://rubyinstaller.org/downloads/

I used the defaults which installed to C:\Ruby193 and checked all 3 options:

Once Ruby is installed, open a command prompt. Type:

ruby -v

This should display a line which looks similar to:

Ruby 1.9.3p362 (2012-12-25) [i386-mingw32]

5. Compass and SASS

Assuming the above works, in the same command prompt or a new one, enter the following 4 commands, waiting for each to complete before typing the next. These commands install items, including Compass and SASS which Sencha relies on when building apps:

  1. gem install haml
  2. gem install haml-edge
  3. gem install compass
  4. gem install sass

6. Sencha Touch

Install Sencha Touch. Download from:

http://www.sencha.com/products/touch/download/

At certain points in their documentation, Sencha refer to this is the Sencha Touch SDK (not to be confused with the obsolete Sencha Touch SDK Tools). I downloaded the GPL version sencha-touch-2.1.0-gpl.zip and extracted the contents to:

C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha\UniServer\www\sencha-touch-2.1.0-gpl

So I have the following example folders:

C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha\UniServer\www\sencha-touch-2.1.0-gpl\builds

C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha\UniServer\www\sencha-touch-2.1.0-gpl\cmd

C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha\UniServer\www\sencha-touch-2.1.0-gpl\docs

Etc

7. Sencha Command

Install Sencha Command. Download from:

http://www.sencha.com/products/sencha-cmd/download

(SenchaCmd-3.0.0.250-windows.exe.zip for me). I used the default install directory which was C:\Users\Gareth\bin so ended up with the following example directories:

C:\Users\Gareth\bin\Sencha\Cmd\3.0.0.250\ant

C:\Users\Gareth\bin\Sencha\Cmd\3.0.0.250\lib

C:\Users\Gareth\bin\Sencha\Cmd\3.0.0.250\phantomjs

Etc

That should be it. Close all command prompts and then open a new one and type the following. You will need to change the paths to the correct ones. The first path is the path to where you installed Sencha Touch, the second is where you want your app folder:

sencha –sdk C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha\UniServer\www\sencha-touch-2.1.0-gpl generate app FirstTest C:\Users\Gareth\Documents\Sencha\UniServer\www\FirstTest

This will create a folder in the www directory called FirstTest which contains all the files for a basic Sencha Touch app. If you visit http://localhost/FirstTest (using Chrome) you should see the app:

My local IP Address is 192.168.1.96 so if I visit http://192.168.1.96/FirstTest on my iPhone I see:

Finally, to ‘build’ your app, that is, to export it in a format optimised for a particular environment, open a command prompt, change directory to the one we created for your FirstTest, and type:

sencha app build production

Your output should look like the screen shot below and your FirstTest folder should contain a new folder tree of ‘build/FirstTest/production’. Now, if you navigate to the address below you will be viewing the optimised, production ready version of your app:

http://192.168.1.96/FirstTest/build/FirstTes/production

That’s it. You should be up and running. The following resources where used by me and might help you if you get stuck:

http://www.ladysign-apps.com/developer/sass/installing-sass-compass-for-windows-os-x/ installing compass and sass on windows.

http://ant.apache.org/manual/install.html#windows – installing ant on windows

http://www.sencha.com/forum/showthread.php?252680-Docs-appalling-how-to-actually-get-started – my forum thread where Brice Mason provided a concise list of requirements.

 Other Useful App Development Resources

Mobile Medical Apps: A Great Way of Reaching HCPs?

Damon Lightley featued in Clinical Business ExcellenceDamon Lightley, Marketing Director at Genetic Digital was approached by one of the editors from Clinical Business Excellence to write an article about medical apps.

The article has now been published and appears on page 8 of the August 2012 issue of Clinical Business Excellence. It is titled: “Mobile Medical Applications: A Great Way of Reaching HCPs?” A PDF version is also available.

Mobile Medical Apps: A Great Way of Reaching HCPs?

Mobile revenue rise for Twitter

Speaking at The Economist Group Conference in San Francisco, Twitter founder and CEO Dick Costolo revealed that the social network had generated more advertising revenue from its mobile incarnation that its desktop version for many days in the last quarter. Twitter only introduced ads to smartphone users’ timelines in February, so the news highlights the way in which mobile marketing campaigns can be quickly and successful integrated – as well as confirming the ever increasing popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets amongst consumers.

“We’re borne of mobile,” Costolo commented, when asked about Twitter’s mobile strategies. “We have an ad platform that already is inherently suited to mobile, even though we launched our platform on the Web and only started running ads on mobile recently.”

It is interesting that whilst Twitter’s mobile ad campaigns appear to be flourishing, their prime social media rival Facebook is frequently criticised for their equivalent offering. Facebook have stated that they hope to make improvements to their current mobile strategies, but as of yet they have not experienced the levels of success that Twitter is reaching.

Comparison between the advertising of the two platforms demonstrates both the positives and the pitfalls of mobile marketing campaigns. Mobile marketing is a valuable technique within the digital marketing industry, but only when it is done well. Campaigns that are too invasive or offer information that is not particularly relevant to the  audience will not provide the desired results, so it is important for marketing professionals to strike the right balance to ensure that their campaigns produce the desired results.