Using location-based technology, the 'Find A Clinic' application is an instant directory which an individual can access to find whatever specialist health service they require. Currently, the application demonstrates this capability using hearing clinics as an example.
The ‘Find A Clinic’ application can be used by anyone but will be of most benefit to anyone looking to find a health clinic near to them, wherever they are at any given point in time.
The ‘Find A Clinic’ application uses IBM Worklight which offers instant cross-platform functionality. The obvious benefit of this is the removal of any platform dependence while offering increased accessibility for users of any mobile device.
Firstly, the ‘Find A Clinic’ app must be downloaded from the app store (this is done at no cost to the user from Google+). In terms of usability, this app is a single screen application which contributes to it being a simple user experience.
Note: to utilise the full functionality of the ‘Find A Clinic’ app, the user should enable the location settings on their mobile device. This will generate more accurate results for the search function.
To initiate a search, the user should add/filter data in two fields; Location and Product Type. Location is the city/town/region and Product Type is the type of clinic e.g. hearing. Once the user has completed those two fields, they click the ‘Find’ button.
Using the location-based capabilities of the device, a map is generated displaying the most relevant results based on the search criteria. A list also appears on the screen with the search results displayed and ordered by physical distance (results closest to the user’s location appear first). This list can be further refined, for example to only show results within 5km of the user’s current location. The user can click on any of the given results to bring up a window within the map that shows the details of the search result. For example, if searching for a hearing clinic, the window will display additional useful information such as address and contact details.
The application is currently at a working demonstration stage but we have a backlog of features set for development in 2013.
The first is a feedback component which will allow customers to input comments/responses directly into the application and help the clinic to form a clearer picture of the user experience.
The next enhancement is a push function that will notify a user of relevant information related to their clinic experience, for example notification of changing clinic hours, whether their preferred clinician is on site, clinic costs, etc. This then extends into booking management, such as sending appointment reminders.
We also envision the clinic being able to better manage and send documentation between themselves and the individual - things like test results - immediately and securely.
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