Digital Doctor – Are Apps The Future Of Healthcare?

Earlier this month, Google rolled out its ‘Health Card’ app in India. Google Health Card allows users to flip through over 400 ‘cards’ in order to swiftly correlate symptoms and learn more about diseases. While the concept may sound reasonably basic, the interface and efficiency of the app combined with the considerable expertise which came into the making of it renders it a very useful little tool. More to the point, the giant Google leaping into the health app fray indicates that they’re taking the medical potential of digital platforms very seriously indeed. As are many other observers, commentators, health providers, and businesses.

Doctor Google’

We all know that googling your symptoms is never a good idea. ‘Doctor Google’ will convince you in no time at all that a simple cold is Ebola, or that a stress headache is a brain aneurysm. Despite this, however, Google states that one in twenty Google searches are health related. For this reason,  it decided last year to put health-related information into its Knowledge Graph. The idea was not only to give Google an edge when it comes to amateur diagnostics – but also to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate healthcare information. Rather than relying on the hysterical hypochondriac power of user-generated health forums etc, Google’s own knowledge could commune directly with the searcher – and hopefully give more accurate and relevant information. This applies a certain amount of corporate clout to the world of digital diagnosis – but also indicates that Google is perhaps trying to reassert supremacy in the growing world of digital and app-based healthcare. The release of Google Health Card in India may be just another aspect of Google’s medical gameplan.

Health And Fitness Apps

Growing interest in our personal fitness has coincided with the kind of technology which can help us to monitor and control our health. Exercise gadgets like pedometers and exercise machine interfaces have been with us for a while now, but the introduction of linked apps has seen an explosion in health and fitness monitoring technology. From fitbits to diet plan apps, we’re able to weigh calories burned against calories consumed like never before – as well as assessing precisely what the things we’re eating and the activities are doing to our personal physiques. In the not-too-distant future, gadgets will be able to intensively monitor our vital statistics (including blood chemical content, among other things) and feed back to trained medical professionals. While there is the potential for people to get  a little obsessive about this , there is also a lot of potential for serious help where it’s needed. For example, borderline or recovering alcoholics with an app which monitored blood alcohol levels over time and fed that information back to a specialist are more likely to get the tailored help they need  to cut down their alcohol than if they were able to lie about the amount they’ve been drinking. From a business point of view, apps which fed certain health-based information to human resources could enable employees to get the help they need for any conditions from which they may be suffering (for example, gluten-free options in the canteen, ergonomic furniture, more breaks etc). If, that is, such a thing would not be too much of an infringement upon individual privacy…

Health Vs Individuality

There’s a very good reason why our medical records are kept private. For centuries, the Hippocratic Oath has bound doctors  to keep the medical information of their patients “unutterable”. And very glad many of us are about that, too! Who, after all, wants the world to know about their irritable bowels, or their persistent urinary tract infection, or even about the sneaky pint they enjoyed on a work night? Indeed, many people have let their conditions run on for years rather than having anyone – even a doctor – know about them. Clearly it is very important that the   standards of medical confidentiality remain unimpeachable. Apps which fed information – however innocuous – back to a third party would have to have their legal ramifications looked at in great detail, and the issue of consent must never be underestimated. Nor should individuals who refuse to use any app which informed their employer of physical information (however ostensibly harmless) be penalized for doing so. It’s a situation which is doubtless going to come into play and begin causing friction before very long – watch this space.

Author

This is an article by Helen Freeman

 

 

Here’s What You Need to Know about Managing Documents on a Mobile Device

The usage of mobile devices is higher than it has ever been before. Not only are iPhones and iPads used for personal purposes such as texting with friends, listening to music, reading news and books or sharing photos on Instagram, but they are also equally used for business.

One of the biggest advantages of iPads over laptops and desktop computers is the fact that you can actually finish your daily business tasks on the go. It is especially useful when you need to manage your documents urgently and you are out of the office.

Since many aspects of business involve documents, document management apps are usually among the first to choose, when you decide to take advantage of that aspect of mobile usage – the business one.

But what do you need to know about document management on a mobile device?

No matter how good your iPad is, it can never be stronger than an average computer. The thing is, desktop tools are usually better than mobile apps and they have features that are more powerful. Mobile apps are designed in a way to be able to work on a mobile device. So, you cannot expect to finish all your business tasks on an iPad, but you can still find some purpose in using mobile apps as a quick alternative.

Having in mind that mobile apps are not as strong as desktop tools, you just need to be aware that you cannot manipulate complex documents on a mobile device. The more delicate the document is, the better tool you need. And why is that? The reason is simple – with complex documents you usually need to apply additional settings, and mobile apps are built in a way that often doesn’t allow you to alter the options.

However, using mobile apps for managing regular documents can be a true revelation. If you already have an iPad or an iPhone, getting some of the document management apps can really help you in your day-to-day business. There are tons of such apps on iTunes store, some of them are free and some of them are not. Every app usually has only one simple feature with no possibility to customize settings, but again it can do a really good job if you need only that specific feature.

For example, there are apps for PDF creation that turn your files into PDF, there are apps that are used for viewing PDF files and there are apps that convert PDF to a specific file format. Since a vast number of business documents are created in Excel, probably one of the most popular apps for document conversion is PDF to Excel. In cases when you need to edit your old budget report that was saved in PDF, or someone sent you a PDF file you want to update, such apps can come in handy.

What you also need to have in mind is that your documents might be scanned, not native PDFs. So when considering mobile apps for PDF to Excel conversion, don’t forget to check if the app in question supports conversion of scanned PDF files.

And finally, if you take into consideration the ease of use of mobile apps for document management, and a very high level of accessibility, you can always count on smooth document management on a mobile device, at least for less complex tasks.

Spammers this Week

This week, many spammers (or probably just a couple), are sending me fake emails containing zip files.  They claim it is bills for services.  They are as phony as a 3 dollar bill.  There are two things I don’t do;

  • Open emails or answer phone calls from parties I don’t know – unless I receive an official US mail letter, with a verifiable company on the letterhead.
  • Open any “official” emails from LinkedIn, AOL, etc.  Instead, I go to the site itself and see if they have a copy in my account.  Not click on any links.

Should You Invest In a VoIP Router

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol has brought in dramatic changes in the realm of telecommunication. Hence, it is anybody’s guess that a VoIP based router is an absolute prerogative for seamless communication – in both commercial as well as personal level. Now what are the benefits of investing on VoIP router? Let us see.

Should You Invest In a VoIP Router

The first and foremost thing about a VoIP router is that that the quality and the clarity of the voice during calls are supreme in case of VoIP routers, and that is what makes these routers more favorable than the conventional telephone systems. More so when it comes to business, the superior quality of calls goes a long way in augmenting the image of the company and boosts the confidence of the customer care representatives. Performance of the employees is enhanced, which ultimately uplifts the company’s image. Needless to say, profit figures for the company also experiences a surge.

Besides, the better quality of the VoIP based routers ensures that the company’s management benefits along with the improved customer support. All this go a long way to augment the growth dynamics of the company. In other words, it is because of the extensive high quality technical support offered by the VoIP router based system, there is a seamless liaison between the clients and the management. The organization responds to the market dynamics in the very best way, thereby positively affecting the growth of the company.

Another very important feature of VoIP router that will help businesses is the data compression feature. Users often are apprehensive that the overload on internet bandwidth will slow down other communication channels. However, tremendous development in the realm of data compression facilitates the use as well as integration of a large number of voice channels into just one telephone line. This implies that multiple real voice data channels can be integrated into an internet DSL line. It becomes equivalent to having more than 10 personnel carrying out conversation with each other, using just a solitary ordinary telephone connection.

It is possible for business to compress the voice data in real time with the use of a common internet connection. The rest of the connection can be used for other purposes, like taking care of the web applications, searching for answers to customer enquiries, or even doing follow up on the customers, and calling them back, and many other similar activities.

Long distance communication can be maintained by using VoIP based routers with very little infrastructure and very little investment. Irrespective of the distance, calls made and received will never be costly. Cost advantage offered by VoIP based routers makes it extremely popular among medium and large businesses.

Another major advantage of using the VoIP based router is that is a very large number of data channels, which can be used over the ordinary telephone lines. Besides, this benefit is further supported by the fact that the VoIP based routers are also unified to the traditional or conventional telecommunication system. What this means is that it is also possible to call any one staying in any part of the world, in real time.

Loaded with such benefits, it is highly advantageous for businesses of every size– big, small and medium to invest on VoIP based routers. Companies can reap huge benefits with minimal investment. Such has been the popularity of these routers that even people are using these in their homes for personal use.

Author – Michelle Patterson

 

 

How Important Is the VOIP Quality of Service

You might have often heard the terms like ‘Quality of Service’ (QoS) during discussions about ‘VoIP’. Quality has been the key driving force behind the development of modern telephony systems like VoIP. Let us try to understand why QoS is so important for VOIP.

QOS

VoIP and QoS

Let’s start with VOIP. Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP allows you to take voice calls and data over your IP network. Thanks to the increase of bandwidth of the internet over the last few years, it is now possible to take calls over the internet.

QoS is an indicator that shows how the telephony system is living up to the expectation of the user. Is it performing as expected without affecting communication? In VoIP, it is important that QoS is maintained as for replacing PSTN or public switched telephone network the quality of voice transmission should be same as PSTN. That means there should be a constant transmission of high-quality voice over the IP network.

An example will make these things easier to understand. Do you feel any difference in driving a freeway at 2 AM and at 9 AM in the morning? You must have. At 2 AM, the freeway will have fewer cars and that will let you speed up your car and get to your destination without any delay. However, the story would not be same at 9 AM when the traffic is much more as it is peak hour of the commute. You will be sharing the freeway with many other cars and thus, the movement will be slow.

In the case of VoIP network too, when there are fewer users the bandwidth is shared among few and they can get maximum speed. That gives them high-quality voice transmission without a drop in calls. However, when the number of users increases the same bandwidth is shared between all of them and congestion arises. Here comes the need for Quality of service that ensures that you can complete your calls without any fail. To get out of this, a QoS enable router is of great help.

How QoS helps in VoIP?

For getting maximum utility from VoIP network, it is essential that it guarantees high-quality voice transmissions. This is possible when the voice packets are given priority over other any other kind of traffic. VoIP requires certain bandwidth, jitter requirements, and latency so that the user receives a high voice quality. This standard of voice quality is maintained by QoS. It ensures that the quality of voice is maintained by giving preferential treatment as required.

Another example will further clarify the above. Consider the situation how you board an airplane. It is the first class passengers boarding the plane first, followed by business class and, at last, economy class passengers get the opportunity. A first class passenger can board the plane even when an economy class passenger is boarding. They are given special treatment. Now, if there was no prioritization then all the passengers would have tried to rush to the gate bypassing the queue. Commotion and confusion will be the result of such a scenario. Thus, prioritization is important in airlines. In a similar manner prioritization holds true for IP networks as well.

Yes, without special treatment no one can complete their work through the network as it will be congested during rush hours. Here comes importance of Quality of Service that ensures that there is sufficient bandwidth for managing the Voice calls.

If there is fluctuation in the voice quality then QoS capable routers and switches fix the problem. The managed switches will send information to the network that highly important voice data has to be transferred first. If this is supported by the network then it will give priority to the voice traffic over the data traffic and you can get high-quality voice calls without any problem.

About The Author

Guest author Michelle Patterson

Obihai ObI1022 phone reviewed

 

First a Chinese learning application

First an app plug. Chinese Skill is a great Android and IOS app for learning Mandarin. It’s similar to the DuoLingo app for other languages (i.e. Russian, Spanish and Porguguese). It works on Android and IOS. Also look for the Perapera Chinese Popup Dictonary extension for Google Chrome and Firefox. You might also try the Zhongwen Firefox and Chrome Chinese plugin

Well, this might be a bit nerdy or geeky. But there is a PC (perhaps Mac also) on File Hippo . It’s called BlueStacks App Player. But I can use it as a pseudo software emulation environment on my PC. Then I can install and work with Chinese Skill app, without having to use an Android or an IOS device. You just need an active Gmail account.

Now to Obi1022

Obi1022

Obi1022 can be found on Amazon. Technically, this is a business phone. But I love using it with a personal Google Voice account. The chief advantage is ht HD sound quality. Compared to Ooma – which boasts about its sound quality – this is much better. Amazon gives me a 30 day return window, so I could test it out.

Obihai does have advantages I really enjoy. They have official relationships with Google Voice and Ring To, which are both free services. I have OBI200 hooked up to Google Voice and Ring To. And Obi2200 hooked up to Google Voice.

What you need to do is have an Obitalk account set up. Then after setting it up, according to the quick start instructions, I highly recommend the next step: Firmware updates. I like to check my Windows 10 and Android devices daily for either operating system or application software updates. I make a weekly check on my Obihai devices for firmware updates. This way, you insure the systems are running as smoothly as possible, with the latest bells and whistles. You can do this one of two ways:

By an inform icon in the Obitalk portal

By dialing ***6 from the phone. I prefer this way, since it is much quicker.

The other element is the hands free, speaker phone mode. I can call or receive calls without the hassle of putting a phone to my ear. This allows me to write, read emails, learn languages, etc. Of course, this is only for formal chit chat. If it is an important call, it will have my full attention. And there is an HD quality that’s much better then the Ooma advised quality. I know, since I’ve been an Ooma user for 3 years. That is, until I’ve finally converted to an Obahi solution, coupled with my cell phone plan.

The phone also has some features I really enjoy.

Redial list: It gives me a list of phone numbers that called me, when I was unavailable. Should I to to call them back, I just click on the number and let it dial. This way, I can call back whenever I wish.

Lines: I have Google Voice set up. But if you have other business lines, you can easily switch to them, by selecting the appropriate phone button. Since I’m not paying for other business phones and just using the free Google Voice account, this should suffice for now.

Call back on another line. This I learned about recently. I was calling my cousin and her husband on line 1. But she called me back while I was dialing and it ending up dialing line 2. This is fascinating to me and a good extra benefit.

Summary

I have OBI022 hooked up to Google Voice and Ring To. And Obi120000 hooked up to Google Voice.

I have this system hooked up to a DECT Vtech phone system, which is set up with Vtech phones over the condo. But I prefer making calls via the Obi1022. The HD sound quality is excellent.

Cyber Security: Careers to Consider in This Growing Field

More than 16 million people in the United States became victims of identify fraud in 2012, losing some $24 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Cyber Security Careers to Consider in This Growing Field

This is big business — and not just for the criminals.

The good guys have also been ramping up the fight in recent years as well. And identity theft protection is now a rapidly growing field that is attracting more people and creating more jobs.

Investigators

When your identity is stolen, your financial records — and maybe more — will be compromised. To figure out just how deep the damage goes, banks and financial institutions need employees who are experienced and knowledgable about common outcomes. While not all companies will have people dedicated to this task alone, some definitely do, and it is their expertise that will help determine whether a claimant lost money due to fraud or if they are merely claiming purchases they willingly made were illicit transactions (which does happen).

Law enforcement needs similar experts. To track down identity thieves, they need trained personnel who can identify the patterns and tendencies used by these criminals. We’ve all heard the phrase, it takes one to know one, and while the police don’t want ID thieves in their midst, they do need cops who can think like those on the other side of the law.

Cyber Insurance

While the insurance industry is always in flux as society changes, few areas have emerged, developed, evolved, adapted, and been remade as the tech world has over the past two decades as much as the insurance industry.

Throughout this period, the risks, vulnerabilities, and liabilities for companies in the technology sector have changed, too, and the insurance industry has continually developed new product lines for cyber insurance in response. This includes personal lines that individuals can take out to recover losses as well as large policies for corporations, which may have to spend millions of dollars to deal with a large data breach.

Fraud Monitoring

Everyone from banks and credit companies to private investigators and startups catering to this risk have gotten into the fraud monitoring field. It is a new, unfortunate necessity in a world where hackers and dumpster divers alike are trying to take over people’s identities and open up new lines of credit in their name.

The big firms — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — are all in the game, as are specialized agencies that offer more granular services.

Data Protection

Every time you hear about another — and another and another and another — data breach at some mega corporation or government branch, it means only one thing: the information was not secure enough. The ongoing fight for better data security is really a war in which each side can claim victory in battle after battle. First the hackers expose a vulnerability, then the cyber security experts patch a hole, then the hackers find another way to get to this lucrative data. Rinse and repeat.

So while the data security industry is not solely about preventing identity theft — companies and organizations have many secrets to keep — it is growing even further as more illicit thieves across the world try to access databases to steal from the unsuspecting names listed within company files.

This is by far the largest related industry. And it is also the most important. Investigating, insurance, and monitoring are all wonderful remedies to recoup losses or alert potential victims that nefarious ID thieves are trying to take over their life, but prevention is the only way to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. Unfortunately, there aren’t any 100 percent guarantees to keep data completely secure. So until the protection warriors find a perfect solution, those who want to stay safe will have to rely on all the professionals in the industry.

Which Countries Work The Longest Hours? [Infographic]

Infographic from getvoip.com

How Much People Work Around the World

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