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How to Make the Most of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

AI voice recognition is currently considered one of the most interesting modern technologies. According to estimates, 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are now a part of their daily routine, just like artificial intelligence in healthcare.

With new developments in the technology, it is becoming more and more popular. Let’s see why an artificial intelligence-powered medical assistant for clinicians is worth implementing.

Voice Recognition Software

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) system is a program that enables a convenient dialogue between the user and the machine. In a broad sense, the system makes it possible to convert audio to text through deep learning. The range of varieties of ASR extends from simple devices and children’s toys to super complex systems for recognizing medical terms etc, that’s why it can solve different problems in different areas. According to some estimates, the number of people who use a voice assistant monthly is 9.5% more in 2019 than last year.

For example, ASR is a convenient method of entering information when a person is busy to type. ASR allows people who need to do several things at the same time (doctors in hospitals, drivers, etc.), to use modern gadgets and easily receive or enter the necessary information.

The only problem of ASR is the difference in pronunciation of the same word by different people. But thanks to machine learning, nowadays the systems are resistant to noise and can recognize speech with an accent. 

AI healthcare forecasts

According to estimates, recognition accuracy has increased by 3% and the accuracy of modern speech recognition systems exceeds 90% compared to 2018.

How to Build Voice into Products

An ASR system allows the user to enter text and perform computer operations through voice. The voice technology for digital health recognizes users’ speech, converts it to text, and then displays the result on the screen. It seems complicated, so let’s see how it works in more detail.

The voice request activates the program that can hear no words but a sound signal without clear division. The task of the speech recognition system is to convert the signal into the words. 

The voice request is sent to the servers and noise is determined and deleted. Then the record is divided into small fragments (frames). For each sound, a complex statistical model is constructed that describes the pronunciation of this sound in speech. Next, the system determines the likely word order and, if necessary, restores unrecognized words according to their meaning based on the context and available statistics.

Then we receive the final result in the form of the most probable sequence of words.

Turning speech to text technology is a complicated process which is why it is important to rely on professionals who will make a custom program for you with all the necessary features you need. 

Advantages of Voice Recognition Software

The advantages of voice technology are evident, as they make remote management of devices easier. This is the most useful function because it allows to perform a certain number of tasks at once and quickly respond in any situation.

The benefits of artificial intelligence voice recognition software:

  • the ability to turn speech into text;
  • no need for an additional intermediary between you and the device;
  • high reaction speed;
  • maximum accuracy;
  • input is carried out by the simplest way – through the voice;
  • easy to perform several tasks at once;
  • remote control makes device management more convenient;
  • useful in extreme situations.

Why Interact With Devices Using Voice in Healthcare

Why should we use voice recognition in healthcare? The answer to this question is simple: most people speak faster than they type. A reasonably experienced operator can type a 300-word message in about six minutes. When using a speech recognition system, this time is reduced twice thanks to natural language processing.

Previously, it was believed that doctors could use speech recognition systems only to dictate text to a computer. However, modern systems can provide more significant assistance to any medical specialist. Such systems are used to write e-mail, work on gadgets, compile medical records, speed up the flow of information, and also protect medical workers from additional workload and stress. And a voice-activated virtual assistant can easily increase the productivity of any employee, i.g. about 40% of medical workers suffer burnouts. 

Nowadays most speech recognition systems in medicine allow the user to add new words to the dictionary and, thanks to machine learning, adapt the system to function in a particular medical department. In addition, some systems initially include dictionaries of medical terms such as the names of diseases, drugs and tests, which helps them to automatically recognize and edit epicrisis texts and recipes. 

Clinical Documentation Generated Through Voice Recognition

Nowadays, one of the most time-consuming aspects in healthcare is creating and maintaining medical records. For every hour spent with a patient, a clinician spends two hours documenting and developing a care plan. It is known that physicians especially need prompt and error-free documentation of their medical research. Over the years, different approaches have been used to simplify the process: from attracting operators to using special online forms where the data would be checked. But how can we use artificial intelligence to optimize note-taking?

Speech recognition systems are the solution that streamlines the maintenance of electronic medical records or any documentation. Thanks to it, the doctors are now able to increase work efficiency (there is no longer a need to fill out documents manually). 

It’s done in real-time: at an exam room, the doctor dictates information, which is instantly and automatically transferred to text. 

AI voice-controlled apps in healthcare

Care Angel, Suki, and Voiceitt interfaces

Advantages of using voice-enabled digital assistant for doctors are as follows:

  • Voice typing outperforms an experienced stenographer 1.5-2 times, which significantly saves the time. 
  • There is a revenue increase because of more patients examined daily.
  • Specialized dictionaries allow you to accurately recognize and correctly format medical terms.
  • There is software that recognizes voice with no Internet connection.
  • Due to the medical speech recognition, the improved quality of services allows doctors to spend more time with patients.

Data Security and HIPAA Compliance

New technologies, from human artificial intelligence devices to electronic medical records allow doctors to save lives. They help collect more information to study the patient’s history. These technologies constantly interact with big data, exchanging health information through complex systems, which increases the risks of information leak. Doctors are no longer the only carriers of sensitive health information. For example, database managers are also responsible for information safety.

Because of the vulnerability of health information, the U.S. government has passed the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These laws require organizations that deal with health information to take certain measures to ensure confidentiality and security, as well as inform patients if their personal data are at risk. 

Patient’s personal health information includes:

  • information about the patient’s health, both physical and psychological;
  • the history of their visits to medical institutions;
  • financial information about medical services;
  • personal data:  all contact details, photos, etc.

Nowadays the regulation provides the most stringent set of rules in the world as to the collection, usage, and storage of personal data. Therefore, anyone who develops healthcare applications needs to stick to these rules.

The regulation doesn’t contain any step-by-step instructions, it only establishes a number of general rules and principles that the developer must take into account. 

Developer’s responsibilities:

  • ensuring privacy during the entire development cycle of the system;
  • taking sufficient and necessary technical and organizational measures to ensure the integrity and security of the system;
  • taking into account the risks associated with the processing of personal data, including their accidental or intentional destruction, loss, modification, or unauthorized disclosure.

Conclusion

Artificial intelligence and voice recognition can become a life-saving tool in healthcare. However, it’s hard to design such software and there are plenty of nuances to be aware of when dealing with sensitive data. Whether it’s speech recognition integration or AI voice-controlled software development, make sure you follow regulations. 

Why Employee Training Software Works Magic for Your Business

Keeping your staff in the know and abreast of the latest developments in the sphere is among the crucial aspects of efficient management. Staff-upgrading efforts boost the efficiency of human resource management and make you – as an employer – more appealing to potential hires. Employee training software is the key.

  • Weak on-boarding tends to result in losing up to a quarter of newcomers during their first year.
  • New personnel who receive good training boost their self-efficiency by 50%.
  • The employee turnover can be reduced by 70% if you put enough thought and effort into improving qualifications of your company’s workforce.

According to the Gallup, Inc. institution data, almost 60% of people from generation Y (which starts to comprise a major part of available labor resources) consider in-house corporate training a workplace benefit. The tendency to motivate staff to constantly improve professional skills continues to grow globally. 

There is a strong tendency for companies on the rise to pay closer attention to the advantages of online education. This convenient method optimizes coaching and rental expenses, and saves the time of both mentors and mentees. 

Why integrate employee training software

The integration of educational software with the existing business system is a crucial aspect, defining the overall efficiency of business. Putting some good effort into it you can expect to ultimately improve:

  • onboarding routine
  • compliance management
  • process automation
  • level of staff interaction
  • quality & expert depth of reporting.

How to develop employee training & development tracking software

Common digital training methods are much less costly as opposed to the live business coaches. Profiled employee training software allows creating and updating educational modules, conveniently assessing progress in studies, and providing feedback. The key stages of developing and implementing such methods include task setting, needs defining, integration, assessment, and of course motivation. 

Task setting

Before getting to the implementation of a Learning Management System (LMS), it’s crucial to indicate major strategic goals it has to meet. This is a defining stage for the whole e-learning system, so the requirements of all departments to be involved in your training efforts should be considered. 

Large volumes of initial data and requirements make this stage the most extensive and time-consuming in the whole process of developing the employee training software.

Needs

Defining business needs is fundamental in establishing training courses. Improvement of technical, financial or sales skills calls for basically different models and schemes of delivering the educational materials. It’s crucial that an employee thoroughly understands the gist and structure of all such efforts. 

In 2014, Cisco launched a program consisting of over 46 personnel training courses. The system was so incomprehensible, however, that most people simply didn’t know where to begin. By subdividing all courses into three global levels of qualification and into numerous smaller sub-levels, the company managed to successfully finish over 46 thousand courses by 2018. This is an explicit effect of a properly structured learning strategy.

Contractors

Competent planning and analysis aren’t worth too much if a concept remains a concept. Thus, a responsible approach to finding contractors is important unless in-house personnel is competent enough to be in charge of outlining course syllabus, skill-building processes, progress assessing techniques, etc.  

For an advanced product, most companies bring in experienced professionals to cut down business expenses and involved employee time. A thorough review of a contractor’s portfolio and related feedback are the key to the success of building an efficient e-learning system.

After undergoing the training, employees must achieve the set business tasks as well as meet personal efficiency criteria. 

employee training and development

Integration

Proper integration of the training software with the existing system that manages human resources, analytics, and personal data allows to significantly reduce the data duplication rates. At the same time, the employee training tracking software allows to get more comprehensive and integral information about the quality of education as well as status of training, enabling focus on knowledge gaps and drawing attention to promising employees. 

Assessment

The development and implementation of the assessment scale is a key performance and relevance indicator in terms of the established strategy. It allows to both closely monitor the results of corporate efforts and define the potential of every employee. 

When developing corporate training tracking software for employees, it’s necessary for departments that personnel will be trained to follow development process and provide regular feedback on software intuitiveness and educational material clarity so that eventual monitoring capabilities are most efficiently implemented. 

Motivation

A technically well-executed solution wouldn’t lead to any worthy effect if an employee neglects training or undergoes it without enthusiasm. Acknowledging training achievements and factually increasing business productivity allow to boost employee performance and grow competence  as well.

Off-the-shelf platforms vs custom made software

Now the market of online educational services grows as rapidly as never before. According to the expert analyses, whose initial revenue estimations for 2015 were $107 bln and turned out to be true, by 2025 the e-learning revenue will grow to $325 bln. 

Unfortunately, not all companies by far can afford to invest the required funds into developing their own educational software solutions. And that’s where specialized readymade platforms come on the scene. 

What is an education platform?

There are lots of definitions, but in Aionys we consider education platform software a set of tools that combine theory, practice, and related content. Various additional applications can be integrated with the platforms. Let’s take a look at the main advantages of the platform-based training. 

The demand for developing staff has been clear to American business giants. Verizon, MasterCard and WalMart are already using virtual reality to improve soft skills of employees and provide multitude trainings, including crisis situations, store operations, etc. So far, 1 million of WalMart associates take VR training in the U.S. 

Updating

Maintenance and support of a software product within an organization calls for some significant systematic expenses. Otherwise, the moral aging of information will affect the whole training process most negatively. 

A learning management platform is a project that should necessarily contain relevant data, including the latest developments. It is dedicated experts’ responsibility to bring up to date readymade platforms. 

Training apps to empower your business

Fliplet interface

Multi-purposefulness

Common platforms are SaaS products in nature that are available in public or private cloud services. They don’t require time-consuming development and analysis, allowing to start training with the least budget and time losses. 

Updating custom training software is a responsibility of a company itself unless you hire an outsourced professional who has control of the updates.  

Top providers of e-learning services

When it comes to designing your own educational platform, it’s worth taking into account the features of widely known online platforms. 

Best online learning platforms

  1. Kitaboo Insight. A cloud-based platform with an accessible and adaptive interface that can be enriched with audio, video, image, hyperlink, rating, and simulation elements. Offline mode is available for mobile devices. Currently, it educates over 1 million students from 55 countries.
  2. Litmos. The customizable interface combines in-depth reporting with education monitoring. It can be integrated with WordPress, Shopify and other eCommerce platforms, which makes it a great educational tool both for learners and administrators.
  3. Docebo. An AI-powered employee learning platform makes it possible to create individualized interfaces as well as authentic themes and mockups. Plus, it not only supports online education but also helps to organize live training sessions.
  4. Bridge. This solution focuses on adjusting interaction between an employer and an employee. The materials can be taken either from the online library or from the course administrator, which stimulates engagement in the process for all involved.
  5. SkillShare. The e-learning platform boasts a huge number of courses on various topics. With over 24,000 lessons and 4,000,000 students, it provides complex educational and experience sharing options.
  6. Treehouse. A certified Microsoft, IBM, and Google Developers partner, this resource includes over 300 courses on coding. 
  7. LinkedIn Learning. The famous business platform counts over 1,000 courses on digital marketing, web development, and project management. 

Improvement & socialization

Cloud-based learning aids communication between the rookies outside of corporate walls. And when representatives of different companies are involved with platforms, one can better assess the real level of an employee’s knowledge by juxtaposing it with other experts’ skill levels in the same niche.

Drawbacks of platform-based learning management systems for employee training

With all the advantages considered, cloud-based training systems still have some significant drawbacks business owners have to take into account. 

Template nature

Despite the flexibility and ability to make adjustments, a public product remains public. It doesn’t adhere to the specifics of a certain business and can be seldomly used for narrow specialized and non-standard spheres. 

Compliance training software

Sharing any corporate data like development plans, regulations, and employee info always involves risks. Custom safety training software is a counter-measure of data leaks.

Integration capabilities

Software integration is an important requirement for e-learning tools. Despite numerous build-in options, businesses often choose tailored software development for better results. 

Aionys has a successful case of building in medical staff educational program at Medical Care platform.

The importance of professional development – summary

Employee training is one of the main driving forces in corporate development. It helps you save resources while boosting the efficiency of performance. In modern business conditions, many workers prefer the guarantee of professional growth over the size of compensation. 

Such tendencies push the growth of online courses market further, both with the help of individually designed apps and those based on complex platforms. Make your choice of employee training software to be in tune with niche developments. 

How to Benefit from Staff Management Software

Companies holding out for great outcomes have healthy workforce relations at the core of corporate policies and most of them use efficient staff management software. In turn, fair treatment of employees leads to stronger performance. The stats prove that the happier workers, the heftier profits. They actually report 31% higher productivity and 37% higher sales.

So what takes your employees to cloud nine? Speakap reports that it’s respect and fairness that comes first for 39% of respondents, while 23% note that trust and integrity are important as well. 

If you want to stimulate workforce engagement and make sure your company enjoy growth, staff management software is just what you need. All in all, it always pays off to put in your people.  

What is a staff management system?

Also known as an employee management system, it is human resource software aimed at simplifying workforce managerial processes. Generally, it consists of   

  • task distribution, scheduling, and reporting
  • appraisal management
  • payroll management
  • attendance and leave management, including shifts, clock-ins and clock-outs, leave requests, etc.

Dealing with personal, professional, and financial information, staff management systems ensure data security. What’s more, they optimize workload and streamline administrative tasks.

Why do you need staff management software? 

Bringing flexibility into workplaces and ensuring employee productivity are the challenges most growing businesses face. It’s a well-known fact that lack of managerial control leads to goofing off at work.  In turn, it brings about the downturn in customer services. As a result, the company suffers financial losses. The bigger the company is, the more serious managerial hurdles it has to tackle. 

building a staff management system is a leap forward

The basis of delegating tasks is control. Micromanagement takes too much time and effort so that’s when management systems come in handy. They tackle such everyday functions as scheduling and monitoring employee performance. In addition, they help you make operations more efficient and plan ahead, cut down costs and up staff productivity, eliminate human errors and boost communication.

It’s important for employers to keep track of performance – of the whole company and of each employee. Let’s put it simply, you as an employer want to monitor the time everyone starts and finishes work. What’s more important, you take into account the amount and difficulty of tasks everyone is responsible for. The bottom line is, the more efficient and productive your staff, the higher chances for your company to succeed.  

Employee management system by Aionys

Just like Henry Ford made an assembly line for manufacturing cars, Aionys developed a system that keeps track of how much time a person works and how many tasks get covered.

It keeps track of each activity, its start and end time, calculates the average duration as well as offers analytical tools to compare efficiency of different workers. The system of controlling low-level personnel is the alpha and omega of any company. It works everywhere and for every occupation – taxi-drivers, maids, cleaners, etc. 

For example, when launching our platform for hotel management we found out that the average time of cleaning a hotel room when a guest is still staying was 10-15 minutes, while for the checked-out standards maids needed 45 minutes and about an hour for suites and VIP rooms. Analyzing maid routine, the hotel manager defined staff who had higher productivity as well as pinpointed bottlenecks of both hotel rooms which had maintenance issues and guests who left serious mess behind.

Client feedback

When a staff management platform is developed for businesses dealing with clients, it is vital to use feedback to automate promotions and rewards for more efficient personnel. The businesses applying manual evaluations are likely to get biased results because humans are subjective. You know, it takes just a few smiles and small talks for personal preferences to rule decision-making. However, staff management programs operate on data only stimulating more diligent workers and pinpointing those who take their duties lightly.

It is both employers and employees who value feedback. Over 60% of personnel report that daily or weekly feedback is valuable, while 69% believe that effort recognition encourages harder work. 

When it comes to compensation, it should depend on efficiency and customer satisfaction. Employees working five times more efficiently and generating higher customer satisfaction just cannot get the same compensation as those doing the average amount of tasks with so-so feedback, can they?

Understanding the importance of feedback, Team A made a point of integrating it to create a fair working environment. According to stats, unfair performance reviews, lack of appreciation, and inadequate advancement opportunities are top reasons for job changes.  

Top features

Management systems should be tailored depending on the industry they are to be used in. There are a number of basic factors, though. They are about either task or time and of course work quality. As for work quality, it varies from business to business. In the hospitality industry, it can be customer satisfaction ratings, feedback, the number of served clients/cleaned rooms/cooked meals, etc. 

MaxiE is AI powered staff management system

So how did we create the system? For starters, Team A analyzed all the factors to later interweave them in the system. There can be different factors for various companies starting from primitive work start/end to more complex – the number of tasks/turndowns/faulty products, customer satisfaction rate, etc. On the factor basis, we made a platform with the feature of generating reports on the number of spent hours/carried out tasks/customer satisfaction, etc. It is you who determines the factors to consider. 

Another feature is recommending employees for perks and pay rise. Unlike financial instruments, there are also moral and ethical gains. Team A has experience in integrating a gamification model. For mentoring trainees, giving talks at conferences, improving soft skills and developing professionally, employees get cool gift certificates for climbing, motor racing, boxing, etc.   

Benefits of staff management software 

Workforce management tools are used for planning ahead, scheduling shifts, checking working routines, etc. Artificial intelligence analyzing data gathered with the tools can predict an optimal time needed for carrying out tasks in order to minimize downtime as well as choose the most suitable and best qualified candidate to do it

The main issues that staff management software tackles are  

  • control
  • progress and result tracking
  • transparency
  • efficiency ratio, etc.

They allow to track what task was carried out and how much time it took, what feedback it got, as well as generate reports on a regular basis to optimize processes and stimulate business growth. All in all, staff management platforms are great motivation tools to strengthen corporate competition and cooperation.

How to Make Your Hotel Mobile App Successful

Developing a high-quality mobile app is a necessary step for your hotel business. This will increase your customer base, because you will be giving potential visitors practicality and convenience. Those can only be achieved with a good mobile application. Mobile apps forecasts are promising with expected revenue of $189 billion in 2020.

Hotel Mobile App Development Recommendations

Top tech trends for hotel apps

First of all, your app needs a logical and simple layout. You don’t need big words and complicated functions: the simpler the app, the more convenient it is for your visitors and employees. It’s a good idea to have the app design resemble the visual style of your hotel. 

After that you will need to fill your layout with the functions that you provide at your hotel. For example, the “order room service” or “call maid” buttons. You also need to create a gallery with photos of the rooms and staff. Having photographs of hotel room details for a mobile application is necessary. 

Secondly, your application needs the “book a room” function. A simple booking form is preferable.

Thirdly, mobile check-in allows the built-in calendar to calculate the days of stay at the hotel, similar to short-term rental services.

And of course, your application must have a “leave feedback” function. This way, your future customers will be able to form an opinion about your hotel, and you will be able to improve the weak points, if there are any.

What is a hotel mobile app used for?

Wondering what is a hotel property management system (PMS) for your business? First of all, it is a good marketing move. 

For the customer, a hotel’s mobile application is a real opportunity to quickly book a room without leaving their home or car. In the modern world, when everyone is glued to their smartphones, people are not used to making calls anymore. 

It’s easier for visitors to just download your application and select the room they need.

Here are the main benefits of using a hotel mobile app for your business:

  • Staff management and task scheduling.
  • Price management.
  • Your guests will be able to see their room in advance. Providing your customers with choices is the key to success!
  • The guests can order room service without making any unnecessary old-fashioned calls. 
  • The guests can also call the maid, staff or private security when needed.
  • You will be able to read reviews left by your visitors, correct possible issues and improve your services. This will take your hotel to a new level.

As you can see, your hotel application is a direct reflection of your ability to take care of your guests.

Hotel booking app development

Developing an app is not done in a single day. This will be the face of your business, and you will need to engage the PR department, business analysts, and a team of people who can work out the exact strategy for supporting the application in the future. This is the only way your application will be successful with potential visitors.

Commercial property management systems must be perfectly built, otherwise the hotel business will only suffer losses. To prevent this, you need powerful hotel management software that will help you establish your hotel business and reach a new level of professionalism.

Which hotel booking app is the best?

Here is a list of the top hotel applications that can be used as an example to base your app on: 

  • Trip.com
  • Booking.com
  • Hotels.com
  • Agoda
  • Hotellok
  • OneTwoTrip
  • AccorHotels, etc.

Most of these  reliable and time-tested applications are available for both iOS and Android users. They have a lot of traffic and a large number of positive reviews. What’s even more important – customers trust them.

Hotel apps enrich yser experience

What is last-minute booking?

Even the most reputable hotels around the world offer last minute packages: large discounts for booking rooms on short notice.

Last minute booking is beneficial not only for your clients! As long as people think they are saving, the hotel makes big profits. After all, the lower the price, the more customers will be interested.

This is your chance to not only attract your target audience with reasonable prices but also keep them coming back by offering high-quality services. Convert them into regular hotel guests who will be ready to pay the full price knowing that your team are reliable!

Tips for Using Your Hotel Management System

Implementing the right technology and database is only half the battle. Knowing the right business processes, organizational resources and performance indicators is the key to success. There are two main recommendations for you:

Focus on data analysis and business intelligence

Analytical tools are becoming more complex and serve as the core function of next-generation commercial PMS.

The resulting insights can have such advantages: improving the effectiveness of marketing, sales and customer service. Key stakeholders can track hotel occupancy trends, guest demographics, market position, and hotel revenue.

Create an accurate management strategy 

Without this, your business will not succeed. If you are a good hotelier you can create a smart strategy that will bring pleasure to guests and profit for the hotel. 

To get the most out of your hotel business, you need predictive analytics. They help to calculate the potential demographics of your guests and their approximate number.

And, of course, if you want to create a reliable mobile application for your hotel, then you must have a strict privacy policy. Your company should ensure your guests’ safety and the security of their data. 

Power your hotel with an app

Make an App to Move Forward

Nowadays, if your hotel does not have its own application, no one will know about it. 

Running the hotel property management system is a difficult task that only real professionals can handle. If you want to conduct your business in a modern way, provide high quality services for guests and ensure comfortable working conditions for your staff, you need a high-quality app.

Our team of experts has experience in delivering hotel solutions – Guestable– and can help you develop powerful software and provide you with assistance to make your hotel business prosper.

Technologies Powering Hospitality App Development

Did you know that the growing Alpha generation, a generation more than familiar with using smartphones right from the cradle, tends to travel about three times a year on average? Previously, when hospitality app development was not that commonplace and there were no such hospitality services available like Booking.com, for instance, one could only dream about affordable travel opportunities. 

Nowadays, traveling has become a lifestyle for many and a keen hobby for others. This is possible due, in part, to mobile applications (e.g., those that provide a wide range of profitable last-minute hotel deals) and other software solutions that serve as trusty virtual guides anywhere in the world. In this article, the focus is a few tech niceties that will be changing the world of hospitality and travel software in the very near future. It might even give you ideas on developing your own hospitality app.

traveling makes life brighter and travel apps make planning smoother

Types of Software for the Hospitality Industry

For starters, let’s figure out what kinds of apps can be implemented through a hospitality app development system:

  • Personal assistant – Such apps provide hotel guests with self-serving capabilities as well as minimize the need for live communication with service personnel. If you are interested in how it looks in practice, take a look at the capabilities provided by VirtualHotel
  • Hotel booking application -. The most common type of apps in the field of hospitality. These help users find the best offer in the area and book a hotel room with only a few clicks. A particular example of such solutions is Hotels.com.
  • Revenue management app This type of software is basically your handy expense calculator. The most thought-out development companies tend to launch complex solutions, such as the KittySplit mobile app, which helps to manage debts. 
  • Food and catering app -. Regardless of how great of a hotel you have that provides all-inclusive services, travelers still take great interest in the local cuisine. Applications like Yelp help travelers find available restaurant options and book a cozy table.
  • Controller-app – This type of mobile software may help manage smart home systems within hotel rooms. The most commonplace example here is stayConnect (a regular TV remote controller made as a mobile app).
  • Car/taxi booking app – When you’re in an unfamiliar town in a foreign country, it may be a challenge to find a good taxi service. Have a look at Uber or similar car-booking apps that open up a world of rides.
trends to consider for hospitality apps
  • Property management systems Such tools come in handy for those planning to rent a place (which, by the way, can be much more cost-efficient than booking a hotel room, especially, in the long run). For example, there’s the Guesty service. 
  • Boat booking platform Yet another useful kind of software that will certainly serve fans of water activities and sports quite well. Boataround offers a wide range of functionality. 

The Top 10 Features of Hospitality App Development

Take a look and find out which hospitality industry trends will be common in the years to come. 

  • Electronic key card – It is mainstream to make check-ins and check-outs as convenient as possible. Electronic key cards hit it big time. Currently, every other user can single-handedly book a room, get to the hotel, and open the door with a  key card generated in the specialized hotel mobile app. From the technical perspective, NFC or QR code scanning come in handy here. 
  • Voice assistantsVirtual voice assistants have covered practically every existing business niche since the impeccable success of Siri. The hotel business and, in particular, hospitality app development solutions aren’t an exception. Thus, hotel voice assistants make hotel stays as convenient as possible. Let software take care of setting an alarm clock, handling air-conditioning, and doing other tasks – for your users’ comfort. 
  • Augmented reality (AR)Pokemon Go made AR popular worldwide. Going way beyond the entertainment industry, augmented reality helps increase customer satisfaction in hospitality with advanced personal assistant solutions.
  • Blockchain – Considering the fact that the blockchain acquired most of its popularity due to bitcoin, the technology as a whole has an ambiguous reputation (cryptocurrencies continue to rapidly fall in price and there are loads of scam projects with blockchain at the core). Nevertheless, the technology itself is pretty viable. Moreover, its potential can be fruitfully fulfilled in terms of the travel agencies’ workflow. In particular, with the help of a blockchain-based platform, you’ll secure your customers’ transactions, eliminating additional verifications along with the respective time expenses. 
  • Autonomous shippingDrones are not mere hi-tech toys. They provide cheap and rapid shipping (for food and drinks, for instance). With autonomous shipping options, hotels receive a cost-efficient way to service guests while also avoiding many human-caused risks. Not only can such automated devices perform staff duties, they can also become an attractive feature of the establishment.
  • Smart rooms – IoT takes the hospitality industry to a new level of service. In the US and EU, there are modernized hotels using all the benefits of smart home. In terms of travel application development, we can clearly see that in the years ahead, the industry of travel and tourism won’t be able to avoid the custom solution of remote control via smartphone (something similar was already created by the developers of the Mi Remote Controller, a device only compatible with TVs). 
  • GeolocationThis feature helps users to easily locate lodging options in the area. This is very beneficial for travel mobile app development, allowing users to effortlessly find a place to stay nearby. Couchsurfing apps are gaining traction as budget tourism is becoming trendy right now.
  • Mobile eCommerce solutions – Hotel booking app development creates time-efficient and effort-saving experiences. You can go for hospitality-related mobile commerce and create a vacation rental app that would cover both the hotel reservation and payment.
  • SIP-DECT – Now, this is a solution that doesn’t wholly belong to the field of hospitality app development. However, the technology can come in handy both for hotel guests and personnel. It basically provides the ability to move throughout the territory of the hotel using the radio phone of the DECT standard. SIP-DECT implies the availability of several basic stations. It is roaming-based and allows guests to stay in contact with the guide at all times. Plus, it’s an excellent alternative to stationary phones in rooms.
  • Integration with social networks & public opinion – People have always trusted social proofs over empty company promises and this goes well for the hotel industry, too (91% of 18-34-year-old users tend to trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations). Travelers take a close look at hospitality app reviews before booking, which is precisely why solutions of travel portal development call for feedback, ratings, and social media sharing. Note that both complaints and suggestions are on.

Hospitality and Travel Software Development: Summary

As you can see, the hotel and accommodation industry is ripe for sweeping digitization. Take advantage of the ten mentioned features and add your own ideas about how to develop a travel management software solution that end-users would fall in love with. If you have any questions, we’d be glad to offer our expertise and experience in this niche.

Developing Payment Apps in .Net Core 2

The mobile payment industry is quickly catching up to the users who make businesses focused on developing payment apps in .Net Core 2. It’s a well-known fact that sending and receiving payments via mobile phones is becoming increasingly common throughout the globe. Not only can users browse the Internet and chat on the go, they also can move to cashless payments through the use of mobile devices.

Based on a recent survey, the usage of mobile payments among millennials will continue to increase and is expected to reach $503 billion by 2020. In addition, 75% of all financial transactions will be cashless by 2025. Sounds impressive, right?

That’s why companies need to start developing and implementing a mobile payment system that doesn’t require much infrastructure or technical knowledge on part of the user. Once users install a payment app on their smartphones they should no longer have the need to carry a credit card with them to make a purchase. There is a lot of information about how to develop an Android or iOS payment app, so here we’ve decided to provide an overview on how to create a peer-to-peer payment app using .net technology. Let’s delve into the details below:
PayPal mobile payment volume is $227 bln.

What exactly is a peer-to-peer payment app?

A peer-to-peer payment app, also known as P2P, is an app that users install on their smartphones to make transactions via a linked bank account or credit card. It’s key characteristics are:
— built for personal use and can be utilized between friends, relatives, etc.
— transaction time can range from a couple of days to a few minutes
— funding requirements or transaction fees depend on the bank account, debit/credit card, etc.

How to build a P2P payment app

Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to develop a payment app.

#1: Choose the P2P app type

If you are going to create a P2P payment application, you should know what types of payment apps there are and choose the most suitable one.
Standalone: Offers person-to-person or company-to-business payments online that include or exclude the use of checking accounts, debit/credit cards. It provides a wallet feature to send, receive, or store money in a range of currencies. Among the most popular examples are PayPal, Venmo, Airfox, Alipay, M-Pesa, etc.
Social media-centric: Doesn’t require a strong authentication solution to make transactions, and provides a frictionless process of sending frequent payments. For instance, Facebook Messenger, Kik, and G Pay Send are the most common.
Bank-centric: Involves a bank that acts as a middleman, deposits directly into bank accounts instead of a stored currency account. ExcheQ, Zelle, People Pay, and Popmoney are the most popular.

#2: Identify key features of the app and set up work process flows

At this step, you should document the details of your app or use a wireframing tool. It is also imperative to think of the features you would like to develop, define how the user will navigate the app, and set up the flow. Not only does it help the mobile dev team to clearly understand your expectations, but they can meet the requirements as well. Now let’s take a look at the key features of payment apps:

  • Notification: Keeps users informed about sent or received payments, and notifies the user of any wallet activity, bill due dates, or bookings.
  • Billing and invoicing: Enables users to scan the bill and generate invoices.
  • Transaction history: Users can view summary information that includes the date, amount, positions, and status of each transaction made through the app.
  • Chatbot: Allows customers to ask questions and get answers quickly within an app.
  • Fingerprint security: Relies on a person’s actual thumbprint and ensures secure access to their account.
  • Cryptocurrency: Allows users to safely buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

#3: Focus on the right technology

There is a lot of information on how to develop a payment application in Java or Swift. However, there is another technology for creating a payment app that’s worth mentioning — .NET Core 2. Designed by Microsoft, this technology is an open-source, server-side web app framework. It’s also worth pointing out that this technology requires less configuration and setup in comparison to other web platforms. In addition, asp.net-powered payment apps can utilize the following databases — MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Postgres, MongoDB, CouchDB, all of which are in great demand. Not only can you use .Net for small applications and MVPs. Sounds impressive, right? Let’s find out the most significant benefits:

  • Provides a cloud-ready, environment-based configuration system
  • Includes a lightweight, high-performance, and modular HTTP request pipeline
  • .Net Core 2 code is easy to maintain and update
  • Building and running on Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems offer great support systems with a huge developer community
  • Scalability is easy to enable
  • Easy to integrate with out-of-the-box and custom solutions, as well as host on Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Heroku using IIS, Nginx, Apache, Docker, etc.
  • Excellent code analysis support and comprehensive editors/IDEs.

Also, it should be mentioned that .NET Core 2 is bringing positive changes in developing high-quality enterprise web applications.

Revolutionizing one-touch by PayPal

#4: Focus on security

The truth is that security is a must for the payment apps. Only by providing secure payment services can you keep users engaged. That’s why you should design the architecture concentrating on security and reliability. With that in mind, make no doubt that your payment service will be reputable in the app market and give peace of mind to end-users.

For example, Venmo uses bank-level security and data encryption to protect users against unauthorized transactions.

#5: Choose the monetization model

There’s a good revenue model behind every successful app. Below you can find out what revenue model to choose in order to boost revenue and drive growth:
Transaction fees allow you to typically charge a percentage of every in-app transaction.
Ads are a user-focused business model that allows you to get paid by ad-owners for each click when displaying ads.
Paid subscription packages provide exclusive features for an additional cost.

How much to build a mobile app or what is the cost of developing a payment app

Now that you know the revenue options, let’s get down to brass tacks. Average costs when it comes to app development start from $50,000 and depends on the factors such as features and functionality, dev team extension model, and its location. Above all, whenever you hire mobile app developers make sure you have discussed all the questions and are on the same page about app design and development.

The benefits of developing a payment app for your business in .Net Core 2

A great number of businesses are taking full advantage of today’s modern financial software. However, the market is still growing and there’s plenty of room to launch more P2P apps:

— Provide your users with the value they need
— Build the recognition of your company and increase the customer base
— Improve customer service experience and create engagement
— Generate more income to drive business growth.

Aionys has a team of .Net Core developers who have successfully launched a number of projects. Medical Care Platform offers solutions for both patients and caregivers. The medical billing software is built-in along with time-tracking and task-management systems.

Bottom line: Are you equipped with a P2P app?

P2P payment apps are there for users to send and receive money with a single one click only, along with simplifying transactions and keeping track of finances. That’s why payment apps are a great solution to boost any brand and connect with customers by delivering successful payment services. The bottom line is simple — concentrate on payment app design and development. If you know how to develop a mobile app from scratch, unlock the enormous potential of mobile payment applications to increase productivity, improve user experience, and drive growth. If you have an idea that you’d like to see become a reality, feel free to let us know and we can help.

How IoT in Logistics Changes the World

IoT in logistics is a win-win trend. Companies get full control of goods and fleet, while customers get lower prices.
IoT in logistics has opened a wealth of business opportunities
Credit: cegoh/pixabay.com

Mankind has lived through several industrial revolutions. From the steam engines and the telegraph to the rise of electronics, science has made tremendous progress over the span of just a few centuries.

The advent of the Internet brought about the fourth industrial revolution, which has dramatically transformed our economies and everyday lives. It all started with computers and continued with smartphones. Now, almost any physical object can be connected to the global network to receive and transmit data. This technology is known as the Internet of Things or IoT.

While every industry can take advantage of IoT, its benefits are particularly tangible in the fields of logistics and transportation. Read on to learn what gains IoT can bring to both delivery companies and their customers.

IoT: Invisible Threads Connecting Everything

IoT on the logistic industry is widely used
Credit: Gerd Altann/pixabay.com
First, let’s dive into some technical aspects so that you know exactly what is IoT and what underlying technologies it employs.

IoT Defined

IoT has penetrated both earch and space
Credit: TheoLeo/pixabay.com

There’s nothing fancy about the concept of the Internet of Things. It simply implies all devices connected to the Internet and capable of receiving or transmitting data to a centralized platform or to another object within the IoT network. What’s particularly valuable is that all these objects do their jobs without human intervention.

The first person who used the term “Internet of Things” was Kevin Ashton in 1999. However, it was not until around ten years later that the term was universally adopted.

Along with IoT, other words were initially used to describe various objects that could send and receive data over a network. For example, “blogjects” or “ubicomp”. In the end, it was IoT that celebrated the victory.

Can we call every Internet-connected data-receiving or data-sending object an IoT device? No. An IoT device is something that normally has no access to the Internet, such as a hair dryer or microwave oven. For that reason, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or PCs don’t belong to the IoT cast.

What makes IoT devices really powerful is not their functionality but their connection to an IoT platform, where they can send and obtain data or perform power-intensive calculations.

Categories of IoT Devices

We can divide IoT devices into three broad categories:

  1. Those that monitor an environment and send data to a remote source. It’s all kinds of sensors, starting from air quality monitoring sensors and ending with temperature sensors.
  2. Those that receive data and do something with it. Example: an IoT-powered bulb that automatically turns on when someone walks past the lamp post.
  3. Those that serve both as data transmitters and data receptors. These are IoT devices capable of evaluating data they obtain and performing appropriate actions based on it. Example: a self-driving car that changes its route once it learns about a traffic jam ahead over the Internet.

It’s the last category that makes IoT especially desirable for businesses and individual consumers, giving them almost unlimited possibilities.

Technologies Behind IoT

Several important innovations have contributed to the development of the IoT industry.

  • Connectivity technologies. There’s a bunch of options for various IoT devices to connect and exchange data with one another:
    Bluetooth Low Energy
    Wi-fi
    LTE
    Ethernet
    Satellite
  • 5G Networks. This high-speed mobile network makes it possible to use a huge number of IoT devices within a limited space (up to one million to a square kilometer).
  • RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. These are chips attached to various objects like machinery. They consume little energy and require no wires to transmit data.
  • IPv6. Using this Internet protocol, we can obtain an almost unlimited number of IP addresses for each and every IoT device on the planet.
  • AI. Artificial Intelligence technology is capable of “digesting” huge volumes of data that IoT devices collect and transmit. After processing this information, AI systems can make predictions regarding various industrial processes.

Popularity of IoT

Experts predict a huge growth of IoT. IDC forecasts the global spending on the Internet of Things to equal $745 billion in 2019. According to Statista, the worldwide expenditures for the Internet of Things will reach the 1 trillion dollars mark in 2022.
Many industries have introduced IoT into their business processes including the following:

  • Defense
  • Agriculture
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Oil, gas, and mining
  • Infrastructure
  • Hospitality

One of the sectors where the Internet of Things is also widely used is logistics. Let’s review the main applications of this technology in the logistics industry and discuss the benefits it provides for delivery companies and their customers.

IoT in Logistics

Sensors are great tools enabling the Internet of things
Credit: AG88/pixabay.com

The logistics industry is the economy’s locomotive. Manufacturers need their products to be delivered at the optimal price, at the exact time, and in the necessary quantity and condition.

A logistics company will most certainly fail if…

  • it can’t manage its inventory efficiently
  • its warehouse is a mess
  • its internal processes are not automated
  • it can’t deliver goods fast enough
  • it can’t ensure that goods will be delivered to customers safely and their quality will be perfect.

The Internet of Things addresses all of those challenges, bringing the logistics up to a completely new level. Here are the main benefits of IoT for delivery firms.

  1. More Efficient Management of Vehicles
    Different logistics companies have variously-sized fleets of delivery trucks. Even with a small number of cars, though, it’s often hard to track their location and condition on the road. IoT simplifies and streamlines this process:

    • It uses GPS or similar location-detection technologies to collect data about the exact place and maneuvers of a vehicle as it’s moving from point 1 to point 2.
    • It automatically sends a push notification to a manager once a vehicle arrives at the destination. This helps the manager plan deliveries more accurately and promptly.
    • It enables trucks to exchange information about their locations in real time. Thus, they can move in groups, adjusting their speed and keeping the optimal distance between themselves.
      As such, more road space is available to other vehicles. It also reduces the amount of exhaust gases and contributes to more efficient fuel consumption. Business Insider predicts that 98% of all new cars will have an Internet connection by 2020.
    • IoT devices installed inside vehicles notify technicians of any problems with the engine or other parts even before those occur. Thus, managers can immediately react to all kinds of issues to avoid or significantly reduce downtimes.
  2. Better Inventory and Warehouse Administration
    supply chain management and warehousing are promising spheres for IoT use
    Credit: icondigital/pixabay.comEfficient warehouse and inventory management is of paramount importance to any logistics company. The number of goods could be huge. Tracking them manually is prone to numerous errors that may cost too much in the end.IoT has made the life of warehouse administrators much easier. By attaching minute, cheap sensors to the stored items, managers can monitor the availability of goods and quickly find them.Information about the stock is sent to the cloud. Managers can retrieve it at any given moment wherever they are and use it for accurate planning. As a result, there’s no shortage of popular goods, while losing items is almost excluded.
  3. Better Quality of Delivered Products
    IoT devices can also ensure that the conditions inside vehicles that transport delicate or perishable products such as fruit, vegetables, or flowers are optimal throughout the route. That reduces the amount of wastage and contributes to higher customer satisfaction.
  4. Property Theft Prevention
    Stealing freight is not a rare occurrence in the United States. According to a report from Statista, in 2017 U.S. transport companies lost cargo worth almost $2.6 million due to theft. IoT can effectively prevent stealing property. One example: the SmarSensor solution from DHL. It can detect any temperature fluctuations, changes in the light intensity, or register any abnormal events during a trip. That helps managers immediately react to the alarm and avoid the loss of goods.
    It’s also good from the insurance perspective. Thanks to IoT, logistics companies can exactly identify the time and location of the theft. That simplifies recovering costs through insurance policies.

Benefits of IoT for Consumers

The new technology is advantageous not only for logistics companies themselves. It also contributes to higher customer satisfaction.

Real-Time Tracking

Customers can follow the entire path of their goods from the warehouse to the final destination. They can do it via one of the numerous tracking apps such as this to know when to expect their goods precisely.

Reduced Costs

IoT devices enable drivers of delivery vehicles to find the best routes. The data about the traffic situation, road condition, and relief is stored in the cloud and can be used by all other vehicles moving in the same direction. That contributes to lower fuel consumption. Customers pay less than they did before.

No Lost Merchandise

Thanks to the sensors that control the temperature, light, and humidity inside delivery trucks, customers get all their merchandise without wastage.

Real World Examples of IoT Usage in Logistics

SmarTrucking is IoT-based solution DHL introduced to the business processes
Credit: skeeze/pixabay.com

A huge number of shipping companies have already believed in the advantages of IoT for their businesses. Here are a couple of examples to illustrate this.

Maersk

The company from Scandinavia is one of the largest shippers on the planet. Around 7 years ago Maersk struck a partnership with Ericsson for the installation of satellite and mobile equipment to track the gigantic fleet of its containers on the move.

Ericsson’s devices send data about all parameters (current position, temperature, humidity, etc.) to the servers, where it’s analyzed by managers.

DHL

In 2018, the largest logistics and mail company on Earth introduced the IoT-based solution SmarTrucking to its business processes. The sensors installed inside DHL’s trucks now allow managers to determine the best routes and track deliveries in real time. Since then, transit times have decreased by half, while the movement of goods can be tracked with nearly 100% precision.

Conclusion

The future of the logistics industry belongs to IoT. Companies can track the movement of goods in real time, predict problems with vehicles, prevent property theft, and reduce fuel consumption. The customers’ main benefit is a lower price they have to pay for the shipment of their goods. So, if you’re still doing your business the old-fashioned way, it’s time to try out the new technology.

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MS SQL Deadlocks Series

Deadlock

Aionys series on deadlocks is a step-by-step guideline for developers specializing in database programming. Find out what they are, why you have them, and what you should do to unlock and, ideally, prevent them.

Let’s start.

MS SQL Deadlocks: What are they to Block the Flow

There is no guideline to implement deadlocks. You see them popping up when least expected. I believe you know how it feels when the deadlines are approaching, too fast. And here you are – stuck with deadlocks, the issue you really don’t have time and energy to investigate and, most important, solve. And the priority is critical. Got a performance issue? You might be as well kissing your peace of mind goodbye. 

Most developers are lucky enough to have heard the buzzword only. And haven’t actually dealt with the issue. 

Things are different at Aionys. Having several projects in development and some of them with huge databases, we have experience in handling them. And we aim to share our challenges and solutions with you. So let’s get to the root of deadlocks starting with what the heck they are.

What are deadlocks?

Deadlock is a big issue of relational databases. It is about several processes blocking one another when necessary resources get locked.

The processes wait infinitely for resources (row, table, etc.) to get unlocked. As a result, a server kills one of them.

Deadlocks not only slow down the system but also bring it to a halt. They most often surface when data gets changed – updated/ inserted/ deleted – and database servers are under high load. The DB size doesn’t matter that much as even the smallest one can get deadlocks. Most devs believe that the more create/update/delete requests, the more deadlocks. 

The project in focus

A recent project where we faced deadlocks is for healthcare. It has a huge database of patient records, appointments, and hospital lodging details. And it also has a long history. We started it three years ago. And over time, it has grown immensely with an increased amount of data handled. 

Initially, the project was delivered to optimize process management at a medical center, including time and attendance systems for staff and patients. Later, new features were added 

  • payment processing
  • billing and invoicing solutions
  • management of doctor offices, and wards, etc.

For the first few releases, when the number of users was limited, the system worked smoothly. The issues appeared when more medical units were added. Interestingly, when doing our testing we didn’t have them.

 Team A first-hand experience

At Aionys, we work with MS SQL. When we first faced the deadlocks at the project, we turned to the team lead developer with over 10 years of experience in developing custom software. Good or bad, he hadn’t had such serious issues. For him, logs were just: deadlocks happen. 

So our development team started digging into the issue. The info we came up with was focused on multiple threads. Miraculously, they did wonders but not with MS SQL server requests. 

Deadlock interview

Next, we set out on asking around, especially guys with more experience in MS SQL. They recommended taking the following steps

  • change the isolation level of the transaction 
  • remove huge transactions
  • split large transactions into smaller ones. 

Fortunately, 90% of deadlocks were solved. Unfortunately, performance decreased. Meanwhile, requirements advanced with database queries getting more complicated. 

We turned to asynchronization to increase performance. It didn’t take much time to understand that the more async requests, the more side issues. For example, updating/inserting/deleting data caused serious problems for the server. 

It looked like we were running in circles. In the end, we came up with a solution. Our next Unlock MS SQL Deadlocks post will shed light on it.