AMITIAE - Monday 27 June 2016
Clinical Tracker - Another Interesting app from an Apple WWDC Scholarship Recipient
By Graham K. Rogers
I had a look at this interesting app that has already been endorsed by the Sydney Women Health Centre. Some of the app's functions are not available in all areas, but with the other features it has, that does not automatically preclude its use.
The other sections do make up for this in some ways. In the Appointments section for example, it is quite easy to enter details of a forthcoming visit with an easy-to-understand panel: When, Location, Phone and Notes. There is also a title bar at the top for quick recognition: useful for those with several appointments.
"When" produces a scroll wheel Day/date, Hours, Minutes so entering the time is straightforward. After making a new entry I was prompted to allow the appointment to be added to its calendar and a reminder is made. This did not appear in the iOS Calendar, despite accessing Privacy settings (no information was shown), but a full-screen panel appeared in the app at the right time. I was not able to dismiss this and had to quit the app.
"Location" brought up a keyboard on my iPhone allowing me to enter the name (or other details) of the appointment. I was able to use Thai as well as English (or emojis come to that). "Phone" was an entry for a number to be dialled. The "Notes" section (text) was useful and may help patients remind themselves of things they want to say to a doctor.
I considered those time intervals and realise that this has long-term uses. We normally think of taking prescription medicines every few hours, or once a day under normal circumstances. Booster injections, such as tetanus or rabies medication may have intervals of 3-5 years. What does not match up with such extended periods is the Daily Dosages entry, although this is a minor point.
I was unable to make any entry to the Favourites section and presume that this is linked to the Location access that was not available to me. The final section, marked Privacy allows users to turn on the use of TouchID and enter a Passcode.
At the top left of the Home panel is a small "i" that shows a medical ID. The first time this is used, a user will be asked to authorise HealthKit access and any information entered in the HealthKit medical ID section, is shown.
However, Clinical Tracker is still in need of some tightening up, particularly in the use of appointments. I presume the iOS Calendar was intended to be used, but this did not work. The double approach of the app sending a warning too saves the day, but that panel not clearing spoiled the effect.
Like the work of Anvitha Vijay, having an app with such potential from an 18 year old student who taught himself coding is encouraging. The app was created using the Swift programming language and we can expect more apps from young people when the Swift Playgrounds app is released. Daniel Eran Dilger describes this as "a powerful authoring tool any developer can use to teach critically important software coding skills"
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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