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App updated

21 Aug

The update is complete, but only the top-priority requirements were fulfilled due to my loss of interest in the project. However, all source code is now released on GitHub, and I’ve set-up a home page for the app.

App change?

4 Dec

Due to difficulties with my client, I may have to abandon the fluid calculator app and instead develop my own idea, which is a live weather app using local, personal weather station data. This blog will be halted until I know for sure.

Tech update

3 Dec

So, here are some problems I had and how I solved them:

  • Screen rotation messed up layout; no desire tofix for prototype. Solved by specifyng the Activity orientation as portrait in the Manifest
  • pop-up keyboard not hiding on input in text field. Can force closure with InputMethodManager imm = (InputMethodManager)getSystemService(
                              Context.INPUT_METHOD_SERVICE);
                        imm.hideSoftInputFromWindow(et.getWindowToken(), 0);
  • Number had too many dp. Use String.format(“%.1f”, number)

Persona

3 Dec

Name: Dr Rock

Age: 27

Likes: technology, life shortcuts

Dr Rock is a newly qualified paediatric surgeon. He is young and ambitious and loves tech. He is tired of all the old surgeons and their old-fashioned ways. Dr Rock has a tablet and two smart phones. When visiting patients he often has to calculate their fluid maintenance. Doing this requires getting out his calculator and laboriously applying some annoying formula he had to learn in Med school. Sometimes he forgets his calc and has to run around trying to find it. He came here to SAVE LIVES, not do this!

What he needs is my app. He can install it on all his devices for free, and wherever he goes, he’ll have the app, since being a tech freak means always having one or more of his device to hand. No more remembering to bring the old-school calculator or fiddling around with the phone calculator. No more remembering some obscure formula. He saves time and stress and gets to use his tech products. The kids love seeing surgeons be so modern.

Competitor Analysis

3 Dec

I have used Google Play to seek apps with similar functionality.

I discovered no apps that deal solely with fluid maintenance calculation, but there a few medical apps which have a package of calculators that include one similar to this. I will briefly look at these:

“Fluid & Electrolytes”

This is a poorly designed, confusing and not-entirely functional app which implements the fluid maintenance calculation. However, it has a surprisingly large number of downloads (1-5 hundred thousand), and is  a modestly rated 3.5, so perhaps calculators should favour performance over style.

Pros: performs the calculation accurately, has some additional features (though they are too technical for me to understand), free

Cons: Messy layout, keyboard doesn’t hide, no help documentation

 

“MediCalc (Medical Calculator)”

This a nice-looking app with a raft of features, but at £0.63 it has only 5-10 thousand downloads. Rated at 3.5 stars.

Pros: does what it says on the tin, modern-ish looking, works

Cons: not-free, fluid calculator is only a tiny part of this app, so it is somewhat hidden (too many clicks to access)

 

This analysis leads me to conclude:

Make the app free (for many downloads) and simple, easy to navigate and nice to use (keyboard auto-hiding)

 

 

Start

3 Dec

I will by developing an app in android and win8 for a client – a pediatric surgeon at Chelsea Westminster Hospital. The app is a basic calculator for determining the fluid maintenance rate in children. This simplicity may be a problem.

I spoke to my client today and discovered that the app requirements do not go beyond a one-page (one Activity) form with two inputs and one output.  In 2-3 hours I produced this in android and have now distributed this to the client for further testing. Additionally, I requested help on increasing the complexity of the app to meet the requirements of this project.

Test

22 Nov

Blog test. Edit test