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Clean Tech, Projects

Green transportation is a rapidly growing trend right now. Governments are investing in developing and building infrastructures that will replace, or at least reduce, the use of conventional means of transportation. Bicycles are the greenest mean of transportation, and many cities are trying to introduce and boost the “bike culture” by creating bicycle lanes, parking areas for bicycles or even bike rental stations in strategic points such as city centers or underground stations. Although this culture is spreading at the moment all around the world, the reality is that the bike culture is so much stronger in the northern part of Europe.

Poland is considered at the moment one of the most bike-friendly countries because of its extensive network of cycling lane, which connects several cities all across the country. The culture of cycling is increasing rapidly because of its citizens’ interest in this green transportation. In fact, the 2014 edition of The European Cycling Challenge, the top five cities were mostly Polish because they have better equipped lanes and paths.

Recently, Poland unveiled an innovative bike lane near Lidzbark Warminski in the Mazury region. It is a 100-meters path that is capable of illuminating more that 10 hours during the night thanks to blue luminophores, a synthetic material that emits light after being charged during the day from solar power. Although it is more expensive due to the material, the solar power bike lane is safer than a conventional roadway and is considered one of the best ways to increase cyclist safety thus saving lives. The solar power system is still in testing stage and the company behind the project expects to have the bike lane installed in Warsaw in the next few months. Experts are now working on researching how to optimize production costs so that the technology can spread further.

A pretty similar solar-powered bike path in the Netherlands inspirited the engineers of this project. Although both bike paths look similar the idea is completely different, while the Dutch path requires solar-powered LEDs on cloudy days, the Polish bike lane does no require additional power supply what means it is completely green.

Apart from Polish innovative bike lanes, other cities have already developed better systems to promote the use of the bicycles between cities. For instance, in Copenhagen a two-lane overpass was built to connect the extensive network of bicycle paths providing safer routers for riders. Next in San Sebastian, located in the north of Spain, they turned an abandoned railroad tunnel into the longest cycling path in the world. Finally, Tokyo was the first country to install escalators for cyclist thus allowing them to reach remote destinations.

By mixing transportation and technology, cities could become greener and there are not doubts that the solar-powered bike lane is one of the first steps for reaching the objective for a more eco-friendly life.

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Clean Tech, Economy, Projects

Renewable energies are increasing its importance between the other energetic sources. The main reason is that they constitute a sustainable alternative to fossil and nuclear fuels, which are destroying natural environments and bringing about pollution. The worldwide is aware of this problem, one of the biggest in the world currently, and governments of many countries are focusing their efforts in building modern and innovative infrastructures to produce by them the most of the energy consumption in the near future.

Eolic energy is one of the main energetic sources in producing electricity nowadays. It exists extensive areas full of wind turbines to collect the power of wind and transform it in electric power. Onshore and offshore wind farms can be found all around the world but the reality is that the future biggest projects focus in offshore wind farms because of its less negative impact in the natural environment than land based projects. Based on data, the United Kingdom is the country with the greatest number of turbines and producing capacity, followed by Denmark and Germany.

Hornsea Project One is the largest offshore wind farm to be built in the next few years. It is expected to be producing energy by 2020 and it is going to be built in the United Kingdom after the British Government gave green light to the project last February. This ambitious offshore wind farm will be located 120 kilometers off the East Yorkshire coast in a huge area of approximately 407 square kilometers, have 174 wind turbines and capacity of 1,200 MW, include more than 900 kilometers of cables and provide electricity to power almost one million homes. The clean electricity produced by the wind turbines will be transmitted to shore and then it will feed the national grid. The project will also give employment to 2,000 people during its construction and phase with up to 300 additional jobs supported directly and indirectly.

Although the United Kingdom counts on the 3 biggest offshore wind farms in the world: London Array, Gwynt y Môr and Greater Gabbard, none of them can be compared with Hornsea Project because, according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd, this project will mean clean energy for the country, jobs and financial security for working people and their families, and more skills and growth boosting the Northern Powerhouse than ever before. In order to become even bigger the project, the company commissioned of developing the Hornesea Project One has intention to expand it by building Hornesea Two and Hornesea Three, which are waiting for the consent of the authority at the moment.

Onshore wind is an inexpensive source of electricity capable of competing with coal or gas plants what allows many people to use this kind of energy instead of fossil sources, which are highly polluting. However, offshore wind farms still have a cost considerably high because of the huge invest in infrastructure and its maintenance. Despite this fact, the green benefits of Eolic energy become it in the energy of the future.



To learn more about Hornsea Project:

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Projects

Computers and Aviation

As a passenger, it often seems as though computers are at the core of everything done by modern commercial airlines. Over 80% of people compare, book, and check-in to flights online. Upon arriving at the airport, customer service representatives use computers to print tickets and luggage tags. Computer monitors display flight times and gate, terminal information. Metal detectors or full body scanners relay information to computers being watched by security agents monitoring for suspicious activity. Nearly every process that we partake in as passengers, from the booking of the flight to the picking up of our checked bags, is automated, displayed, or recorded by computers. So, why should the work done behind the scenes be any different?

The answer, according to Wingware CEO Kent Dial, is that it shouldn’t be! Kent and his team at Wingware are working to integrate computers into the fueling process in order to improve efficiency and automate record keeping of quality control inspections of jet fuel. Currently, the process of doing a quality control inspection is done on paper! At Wingware they thought to utilize computers in this process instead, but with that they needed help.

With his fourteen years of experience in the aviation industry Kent saw the need for a turnkey quality control web application for the commercial aviation industry, Jet Fuel QC. With this need he also saw the fact he would need a team of UX/UI designers as well as front and back end developers to bring this application from a concept to a fully functional product that could improve the efficiency and quality of record keeping for jet fuel inspections. In order to do this he turned to us here at Software Nation to provide a full team of talented individuals to take the idea through every step of the development process. We ensure that the web application meets ATA 103 specification while automating record keeping and enabling real-time access to quality control actives and operational readiness. We worked with Wingware to create Jet Fuel QC, the first fully automated quality control monitoring system built for commercial aviation.


Jet Fuel QC home screenJet Fuel QC UsersJet Fuel QC Manager Screen
What we built into Jet Fuel QC
  1. System Automation– We programmed Jet Fuel QC to not just create electronic records, but through the use of a compliance sentry ensure that there are no missed inspections. This means that with Jet Fuel QC every inspection performed, every record generated is time and money saved for the airline.
  2. Alert Notifications– We built in real time alert reporting so that the user is always informed and ahead of the curve as the app notifies maintenance and leadership personnel instantly of quality control events and discrepancy activity from the field.
  3. Intelligent Oversight & Trend Analytics– Jet Fuel QC is not just a checklist, the back end code ensures that the application actively monitors and analyzes the recorded inspections in order to deliver valuable data about the operation. This means Jet Fuel QC can inform the user of potential problems even before they occur.
These three factors combine to not just make Jet Fuel QC an innovator in the quality control world, but to make us proud of the development work we provided to bring this innovative solution to market. We worked to create an application to Wingware’s specifications – the end result was an app capable of automating the record keeping process in order to increase transparency and awareness while maintaining the integrity of the records. In aviation this is of the utmost importance as it dramatically reduces the risk to both airlines and to their fuel vendors. Gone are the days of lost time and money spent reviewing records, transcribing results, and correcting documents –with Jet Fuel QC the commercial airline can increase their productivity and therefore their bottom-line.   Jet Fuel QC profile

Wingware’s goal is to be the leader in providing innovative solutions that yield the highest impact to their customers, partners, and industry as a whole. They are truly a company dedicated to the success and changing needs within the aviation industry. Having the opportunity to collaborate with them on the creation of Jet Fuel QC was tremendous. While Kent will tell you that we at Software Nation were “able to provide me [him] with a sweet of people that were able to collaborate and ensure that what I [Kent] designed was interfaced well”, we would similarly say that Kent allowed us to work on a project that is not just innovative, but will improve the entire industry of aviation.

Much like Wingware, our goal at Software Nation is to help our customers and partners create solutions or develop innovative products that will improve their industries. Therefore, we are pleased to be able to highlight our collaboration with Wingware on Jet Fuel QC and other companies and products that, like Jet Fuel QC, are breaking new ground in their industry.

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Cognitive Computing, Health technology, Projects, Software Nation

About every 43 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. That means each year, approximately a million people have a heart attack in the United States alone and about half of them die. In fact, about one-half of those who die do so within 1 hour of the start of symptoms before reaching a hospital.

Emergency personnel can often stop arrhythmias with emergency CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), defibrillation (electrical shock), and prompt advanced cardiac life support procedures. If care is sought soon enough, blood flow in the blocked artery can be restored in time to prevent permanent damage to the heart. Yet, most people do not seek medical care for 2 hours or more after symptoms begin. Many people wait 12 hours or longer.

What causes a heart attack?

Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in the death of the heart attack victim.

Your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. When a plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is starved for oxygen and nutrients, it is called ischemia. When damage or death of part of the heart muscle occurs as a result of ischemia, it is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI).

heart-beat-watson-MD

How is a Heart Attack Diagnosed?

Diagnosis and treatment of a heart attack can begin when emergency medical personnel arrive after you call 9-1-1. But, many people put off calling 9-1-1 because they are not sure they are having a heart attack.

At the hospital emergency room, doctors will work fast to find out if you are having or have had a heart attack. They will consider your symptoms, medical and family history, and test results. Initial tests such as an Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and blood tests (Troponin, CK-MB test) or Myoglobin test) will be quickly followed by treatment if you are having a heart attack. Depending on the results of these tests you would likely proceed to do the following: a nuclear heart scan, cardiac catheterization, or coronary angiography.

How can you reduce damage?

Promptly receiving aid from a medical professional is the best way to prevent permanent damage. The only way to ensure that there is no irreparable damage is through restoring the blood flow to the blocked artery within a timely manner. For example, drugs must be administered within one or two hours of the heart attack to decrease the amount of damage done.

There are some over the counter drugs that have also been shown to have positive side effects such as Aspin and other anti-platelets, and Thrombolytic therapy; however, these are not a supplement for medical care.

So what can you do?

At the moment the best that you can do is know all of the major symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea lightheadedness, or cold sweats.

In a survey reported by the CDC only 27% of people were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call for medical help when someone was having a heart attack.

The Good News

We are working on a project with Dr. Henry Wu, a physician scientist and practicing cardiologist in New York City, to change all of that.

Welcome to Watson MD, an artificial intelligence app tool based on IBM Watson to help estimate the risk of a heart attack based on the characteristics of a person’s chest pain and “risk” profile.

Our mission is to help improve the chance of surviving a heart attack and guide patients with chest pain toward a diagnosis.

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Health technology, Projects

For many years, the health industry has been a closed system. Today we are seeing innovative new entrants challenge the traditional healthcare ecosystem, setting the stage for a New Health Economy. These new entrants come from the technology, consumer product, retail, telecommunications, and automotive industries. One thing they all have in common is that they are taking advantage of the expanding healthcare market. Healthcare Tech is an industry to watch because it provides many valuable benefits to both medical professionals and their patients.

Approximately 15% of the health apps are marketed to medical professionals. This percentage could rise quickly due to the number of eager entrepreneurs, the speed of development and the ongoing improvement of the health apps. By 2018, GlobalData estimates that the size of the health information technology market will reach beyond $8 billion. This is largely due to the rate of development of mobile healthcare apps, thus producing many new useful medical apps for both healthcare providers and patients. The possibilities of these health apps seem to be endless. They range from an app that lets you search for information on specific medications, to looking for an answer to a medical question in a hurry. Some let you download relevant medical journals, audio and video sources. The list goes on and on from getting feedback on a rare condition, connecting patients with another person in their proximity if they have forgotten to take their medicine, fitness goal achievement, pregnancy tracking, patient – doctor video chatting and many more. The health tech industry is booming, and there is an app for everyone depending on what your specific health needs or goals are.

Today, most of the health apps on the market focus on challenges in hospital settings, but are not interested in the mental state of the patient following a traumatic accident. The pool of highly innovative apps is enormous, but there is a specific mobile health app type that stands out from the rest. Smart Bytes’ Super Patient mobile health app provides medical professionals with the ability to track their patients’ post-traumatic stress levels, cognitive capabilities and anxiety levels, all in real time.

To take on the technical side of the project, Smart Bytes turned to Software Nation for the actual development of the mobile application. In an effort to produce the best possible user experience, Software Nation kept in mind that the focus group for the health app was recovering ICU patients in active therapy.

Luckily, one of the lead designers of Super Patient shared his insights and experience with us. Without any medical background, it was a unique situation for him to be put into, so the project required more supervision from the client. This was necessary to decide on a subtle pallet of shapes, colors, and animation. The Software-Nation team focused their attention on in-game sound with very minimal animation and main avatar motion. The artist who worked only on avatar creation was under strict supervision of the client and their team. His inspiration came from a medicine pill as a way to present the app as a path to recovery. The actual gamification and game flow was completely built from scratch. The game section of the application was developed in cohesion between Software-Nation and Smart Bytes. Together we created a perfectly balanced game session that was tailored to help monitor the mood and cognitive functions of the user (patient). Software Nation’s team of developers and designers were given constant feedback from the medical staff. After a knowledge driven session of trial and error, the building of the health app from scratch proved to be a success.

The games are adequately balanced in an effort to make medical professionals comfortable with tracking their patients’ progress after leaving the ICU, whilst making the patients comfortable with using it on their part. Super Patient allows patients to choose one out of five mind games to play or a journal to communicate how they are feeling at the moment. Simple changes in behavior over time provide medical professionals with invaluable insight. There are a number of additional benefits that come from this unique mobile health app such as decreased health care costs, a better patient-doctor relationship, possibility to help treat patients in various situations (post-traumatic stress, brain injury, dementia, etc.), and a global system-integration potential.

The team at Software Nation is thankful for the opportunity to work on a project of this kind. It was a great experience getting to combine design, animation, games, and mobile development. Software Nation developed Super Patient for the greater cause of making someone’s healing process a little more pleasant and a little less painful.

 

To download the Super Patient whitepaper click here.

 

Software-Nation LLC developed the mobile application and admin panel as well as made the graphics for Super Patient in cooperation with Smart Bytes LLC.

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Health technology, Projects

Heart diseases are the number one cause of death in the United States, accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths. However, 80% of heart diseases and strokes could be prevented with proper treatment. Many heart attacks happen due to a late diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. Being aware of and lowering the risk factors can be a key point in saving a life. Heart disease prevention should start early in life and those over the age of 40 should take action in order to calculate their risk of developing a heart disease.

Technology is changing healthcare and making it possible to give better treatment for patients. With cognitive computing, doctors are able to better understand the causes behind heart diseases and how we can better prevent them. The use of technologies has even been proved to reduce the Framingham risk score estimating the 10-year risk of having a first heart attack.

IBM has also extended its big data supercomputer Watson to the healthcare vertical. In 2015, they launched the Watson Health initiative. IBM Watson Health aims to help patients and caregivers by providing them with healthcare related data needed to make better decisions. Watson is able to understand natural language, so it can read electronic health records, structured and unstructured text, and even health related images. By entering the patient’s symptoms to Watson, it can come up with an accurate diagnosis based on all the medical literature and health records it has “learned”. Watson is able to read 40 million documents in 15 seconds, so a diagnosis will be provided faster and more accurately than any human trying to do the same.

Software Nation, together with a cardiologist, is developing a risk calculator for heart attacks. What is unique about this product is the use of Watson and cognitive computing. 80% of health data is unstructured and thus invisible to current systems, but Watson Health is able to analyze it. Patients suffering from chest pain are able to choose from certain risk factors and symptoms and Watson will be able to calculate their risk of having a heart attack. Patients will then be able to either make an appointment or find out more about heart attacks or other causes of chest pain. A Watson based heart attack risk calculator is more accurate than anything before and this will both save time and reduce healthcare costs.

Watson will continue to learn and improve every time new data is inserted. The question of privacy is always on everyone’s mind when talking about digitalized health data. However, most of the data used by Watson Health is anonymized and used for analyzing across large populations. Personalized data is available to provide the best care for individuals, but it will be encrypted on the cloud and decrypted only for the use of the individual and their doctor.

The design of the heart attack risk calculator will be very modern with an exceptional user experience design. The user interface is simple, with all the big data and calculations hidden on the back end. It will also be optimized for every platform and device to ensure comfortable usage where ever and whenever.

Technology has the power to totally transform healthcare. With the help of cognitive computing, doctors will be able to give better and more personalized treatment faster. They will be able to expand their knowledge, improve productivity and deepen their expertise.

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Design, Projects

The use of mobile devices is increasing constantly and they have already passed the number of desktop computers. In a few years, a smartphone might well be the only computer you need. Each generation of smartphones is more powerful than before, and soon they will be capable of doing almost anything a computer can. With the growing amount of mobile devices, businesses are struggling to keep up and mobilize their systems. However, smartphones are handy, and can be taken along in almost any job. By mobilizing applications, they will be accessible to more people and have better usability. With mobile applications, a business can make many processes faster and more efficient.

Software Nation is currently working on an enterprise purchase order software for multiple platforms. This purchasing system required different rights for different employees as each employee has a different level of authority in the application. When looking at it from the design point of view, this means personalized screens for each user profile as each user sees and is able to do different things in the application. These functions were very difficult to incorporate into an actual user experience (UX) and graphical user interface (GUI). In this case, different GUI responsive kits were used to save time and build the front-end side of the platform within a very strict timeline.

User experience design is one the most important features of any application regardless of technology or type. The combination of interactive and user experience design results in a competitive product which is adapted for the needs and necessities of modern human interaction. If the user achieves the required and desired result in just a few steps, the design team has succeeded in their job. In the quickly changing digital era, designers need to make sure to follow all the latest trends in design and user experience. Especially when working on enterprise level products for mass consumption with numerous functions, such as the purchase order software in question, designers need to give their best to achieve the best possible user experience on the market.

In terms of mobilization, the main challenge for UX/UI designers today is to mimic and present a stand-alone web app through responsive design on much smaller devices. The general approach in this branch of user experience design is to achieve the same look and feel as on desktop platforms. The responsive time and layout scheme of mobile devices has to be designed and redesigned in several stages until the main features and their workflows are simple and user friendly. About 80% of today’s development is going towards mobile devices, so the importance of mobile design is increasing. In the case of the enterprise purchase order software, the main focus for the Software Nation design team was to make the purchasing software optimized for mobile devices.

Designers have many tricks and effects that they use to achieve a smooth user experience no matter what device the user prefers. The enterprise purchase order software was a result of the complicated correlation of many custom processes. The scalability of these functions was one of the main challenges for our design team. All the processes were under strict supervision and guidance of both the client and Software Nation. Together we were able find a way to implement a responsive view and user feel throughout the platform.

In practice, everything the design team made for the enterprise purchase order system was checked and rechecked numerous times. We exported a live design for various devices daily. Our target users were staff on the move and in various situations. We also had to keep in mind that not every user uses the same device. The way a user interacts with the system and the number of steps they take in the order/purchase process was precisely planned. The number of interactive cells on one particular screen session was changed numerous times until we achieved a perfect workflow. This approach resulted in an outstanding user experience which was the desired outcome for the design team.

In addition, designers also need to work very closely with software developers. To connect the user experience and the design, the designer and developer need to cooperate in all stages of the process. In the case of the purchase order software, the client and Software Nation achieved this by constant back-and-fourth messaging and numerous meetings. Without this cooperation of users, developers and designers, the goal of a complicated enterprise purchase order software would have been impossible to optimize on all different devices.

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Education, Projects
Technology is changing the way that students are able to access the materials needed to succeed. Every parent wants the best for their child; now imagine giving them a Harvard or Ivy League student or alumni to tutor them. Two Harvard graduates had the concept for The Ivy Key. This company is changing the caliber of online educational services. The students are put in direct access with elite tutors who also teach standardized testing prep classes and college admissions consulting. Our programmers here at Software-Nation put the concepts of The Ivy Key into play by creating and designing a fully functional website and app. We believe that connecting people from remote locations to have a larger aid pool is the wave of the future. Many universities have begun to offer a large amount of online classes. Emergencies are going to happen, and this method offers flexibility to take a semester off, but come back to physical classes when need be. There are also solely online schools that have become useful for those with a full-time job, needing to work at their own pace. The difference that we noticed with The Ivy Key’s mission is that a younger generation is targeted to prepare them for college.

There are numerous assets with online tutoring. In The Ivy Key’s case, highly qualified individuals provide services to geographic regions that were previously inaccessible. Another benefit is that children are increasing learning online which can help them train them for their future. When they go to college they are on the right track academically through the help of The Ivy Key, and they will posses a basic tech background for success.

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