If you’re a smartphone user, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is trying to keep the information that you store on the device organized and associated correctly. There are plenty of native apps on smartphones designed to help you do this. Android and iOS devices, for instance, both let you enter detailed information about contacts and to search through your contacts based on that information. For many users, however, too many fields mean a lot of confusion. Simple, specific apps oftentimes provide a solution for this.
The Power of Categorizing Information
As just one example of how simplicity can vastly improve the usability of a smartphone, consider medical information. Medical information, even if only the basics are going to be entered into a smartphone, will include the names of doctors, emergency contacts, numbers for insurance companies, treatment and medication information, schedules for appointments and so forth. All of this information could be entered into a non-specialized database application, but it would require very consistent and very well thought out tagging schemes to make certain that that information came up in the right types of searches.
One of the ways that app designers have streamlined the functionality of smartphones is by creating apps that are more specialized than they ever have been before. In the case of medical information, apps are designed so that they are specific to that category of information and within the database app itself, the information is divided up into logical categories. For instance, rather than having to do a search for contact information for every single doctor you’ve ever visited, these apps allow you to simply see a list of doctors. This immediately narrows down the search so that you have less information to comb through.
Likewise, a specialized app eliminates the need to use several different apps to keep information that is all intrinsically related but that may be in very different formats. For instance, you could put information into your smartphone by scanning documents and saving them to your SD card. The difficulty would come when you try to page through all of the documents you had on your phone and tried to determine which ones were the ones you were looking for before visiting a physician. With a specialized app, any documents can be entered into the file you keep for yourself or a given family member within the medical app. This helps to eliminate confusion.
There’s a big difference between how database administrators need to have information accessible to them and how everyday users need that information accessible to them. The main difference is that a database administrator will generally want as much detail on any given record as possible. A user is only going to need the ability to access that record easily and quickly and to be certain that anything within a given category is applicable and that the category itself is complete in its contents.
A good, specialized app gives users who want to utilize their smartphones to access vital information the best of what database technology has to offer. Ideally, a database makes it easy for users to access information rather than giving them as much information as possible, some of which they may not even need. Smartphones can hold a great deal of information on their SD cards and on their internal storage. Utilizing that storage capacity effectively is oftentimes a question of making sure that the information is categorized correctly and instantly accessible, and both of those goals are more easily achieved by using a specialized app for the type of information that applies.
[author ]Ben Blanchard is the Programming Services Manager for Acadian, the creator of the Family Medical Manager app. The Family Medical Manager app is the definitive medical record app for families and individuals.[/author]