Why Mobile Content Delivery is Essential for Your business

The benefits of content delivery systems have been long recognized by professionals from varied lines of business, but can they extend their features to the mobile platform to drive measurable results?
Let’s take a closer look at some of their key features.

 

Targeted delivery
Mobile content delivery solutions aim to deliver relevant information to a designated audience. Business rules help configure and integrate content delivery within assigned targeted groups or recipients. Here are the examples of targeted delivery benefits:
– Meaningful content is delivered directly to sales reps’ mobile devices during industry specific meetings.
– Targeted content is delivered at a precise time during a marketing conference or presentation to bring value-added services for the potential customers and end-users.
Another benefit of content delivery systems is the optimization of e-learning processes. Mobile users have an opportunity to study with the help of the video content, supporting materials, and interactive content whenever comfortable and convenient. Students can also stay connected to teachers through comments and chats, as well as take assessments and receive feedback online. Likewise, instructors can monitor their students’ progress and track results.

Adapted Content delivery
Efficient content delivery systems should be optimized for multiple handheld devices. A well-tailored mobile content delivery system can provide presentations with audio, images, and videos adapted to screen size and device content format.
Suitable content can also be delivered based on language preferences, thus making it more efficient in B2C, B2B and B2E (business-to employee) situations, and enhancing benefit to the client.

Content security
In a hyperconnected world, secure distribution of regulated content is crucial. Skillfully applied content delivery solutions enable secure content delivery to all mobile devices and protect enterprise content from leakage.
To function in a bring-your-own-device environment, protected content access and other security configurations, e.g., password/IP/device authentication control, etc., authorization and access to content must be successfully applied. The device with an installed mobile app is integrated with an enterprise MDM System, and content is securely distributed to authorized devices. While the MDM system controls presence and access to the app itself, content delivery system and mobile app prevent unauthorized content access, as well as intervention into the app work and uncontrolled content sharing. 

Content usage tracking
For the content efficiency measurement, it is important to understand how and when the content is used. Mobile content delivery system gives content producer a chance to analyze when the content is used by tracking content access time; its efficacy by tracking content access length; and whether the targeted audience is reached by tracking content access geolocation and getting direct feedback from content consumers.

Relevant data flow experience is the name of the game today. Mobile content delivery can drive streamlined processes and competitive efficiency for any enterprise.

CoreValue’s flagship product, CoreContent, bridges content management systems to mobile devices, and enables timely and targeted content delivery to user/user groups. With a paramount focus on usability and security compliance, our mobile content delivery system facilitates strong communication control and enables instant updates of business-related information.

Denis Mazourick
Practice Director, CoreValue

Mobile Health and Pharma. Industry-specific benefits

Pharma and healthcare today have arrived at the crossroad where doctors, providers and patients/customers meet and interact. Ultimately, these three entities have the same fundamental aim – better and more effective healthcare system.  Digitization has enabled unified thinking within patient care.

With digital transformation already a part of everyday healthcare, “mobile health” in healthcare and pharma is no longer merely a catchphrase.  These industries have already recognized the advantages of mobile technology in streamlining operations and clinical trials, improved patient monitoring, as well as providing sophisticated instrumentation for marketers and sales. Mobile saves time and money.

Patient-Centricity and Customized Therapy

With mobile at hand, patients have become active participants in managing their own health.  Today, medicine is taking advantage of the patient-centricity trend by employing digitalization to tailor drug consumption to the patient’s clinical and lifestyle needs.  For example, the measuring of a patient’s biophysical state with wireless sensors in combination with other critical metrics, e.g., EMR, nutrition information, genetic data, medication history, data analytics, etc., makes it possible to send alerts to healthcare professionals about when and what help is needed.

One crucial aspect of patient-centricity is insight into patient specific treatments and diagnostics so that their needs are met and more effective drugs are developed and prescribed.  By having round the clock mobile interaction, users are better educated about symptoms, side effects, and possible outcomes.  Thus, clinical trials can be more accurate and exhaustive.

Precision drug consumption, combined with mHealth tools, helps to establish optimal treatment, as well as identifying reactions.  This improves outcomes for the patient. Consider what happens when diabetes drug intake is accompanied by a digital sensor, which sends reminders to the patient’s mobile and reports to the caregiver.  The interaction between patient and caregiver is augmented.  Not only is the ability to offer assistance where needed enhanced, but the opportunity is boosted to save money for both.

A mobile app “reminder” function also helps users better track their medication intake. For example, a simple yet important message alert system, which pushes notifications to users when prescriptions are ready, makes life a lot easier for consumers, who want the convenience of knowing when and where to schedule their pickup.  It saves effort and resources.

Preventive Care-Patient Engagement and Adherence through mHealth

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preventable and chronic illnesses constitute up to 70 percent of all U.S. healthcare spending. So it is  a pressing issue for healthcare in the 21st century to promote healthy habits and patient engagement. By concentrating on a value-based delivery model, the industry is capable now of utilizing mHealth technologies to reinforce patient engagement, and to facilitate the patient-doctor relationship.

However, the real innovation in mobile applications are the many cost effective ways to increase customer engagement.  Mobile technology is already widely applied to better manage long-term diagnosis, such as diabetes and hypertension, while offering insight to pharma R&D that furthers more accurate research.  But mobile dashboards can also assist care providers in gaining better insight into patient medication adherence and efficacy. Mobile apps encourage patient adherence to treatment plans by promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Mobile can also assist with public education awareness campaigns. Take for instance tobacco or alcohol addiction prevention, or healthy aging by means of e-learning and profound digital campaigns. From a patient’s viewpoint, use of a mobile application can provide better education and awareness about symptoms and potential prescription drug side-effects.  At the same time, pharmaceutical companies are looking for the ability to better analyze and leverage their data through the use of wearables and sensors — all with the aim to motivate patient adherence and to monitor a drug’s effects. Weight control and fitness applications that record caloric intake and nutritional information, as well as burned calories during workouts, are another good incentive to obtain meaningful data for future efficient outcomes.

Mobile and e-Prescribing makes a patient’s experience even more appealing and cost-efficient.  Mobile e-Prescriptions and refill requests can be sent from any device directly to a patient’s pharmacy at any time. Seamless information exchange improves the process and eliminates the hassle of extra pharmacy/doctor’s office visits.  It also enhances the patient’s safety.  For example, the possibility of prescription misinterpretation is reduced or eliminated through direct transmission to a pharmacy.  EMR/EHRs can more easily support a diagnosis through shared data.   It allows physicians to monitor a patient’s compliance to medication.  Overall efficiency in the healthcare system is significantly increased through direct, accurate and timely physician-pharmacist interaction.

Streamlined Operations

mHealth technology is a promising trend for higher efficacy of new drug investigation and healthcare overall cost-reduction.

How does it all work?  

Mobile devices like cell phones, smart watches, biosensors are essential for clinical data collection.  For example, patient recruitment for medical trials can take place via social media.  Mobile devices provide the ability to produce faster reports with better precision, and timely coordinated analytics.

Patient security is also of the utmost importance. Mobile technology easily connects the patient with a care provider by utilizing secure messaging, geolocation technology, etc. A perfect example is a platform that allows the patient to find and schedule an appointment with a relevant clinician when in pressing need. Coordinated communication between providers and patients ultimately leads to better patient care management, while at the same time facilitating the financial demands of the practice. See more about EHR benefits.

Pharma Marketing through mHealth Tools

Mobile is a way for pharmaceutical marketers to promote brand awareness, and to enhance communication accuracy by supporting consumers who are willing to improve their health. Automated reminders and non-intrusive messaging can be a means to introduce pharma innovations to targeted care specialists. Pharmaceutical mobile technology also helps sales team, researchers and other medical personnel to access protocols, guidelines and other vital training materials more easily.

Imagine specific healthcare professionals having a relevant level of access to various pharma marketing platforms.  With database access through mobiles, oncologists can get immediate access to a huge diagnosis-specific meds database.  Cardiologists can view the latest and best drugs to treat heart disease. It saves on effort, logistics, resources and money.

Mobile applications are also a great help for patients in comparing prices of brand names versus generic medications. A perfect example is a low-cost mobile platform that allows the patient to scan and search for the best-priced drugs.

Mobile tech facilitates social media marketing, which provides pharma marketers with inexpensive tools for ROI analysis and reporting. For example, after a clinical trial is a success, mobile brand promotion has proven to be an affordable way to reach a wider public. Other applications can enhance internal workforce and sales flows by keeping them up-to-date with the latest brand developments and clinical trials outcomes, all in real-time.

Consumers want the latest and the greatest healthcare technology.  Mobile health technologies are vital for tracking general health, lowering risks of certain chronic conditions and overall well-being of the population.

CoreValue is a technology provider for the life-sciences. Our solutions engage and innovate with emerging technologies and compliant strategies for all our customers and partners.

By applying mobile, CoreValue continues to innovate all available technology to meet the requirements of the life sciences industry, as well as to save time, money and energy.

Lily Smirnova
Marketing and Business Development Manager, CoreValue

Article 1: Rewrites in Magento: problems & solutions

We all come across issues where there is a need to rewrite the same model (class) in two different modules. It usually happens with an extension which implements some logic changes, e.g., Mage_Sales_Model_Order class. At the same time, we have our own extension which implements other changes to the same model via rewrite as well. In order to keep both extensions operating, and to keep logic separated in order that extensions remain compatible with possible updates, we need to refer to several basics of Magento.

First, ensure that implementation of the required changes/logic is impossible without rewriting a class/model. Extending default functionality via observers by subscribing to some specific event is the best method. Moreover, you can subscribe to an event in a predefined scope:
– globally,
– only for admin area,
– only for front-end.

For this you simply need to add listener to a specific config section: adminhtml, frontend or global.

However, achieving a desired result only with the help of observers can become complicated, which can then necessitate a total rewrite of the specific class/model. To do this properly, we have to take a step back, look at loading fallback, and consider how it actually works.

Basically, Magento locates its extensions in 3 code pools:
– core,
– community and
– local.

In addition, Magento loads it’s module configuration in the following order:
1. Mage_All
2. Mage_*
3. All others in alphabetical order.

Once all configuration files are loaded, Magento will check the section of each config and will put modules after the ones mentioned in this section.

In this way, we ensure that our module is loaded only after the required modules have already been loaded. For example, let’s assume module A is rewritten by module B at the same time we need to implement some changes in the scope of module C. In this case, we will configure our module C with a dependence on module B and will specify rewriting the class from module A. The only thing which remains for us to do is to extend our class from the class located in module B, so that the existing changes in module B are preserved.

Here is a short example. Assuming that there are two modules which must be rewritten, i.e., Sales/Order model, this is how we can define these modules:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As per sample above, the configuration for CoreValue_AutoSupply will be loaded after Mage_Sales. CoreValue_Installment will be loaded after CoreValue_AutoSupply.

Here is a sample configuration of each module as it relates to rewrites.

CoreValue_AutoSupply.

 

 

 

 

CoreValue_Installment

 

 

 

Now let’s take a look at the actual php files.

 

 

 

And

 

 

 

This way we ensure that the instance of CoreValue_Installment_Model_Sales_Order will be created on Mage::getModel(‘sales/order’).

In both classes, i.e., CoreValue_Installment_Model_Sales_Order and CoreValue_AutoSupply_Model_Sales_Order, we are rewriting function _checkState():

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a result, each module encompasses changes applied by the Parent class and applies its own changes where required.

This method of applying as many rewrites as needed also saves original logic and time. It does not eliminate the need to be extremely careful when making these changes so as not to break any of the default functionalities.

Vladyslav Litovka
Senior Engineer, CoreValue

Part 1: How to take advantage of micro-services architecture?

The term micro-services has been part of the tech lexicon for half-a-decade, but still there is much confusion about its benefits and applications. For many emerging technology practices, appropriate application of this architecture can be a great enabler to drive technology delivery exponentially faster. At the same time, using it simply as a technology patch with traditionally structured engineering teams leads only to unwanted overhead and complexity.

The following article is an examination of decisive factors to help determine whether or not micro-services architecture can be of benefit to any given organization.

For example, micro-services architecture can assist a software development organization to scale its delivery through the use of small autonomous teams, which in turn can also enhance the efficiency of individual engineers. A distinct element of any engineering problem is easier to define, and more likely to result in shorter release life-cycles. Smaller applications/services, also mean simpler management and simpler deployment processes, etc.

Distinctive characteristics of Micro-Services

Small

As the name would suggest, the size is the crucial factor. The typical largish micro-service will contain no more than a few hundred to few thousand lines of code, to be delivered from scratch to MPV in 1-6 weeks by a team of 1-4 engineers. It will utilize a simple and lightweight framework, if not a servlet. Most micro-services have either a persist data model consisting of 2-8 entities, when in 3rd Normal Form, or no database at all. This characteristic eliminates the need for a powerful persistence layer and database abstraction, such as Spring, just to store, for example, two logical class entries in a simple relational database.

Granular and specific

A micro-service should solve a concrete and clearly defined problem. If the problem has, for instance, two aspects, which do not share the same programming logic, consider building two micro-services. Consider building micro-services as adaptors, bridges and decorators to existing services. In general, similar principles employed to avoid scope creep in the design of source-code class structure are valid in the world of micro-services.

Autonomous and agnostic

To keep the scope as small as possible, a micro-service will still have its own logical meaning and re-usable value. It can also be black-box tested with logically meaningful scenarios. A reusable micro-service is a well designed micro-service.

Independent

Managing external dependencies is crucial to planning, the delivery cycle, testing and release, and may be completely asynchronous from other services. A common mistake is to be influenced by the desire for central control, common in the design of monolith systems. Routing, authentication, identity management, set-up routine services, etc., will still need to be aware of multiple other services, but that usage should be limited to reference and enumeration only.

Note this example. There is a trap inherent with the design a central administration area that is aware of the specific-problem logic of each service. The trap lies in the number of dependencies that such an approach introduces. A well designed central service should not need to be changed beyond simple run-time configuration in order to include a new member service. To avoid direct dependencies, consider:
inversion of control;
external-plugin-in style API interface which will allow dependency injection;
simple SSO-ed iframe mash-up of user-interfaces from different micro services.

Replaceable

A truly independent micro-service can be radically re-written from scratch in order to replace its internal implementation, seamlessly from the point of view of another service. It can even be re-written on entirely different technology stack, while the change remains invisible to any other micro-service.

Such a degree of flexibility and independence always proves its value and saves time in the medium and long run. The major project, where no elements need to be re-written or severely modified during the course of its delivery, has yet to be found.

What does all this give us?

Flexible delivery team structure is the key

The first and and most sought-after benefit is a small self-organizing team structure around which all delivery revolves. Whether the company’s delivery methodology is classic SCRUM with fixed teams owning a number of micro-services between releases; an FDD agile with a Feature Team formed for each micro-service; a more conservative RAD with teams and services organized around graphical interface elements etc. smaller and independent teams give flexibility and remove the overhead of constant synchronization. In addition, each service development has a different optimal pace.

As an example, a micro-service dealing with a user interface for capturing data for medical appointments via web-form will have frequent releases and multiple demo interactions. On the other hand, an algorithmically heavy service, e.g., dealing with appointment booking optimization, etc., will be developed in a more conservative fashion with similarities to clean-room coding techniques, a lot of automated testing and in larger iterations.

Obviously, the complexity and effort to synchronize dependencies have been removed from the individual service delivery teams and now reside directly with the system Architect. This is the desired state of affairs when the strategic approach of organization is focused on intelligent architecture.

Individual Engineer Efficiency

As postulated in the The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, by Fred Brooks, the ability to scale and speed-up a delivery process depends heavily on the level of functional decomposition, degree of structured encapsulation, and minimized dependendencies of the system design. This is where micro-service architecture becomes the real champion.

Small concretely defined problems can be fully understood by a single engineer or subject-matter experts on each element of the business logic. There is 100% code ownership, with the highest possible tolerance to diversity in development approaches and matching specialist programmers against their expertise. There is nothing to hold back development from the aspect of management.

Taking the divide-and-conquer approach also means among other things

  • no large code merges;no more refactoring unfamiliar code;
  • no god-classes and ambiguous structures left as inheritance from long time ago;
  • no more time-consuming alignment of test/sandbox deployments;
  • no more endless bug tracing across multiple layers of complicated frameworks.

Risk mitigation and adaptivity

Often the size and simplicity of a micro-service allows re-building the entire service in a matter of hours. Legacy code can be re-factored altogether with minimum time loss and other project consequences. To avoid spoiling the speed with which micro-services can be delivered, consider a simple deployment/dev-ops tool which does not require long configuration time or manual operation.

If the possibility of rolling out a service to its previous state, without the need to merge code or synchronize with any functionality or service, sounds attractive, consider also the ability to build throw-away stubs for services or temporary implementations without risk of the code becoming entangled and wasting effort upon removal. “Fail small and fail quick” as the Agile mantra goes.

Shorter release process

In practice, independent delivery and release cycles for each team means improvement of the overall functionality at every release of each service. Wait-time for the completion of a global sprint (the longest common denominator of time) is no longer needed for testing, demos or release. Just by taking the latest working version of each micro-service, one has an operation-ready system. [Note: The flexibility and speed, which micro-service architecture offers when combined with blue-green environment approach and API versioning, will be the subject of Part 2 of this article.]

Right technology for the right task

For decades, large companies have established policies to unify technology stack and development tools. However, diversification of the technology stack can prove to be very effective when looking to build rapidly. As an example of a diverse technology stack, consider a product eco-system, whose development teams chose to use Java for complicated business logic; Django and Angular for front end-presentation; PHP to customize external opens-source CMS modules; and low-level languages for the purpose of building custom, high-efficiency modules. After all, some tools and languages are better at some tasks than others. Most high-end programmers are either polyglots or have personal preferences of technology for solving a problem.

Why not allow the specialist who decides the methodology to solve a problem to also pick the right tool? In the end, it is only a technology agnostic API which connects a micro-service with the rest of the system.

So is it right for me?

Before adoption of micro-service architecture, decide whether or not it is advisable and feasible to change both the structure of delivery and the company culture toward more independence. Small, holistic team approach is what more and more technology companies choose as a basis for growth and consistent delivery. It is a particularly attractive option for new organizations, or those willing to restructure their technology teams from-the-ground-up.

On the other hand, companies with a well established structure, deep hierarchies of engineering roles, centralized specialist departments, long delivery cycles, etc., rarely find practical value in micro-service architecture.

To Be Continued

Part 2 : Optimizing and scaling micro-services. Organic growth of eco-systems.

Nikola Krastev

Senior Technical Architect, CoreValue

Empowering Pharma Marketing – The Mobile Aspect

Nowadays, Pharma’s success is no longer just about selling medications. Successful marketing relies on understanding and addressing the needs of the customer, who are demanding more and better personalized service. Building a relevant, two-way communication through every possible marketing channel is proving to be a winning choice for those pharmaceutical companies who are ahead of the game. Given the fact that, on average, consumers check their phones 150 times a day, Pharma can improve brand loyalty, customer experience and financial performance by focusing on the increasingly dominant mobile marketplace.

So, what exactly does mobile marketing bring to the pharmaceutical industry?

Sales Representative Support

With mobile devices available 24/7, pharma sales reps are able to maintain both timely and relevant communication with healthcare providers. A mobile CRM with an intuitive user interface and functionalities, such as effective offline access, can be a solution.

For example, to effectively approach a prospect, a drug rep usually has a plethora of personal information at hand, such as a number of kids, education, hobbies, prescribing preferences, etc., based on the data from health organizations. The ability to tap into that information wherever and whenever the need arises is a huge advantage to a rep making a contact.

Another good example of pharma marketing would be “detailmen” apps that provide comprehensive product information in a more appealing manner, such as specific product videos or clinical trial results with live feedback from a patient. The ability to share this important information while on a face-to-face meeting with a care professional can have a significant effect on their prescribing decisions.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

Another trailblazer of pharma marketing is the delivery of continuing medical information directly into the smartphone screen. A particularly vivid example is the mobile platform offering the latest updated information on industry-specific content, such as videos, audios, publications, research, presentations, industry events, etc. It is no longer necessary for care providers to read volumes of paper in order to keep track of all the newest activities in the pharma market. Given the fact that 70% of internet use is now on mobile, learning through mobile is easy and commonplace, and moreover, it is one of the most cost-effective means for pharma companies to target CME for better brand awareness.

Better Brand Awareness Through Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) Ads

In the U.S., pharma companies spend approximately $4.5 billion annually on DTC advertising. Although different implications arise for consumers and the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for regulating pharma advertising, pharmaceuticals have built up brand awareness through DTC and a growing focus on digital.

With emphasis on innovation, pharma marketing has recognized the need in mobile technology to build engaging apps for their targeted audiences. Not only do product-oriented apps make sense in terms of awareness and brand perception, but with 160,000 user-centric mobile apps for Life Science on iOS, the more important aspect is the positive ramification for improved global health awareness, patient education, etc. Industry sources estimate that over 40% of consumers with a pre-existing condition usually stick to brand name drugs rather than to generic ones. This presents another opportunity for a mobile app, one that could exploit consumer loyalty programs with discounts on brand name medicine. It could also provide a more advanced drug sample ordering application that encourages patients to order relevant medication based on integrated patient-related information.

Building social buzz in conjunction with mobile, gamification, and other effective digital means will naturally build consumer engagement, brand awareness, loyalty, and trust through safety and integrity, all of which will eventually result in better pharma product commercialization.  

CoreValue delivers integrated software development services by leveraging mobile and cloud technologies to enhance pharma, life science and patient experience.

Liliia Smirnova

Marketing & Business Development Manager, CoreValue

Adding Power and Dynamics to Business Intelligence Solutions for the Insurance Industry

The insurance industry is all about statistics and the handling of sensitive data.  The industry shift toward real-time analysis of “bigger, faster and wider” data flows also dictates new directions for the development of data warehousing and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for insurance.  

 

To satisfy the requirements of today’s insurance companies, we need to understand the following:

  • What data is being collected?
  • How clear is the data?
  • Where is it stored?
  • In what form is it stored?
  • How can it be reached?

A critical imperative for any insurance practice is the ability to process volumes of stored data from a variety of different sources, such as CRM, CMS, RMIS (risk management information systems), etc., and turn them into well-structured integrated Business Intelligence and analytics for meaningful reports, planning, and forecasting.

Properly leveraging such a massive amount of data requires a single, well-organized system that can help identify new business opportunities, and support related business decisions on both strategic and operational horizons, e.g., underwriting and claims management, sales and distribution, customer management, etc.  

Based on experience, the CoreValue data team has identified key aspects of building a comprehensive data and Business intelligence solution for insurance enterprises that includes extended infrastructure for streaming data processing for improved BI, and a Cloud-based data warehouse for improved performance and scalability of complex data volumes that saves on capital and operating expenses.

The Cloud

The Cloud and big data for insurance business is compelling from both financial and educational perspectives. The Cloud allows enterprises to focus on important business aspects like innovation and value-based insights, instead of infrastructure maintenance and the overhead of servers, deployment, equipment and IT staff management.

Cloud service is also moving swiftly toward resolution of particularly challenging data cyber-security concerns. By applying the latest security and encryption solutions, which meet industry-specific compliance constraints and requirements for a Cloud-based data warehouse, the insurance industry now has a powerful instrument for data protection.

Real-Time Data

Real-time data provides on-demand access to all types of business-critical information, e.g., historical data, market data, user input, etc.  Such an approach provides instant tactical support and allows insurance companies to react immediately to various events as they occur, e.g., early-stage fraud detection, end-user reminder push notification, etc.

Real-time data processing is also vital for customers, who prefer to pay premiums, file claims and see their status on-line and on-demand.  Add this to skillfully applied BI analytics, which helps insurers manage and pay out valid claims more efficiently, and customer satisfaction becomes another benefit.

Data Science Modeling Infrastructure – Sandbox

Data science modeling infrastructure (Sandbox) empowers data experts to build models for later production implementation. It makes data available for live data monitoring, continuous query processing, automated alerting and reaction, and machine learning.

Data scientists can address complex analytical projects by pulling data from all layers with Sandbox. It also facilitates implementation of Data Science models for a larger number of projects/applications, and therefore delivers Business Intelligence and analytics programs faster.

For example, insurance data professionals engage machine learning algorithms to manage expenses and risk analytics, monitor fraud, and aid other general insurance issues. The critically important risk assessment and event probability computed with machine learning methods predefine underwriting and claims decisions.

Imagine being able to leverage accurate claims management, risks analytics, loss inspections, fraud detection and other important insurance operations based on real-time data access. Then imagine being able to do that without the overhead of equipment, maintenance and staff management.  Big data and Business Intelligence analytics holds a great promise for every industry, but unquestionably, a comprehensive, Cloud-based BI solution can transform any insurance business into a more efficient, cost effective and customer-oriented enterprise.

Ready to think about business intelligence for insurance?

Lyubomyr Senyuk

Chief Technical Officer, CoreValue

Tableau reporting solution

Running Tableau Server with SSL on a custom port

Need a secure reporting solution? Consider Tableau.

Tableau gained deserved popularity as a tool that provides simplicity and interactivity for reporting and analytics.  However, CoreValue discovered a pitfall when developing such a solution through Tableau Server. Here is what we found.

Using HTML for front-end navigation and filters, we integrated multiple Tableau worksheets from the same instance using embedded views. The page was running on IIS, and was bound to the default HTTP port 80.  It included Tableau, which was running on a custom HTTP port (ex. 8080).

Due to security concerns, it was essential to move all our connections to HTTPS. To run this page on the default HTTPS port 443 for our users to access, we redirected the unsecure HTTP port 80 to HTTPS port 443, so that everything would run only on a secure connection. This meant that Tableau had to run on a different port with SSL. This is where we ran into a problem.

According to Tableau’s own documentation, Tableau Server can only run on the default HTTPS port 443, which automatically implies different servers, domains, etc., and results in more complications and issues to resolve.

After thorough investigation and research through the Tableau community site, we found that  Tableau itself does not provide a solution for the issue. We decided instead to investigate Tableau’s internal Apache Server.  This yielded some significant results.

We found that C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\config\httpd.conf contains the precise configuration for the virtual host via the HTTPS connection. However, httpd.conf is updated whenever configuration is saved or tabadmin config runs, as shown here.

Analysis of the template file

(C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\10.0\templates\httpd.conf.templ)

reveals that Tableau Server does not hard code the SSL port, because it contained lines of additional code, such as <VirtualHost *:<%=ssl.port %>>.  This means that Tableau Server has an ssl.port variable set which can be changed.

When the template file was examined for all configurations located at C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\10.0\templates\tabsvc.yml, we identified the line containing ssl.port: 443.

In order to confirm that this is a variable available for modification, we executed the following line of code:

C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\10.0\bin>tabadmin get ssl.port

===== the value for key ‘ssl.port’ is: 443

This confirmed that there is indeed an existing variable in Tableau that we can program with a simple command.  To change the ssl.port to 8088, simply execute the following command:

C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\10.0\bin>tabadmin set ssl.port 8088

As a result of our success in finding this particular key variable, we applied standard methods to build wider functionality and better user experience. After rigorous testing, we successfully released our Tableau reporting and analytics solution with Tableau Server running on the custom SSL port.  It is currently running smoothly in a production environment.  

Ihor Petrovych

Deputy Production Director, CoreValue

When Healthcare Meets Salesforce

“Customer experience has become the defining line between companies that grow and companies that fall behind.” Adam Blitzer, EVP and GM of Sales and Service Clouds, Salesforce.

The transformation of healthcare and life sciences has necessitated a profound technology shift in order to handle industry complexities. Digital healthcare represents a successful combination of technology advancement, which increases efficiency of healthcare delivery and makes it more personalized.

In 2015, Salesforce stepped into this new and exciting area of healthcare with Health Cloud, a web-based CRM platform focusing on patient relationship management and improved patient experience. Its main feature includes connectivity between patients and caregivers, making healthcare seamless.

Connecting health providers with their patients

Modern customer-oriented healthcare demands a more personalized approach to patients.  For the majority of people, customer service is the key differentiator when choosing a healthcare provider. The Salesforce CRM system is designed specifically to address uniformity and quality of the customer experience with a care provider.  This experience can encompass  case monitoring, task prioritization, information segmentation and real-time communication in order to help deliver better customer satisfaction for every single patient.

All-inclusive view of patient data

The very essence of value-based healthcare is timely and accurate information made accessible from diverse sources. Health Cloud, as a content aggregator, enables professionals to receive exhaustive, multiple-source patient data views. It allows caregivers to gain a deeper insight into every case and, consequently, make effective patient care decisions.

Mobility and real-time communication

Digitalization of every aspect of daily life calls for tech-savvy methods of healthcare management. According to Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Patient” Report, March 2015, 63% of Millennials would be interested in proactively providing their health data captured by “wearable” technology directly to their doctors, so that they can monitor their well-being. Real-time and instant communication between professionals and patients using up -to-date technology demonstrate obvious clinical and financial benefits. Efficient scheduling together with consultation, procedures via phone, email, and live chat improve both practitioner productivity and consumer experience.

Analytics and Advanced Segmentation

Salesforce Health Cloud functionality also provides for more intelligent ways of managing resources, data filtering and segmentation, and risk reduction. Its analytical capabilities utilize both clinical and non-clinical data. It empowers clinicians to create targeted approaches to patients, to automatically identify and calculate risks, and to create unique care plans for every patient.

HIPAA compliance

The management of protected patient data is an especially sensitive issue for the healthcare industry. Health Cloud protects every element with its built-in HIPAA compliance features, including Salesforce Shield, Field Audit Trail, Platform Encryption, Data Archive and Event Monitoring, to satisfy security and privacy for every patient and care provider.

Health Cloud offers a new dimension in the provider-patient relationship with a combination of multiple platform features and resources.  The Salesforce experience starts with your implementation partner. CoreValue provides healthcare/pharmaceutical industry leaders with security-aligned, tailored CRM solutions that enable interoperability, leverage data insight, and improved consumer experience.

Care Quality and Convenience — Benefits of Electronic Health Records

“According to the survey by Medscape, 91% of participating doctors said they were using EHRs in 2016, with another 5% planning to implement an EHR.”

The healthcare industry is driven by everyday technology development and improvement. Process automation, faster systems, data management and medical privacy are part of a high-stakes game. With the standard for medical data becoming digital, electronic health records (EHR) and the security surrounding them can make a real difference in quality of care.

Here is why EHR will soon be a standard operating procedure for healthcare professionals and their organizations.  

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2009. Together with Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, legislators stimulated the healthcare industry to adopt quality EHR software, in order to focus on improving efficiency and adhering to regulatory controls.

What does it really mean for a medical practice or patient?

CoreValue’s experts in medical software development share key benefits of EHR software adoption.

  • Speed and quality

The progress of EHR software development has allowed practices to improve the availability and quick delivery of voluminous amounts of data.  With just a few clicks, medical professionals deliver coordinated care much faster.

  • Efficiency and productivity

Today’s EHR software developers offer customizable web-based solutions that can be accessed from any device or operating system. It provides the opportunity for patient and clinician alike to keep track of the latest adjustments in a real-time mode.

  • Personalized care and security

A “patient portal” option is one of the key features of modern EHR system. A patient can safely access protected Personal Health Records in compliance with HIPAA regulations.

  • More efficient billing and coding

EHR software facilitates insurance billing submissions by providing complete documentation with accurate coding. This helps to avoid reimbursement delays and revenue leakage, which keeps both patients and providers happy.

Coordinated communication between providers and patients ultimately leads to better patient care management, while at the same time facilitating the financial demands of the practice.

CoreValue is a trusted global provider of healthcare systems in compliance with FDA, HIPPA regulations and Good Clinical Practices.  Our experience and expertise can help deliver to you a robust combination of EHRs and a well-operated IT infrastructure that can improve the service quality and safety of your healthcare organization.  

CoreValue’s Expertise in HIPAA and Medical IT Solutions

In the United States, data privacy legislation tends to be enacted largely due to the needs of a particular industry or sector of the population. Knowing and understanding how this compliance method is applied has become one of the key components of software outsourcing for medical organizations. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is the first thing that should be kept in mind when talking about data privacy in the healthcare industry.

Compliance Moves to the Front Seat

To discover what HIPAA requires from an information security perspective, you must become familiar with 45 CRF Part 160 legislation, as well as Subparts A and C of Part 164.  Of the greatest significance for outsourcers is the section dedicated to “technical safeguards and audit controls” which define the required activities that must be tracked and audited relevant to Patient Healthcare Information. Documentation and implementation of these controls, along with tools selection and review/capture of the appropriate information, is of utmost importance.

Sounds complicated? Not for us!

Review the following tried and tested checklist by our experts that includes these detailed guidelines:  

  • Ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of all electronic protected health information (ePHI), including the protection of patient privacy through the encryption of medical records.
  • Protect against reasonably anticipated threat or hazard to ePHI which an entity creates, receives, maintains or transmits.
  • Deliver visibility, control and detailed auditing information of any data transfer.
  • Protect against reasonably anticipated use or disclosure of ePHI, including loss prevention of confidential medical records via removable devices.
  • Confirm that the organization’s entire workforce complies with HIPAA standards to ensure that the threat of data being stolen for financial gain will be minimized.
  • Review security measures as often as needed to ensure reasonable and appropriate protection of ePHI.

Security Strategy

Your IT department should be aware of the adequate steps needed to prevent unauthorized and unlawful access to the medical records. We propose to look closely to the following steps:

  • Employee education. Employees should be properly trained on HIPAA compliance, its impact and how to handle personal information.  Also, all employees are required to sign a confidentiality agreement, as well as undergo criminal background checks and drug testing. Businesses that deal with healthcare-related projects should have dedicated personnel specially allocated to enforce HIPAA compliance standards.
  • Network traffic monitoring. Security tools with advanced traffic pattern analysis and intrusion detection is a must-have. 
  • Effective encryption practice. Encrypt laptops and implement strong passwords for devices that store protected health information (PHI). Mobile devices which store PHI should be given the strongest levels of protection.
  • Data backup. If some or all of a system’s files are encrypted, restoring those files from a backup is the only recovery option.
  • Security system upgrades. To remain compliant with HIPAA regulations, all systems that may contain PHI are required to remain current with all patches and up to date. 
  • Access restrictions. Implement a strong restricted-access plan to determine which users need access to PHI and give privileges to only those employees who need it.
  • No long-term data storing where not required. Reduce the possibility that employees who leave the company can steal important data and take it with them to a different employer.
  • Third-party vendor. Audit systems frequently and employ third-party vendors to attempt system penetration and perform security drills.

CoreValue – your Best IT Outsourcing Partner for Medical Solutions

With 10 years in the software market, CoreValue has broad experience in building healthcare global systems that are subject to the enormous number of compliance frameworks required by the FDA, HIPAA, and Good Clinical Practices, among many others.

Contact CoreValue for a consultation. Let us help you build a stable and secure healthcare data solution.