Our CTO’s Take on SXSWi: RWD and Gesture-Based Computing Hit the Mainstream

Technology wise, Responsive Web Design (RWD) is now mainstream with multiple sessions and panels featured at South By Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) 2014.  Our team at BedWatch® correctly anticipated this industry move, and as a result our code base is already aligned with RWD, which is a great advantage over many of the other options in the healthcare throughput technology market. 

Gesture-based computing is mainstream largely due to Apple’s iPhone and iPad products, but its history dates back to Myron Kruger’s Videoplace laboratory.  He created and cataloged all of the gestures we use today including pinch to zoom, swipe to scroll, etc.  Currently, gesture-based computing is moving to reading body positions with devices such as Leap Motion (watch an amazing demo on Engadget).  Gesture computing is currently not considered useful for creating, but works well for consuming or reviewing. It’s best use case currently is collaborative viewing.  An example use for us would be Bedwatch® consulting team members walking through patient flow reports with hospital clinical and C-Suite staff.

One technology notably absent from this year’s SXSWi programming is single-page application frameworks and toolkits. These tools and frameworks are still very early edge, but we fully expect them to start appearing in programming schedules within the next three years.  Single-page application is the technology Google uses to build browser-based applications like Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Spreadsheets that act as fast as desktop apps and do not require page refreshes for every action. We anticipate that this technology will become mainstream within the next three years (or less), and within five years, any application not written with these tools will look slow and primitive.

Google has released the tool-set they use to build these applications, but it’s primitive as far as frameworks go, and requires large amounts of programmer labor to use.  Other frameworks are emerging that follow more modern programming paradigms. We are keeping an eye on this space and waiting for tool sets to settle down and a winner to emerge with a framework that can be used with a reasonable amount of programming effort.  As soon as we determine we can move forward and be reasonably certain that the tool sets are taking their final shape, we will immediately begin using these technologies in Bedwatch®.

Want to learn more about BedWatch®? Email info@bedwatch.com or schedule a live demo.

Joel Schaubert is Chief Technology Officer of BedWatch® and specializes in designing and implementing complex software infrastructure. Schaubert has extensive experience implementing software and procedures to meet HIPAA, SOX, 2167-A, and SEI standards, making him uniquely qualified to guide the BedWatch® development process. Before joining the BedWatch® team, Joel was a crucial player in multiple large-scale SAAS start-ups, including E*Trade Financial. He earned a BSEE from the University of Minnesota, and a MSEE in Telephony & Data Communications from Stanford University. Learn more about Joel Schaubert and the rest of the BedWatch® team.

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