10%

Try : Insurtech, Application Development

Edtech(5)

Events(31)

Interviews(10)

Life@mantra(10)

Logistics(1)

Strategy(14)

Testing(7)

Android(43)

Backend(28)

Dev Ops(2)

Enterprise Solution(20)

Frontend(28)

iOS(39)

Javascript(13)

AI in Insurance(26)

Insurtech(57)

Product Innovation(34)

Solutions(13)

Augmented Reality(7)

Customer Journey(7)

Design(6)

User Experience(21)

Artificial Intelligence(94)

Bitcoin(7)

Blockchain(14)

Cognitive Computing(7)

Computer Vision(6)

Data Science(13)

FinTech(41)

Intelligent Automation(25)

Machine Learning(43)

Natural Language Processing(10)

HealthTech(5)

mHealth(3)

Telehealth Care(1)

10 Reasons To Learn Swift Programming Language

Swift programming language is very powerful and intuitive. It incorporates the best of C and Objective-C for iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watchOS. It proves to be effective as it can eliminate the constraints of C compatibility.

Swift has the potential to become the de-facto programming language for creating immersive, responsive, consumer-facing applications for years to come. Comments can include Markdown syntax to add rich text and embedded images that display in Xcode’s Quick Help. A new assistant shows your Swift API in a “header-like” view. And new syntax features combined with improvements to the Cocoa frameworks and Objective-C will make your code more expressive, and even safer.

Swift programming language has not only received widespread acceptance but has also become one of the software developers’ favorite tools. So, here we’ll discuss 10 reasons to learn swift programming language.

  1. Swift is easier to read.
  2. It is also easy to maintain because programmers need not put effort into bookkeeping..
  3. The Swift run-time crash will stop on the line of code where a nil optional variable has been used, preventing errors in codes. Thus, swift is a safe programming language.
  4. The huge memory leaks that a programmer can have in Objective-C are impossible in Swift. We can say — it unifies with efficient memory management.
  5. It has a concise code structure.
  6. Swift is an extremely fast programming language.
  7. With Swift, namespaces are based on the target that a code file belongs to. This means programmers can differentiate classes or values using the namespace identifier. 
  8. It supports dynamic libraries.
  9. With playgrounds, it encourages interactive codings.
  10. Swift provides the development community a direct way to influence a language to create intuitive apps.

Let’s look at the benefits of learning swift in detail.

1. Swift is Easier to Read

Objective-C suffers all warts you’d expect from a language built on C. To differentiate keywords and types from C types, Objective-C introduced new keywords using the @ symbol. Because Swift isn’t built on C, it can unify all the keywords and remove the numerous @ symbols in front of every Objective-C type or object-related keyword. Swift drops legacy conventions. Thus, you no longer need semicolons to end lines or parenthesis to surround conditional expressions inside if/else statements. Another large change is that method calls do not nest inside each other resulting in bracket hell — bye-bye, [[[ ]]]

You’ll be amazed to know that currently there are nearly 2.1 million swift developers, surpassing the number of Objective-C developers (1.6 million). Also, according to the Stack OverFlow survey 2019, swift is also one of the programming languages associated with highest salaries worldwide. Perhaps, this gives many developers a reason to learn swift! ;)

Method and function call in Swift use the industry-standard comma-separated list of parameters within parentheses. The result is a cleaner, more expressive language with a simplified syntax and grammar. Swift code more closely resembles natural English, in addition to other modern popular programming languages. This readability makes it easier for existing programmers from JavaScript, Java, Python, C#, and C++ to adopt Swift into their toolchain — unlike the ugly duckling that was Objective-C. Thus, to learn swift isn’t like getting into a completely new programming language at all.

2. It is Easier To Maintain

Swift drops the two-file requirement. Xcode and the LLVM compiler can figure out dependencies and perform incremental builds automatically in Swift 1.2. As a result, the repetitive task of separating the table of contents (header file) from the body (implementation file) is a thing of the past. Swift combines the Objective-C header (.h) and implementation files (.m) into a single code file (.swift).Xcode and the LLVM compiler can do work behind the scenes to reduce the workload on the programmer. With Swift, programmers do less bookkeeping and can spend more time creating app logic. Swift cuts out boilerplate work and improves the quality of code, comments, and features that are supported.

Benefits of Swift Programming Language

3. Swift Programming Language is Safe

Optional types make the possibility of a nil optional value very clear in Swift code, which means it can generate a compiler error as you write bad code. This creates a short feedback loop and allows programmers to code with intention. Problems can be fixed as code is written, which greatly reduces the amount of time and money that you will spend on fixing bugs related to pointer logic from Objective-C. Unlike in Objective-C, in Swift, the optional types and value types make it explicitly clear in the method definition if the value exists or if it has the potential to be optional (that is, the value may exist or it may be nil).

To provide predictable behavior Swift triggers a run-time crash if a nil optional variable is used. This crash provides consistent behavior, which eases the bug-fixing process because it forces the programmer to fix the issue right away. The Swift run-time crash will stop on the line of code whenever it finds a nil optional variable. This prevents the bugs in the swift code.

4. It is Unified with Memory Management

Swift unifies the language in a way that Objective-C never has. The support for Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) is complete across the procedural and object-oriented code paths. The huge memory leaks that a programmer can have in Objective-C are impossible in Swift. A programmer should not have to think about memory for every digital object he or she creates. Because ARC handles all memory management at compile-time, the brainpower that would have gone towards memory management can instead be focused on core app logic and new features. Because ARC in Swift works across both procedural and object-oriented code, it requires no more mental context switches for programmers, even as they write code that touches lower-level APIs — a problem with the current version of Objective-C.

Automatic and high-performance memory management is a problem that has been solved by Swift and it has proven it can increase productivity. The other side effect is that both Objective-C and Swift do not suffer from a Garbage Collector running cleaning up for unused memory, like Java, Go, or C#. This is an important factor for any programming language that will be used for responsive graphics and user input, especially on a tactile device like the iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad (where lag is frustrating and makes users perceive an app is broken).

5. Concise Code Structure

Swift reduces writing the amount of code for repetitive statements and string manipulation. Swift adopts modern programming language features like adding two strings together with a “+” operator, which is missing in Objective-C. Support for combining characters and strings like this is fundamental for any programming language that displays text to a user on a screen. The type system in Swift reduces the complexity of code statements — as the compiler can figure out types. 

Swift supports string interpolation, which eliminates the need to memorize tokens and allows programmers to insert variables directly inline to a user-facing string, such as a label or button title. The type inferencing system and string interpolation mitigate a common source of crashes that are common in Objective-C. Swift relieves you from bookkeeping work, translating into less code to write (code that is now less error-prone) because of its inline support for manipulating text strings and data.

6. Swift is Really Fast

Swift code performance continues to point to Apple’s dedication to improving the speed at which Swift can run app logic. The enhancements also enabled Swift to outperform C++ for the Mandelbrot algorithm by a factor of a mere 1.03.

With an optimized compiler for performance and the language for development, it generates faster code across the board, both for release and debug builds. The Swift compiler is also faster, even while adding new Fix-it suggestions such as where you can use let instead of var.

7. There’s Fewer Name Collision With Open Source Projects

One issue that has plagued Objective-C code is its lack of formal support for namespaces, which was C++’s solution to code file-name collisions. Swift provides implicit namespaces that allow the same code file to exist across multiple projects without causing a build failure and requiring names like NSString (Next Step — Steve Jobs’ company after being fired from Apple) or CGPoint (Core Graphics). Ultimately, this feature in Swift keeps programmers more productive. They don’t have to involve in bookkeeping that exists in Objective-C. 

You can see Swift’s influence with simple names like Array, Dictionary, and String instead of NSArray, NSDictionary, and NSString, which were born out of the lack of namespaces in Objective-C. With Swift, namespaces are based on the target that a code file belongs to. This means programmers can differentiate classes or values using the namespace identifier. This change in Swift is huge. It greatly facilitates incorporating open source projects, frameworks, and libraries into your code. The namespaces enable different software companies to create the same code filenames without worrying about collisions when integrating open source projects. Now both Facebook and Apple can use an object code file called FlyingCar.swift without any errors or build failures.

8. Swift Supports Dynamic Libraries

The biggest change in Swift is the switch from static libraries, which are updated at major point releases (iOS 8, iOS 7, and so on), to dynamic libraries. Dynamic libraries are executable chunks of code that can be linked to an app. This feature allows current Swift apps to link against newer versions of the Swift language as it evolves. 

The developer submits the app along with the libraries, both of which are digitally signed with the development certificate to ensure integrity (hello, NSA). This means Swift can evolve faster than iOS, which is a requirement for a modern programming language. Changes to the libraries are included with the latest update of an app on the App Store, and everything simply works. It reduces the initial size of an app by linking the external codes on use-basis.

Dynamic libraries in Swift make it possible for programming language changes and improvements to propagate faster than ever before. Users no longer need to wait for iOS point releases to benefit from any performance or reliability improvements Apple introduces into Swift.

9. Swift Playgrounds Encourages Interactive Coding

Swift’s newly introduced Playgrounds are a boon to experienced developers. Playgrounds enable programmers to test out a new algorithm or graphics routine, say 5 to 20 lines of code, without having to create an entire iPhone app. 

Apple has added inline code execution to Playgrounds. It helps programmers create a chunk of code or write an algorithm while getting feedback along the way. This feedback loop improves the speed of writing codes by replacing the traditional programming with data visualizations in Playgrounds. Programming is an iterative process. Any effort to reduce strain and complement the creative process can make programmers more productive. It can also free their time to solve bigger problems rather than focusing on boring details that traditional compilers impose on programmers.

10. Swift Is A Future You Can Influence

Objective-C isn’t going anywhere, but it won’t see as many major changes, thanks to the introduction of Swift. Some Swift features will likely migrate over to Objective-C, but Objective-C’s legacy in C means it can absorb only so much. Swift provides the development community a direct way to influence a language to create apps, embedded systems (if Apple ever licenses an embedded framework and chip for third parties), and devices like the Apple Watch.

Wrapping up with the best of Swift Programming Language

Writing Swift code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift possesses safer patterns for programming and it adds modern features to make programming easier, more flexible, and more fun.

Apple is focused on providing the best consumer experience and is building only those features deemed worthy of attention. The team supporting the development and evolution of Swift is keen on improving the language to better support the development community that builds apps and systems using Swift. If you’re thinking of learning Swift, this is the right time to get started.

If you’ve queries around different programming languages, we’ve covered some. Take a look.

Cancel

Knowledge thats worth delivered in your inbox

Virtual health: Delivering care through technology

8 minutes, 52 seconds read

Virtual Care, Telehealth, Telemedicine, etc. are terms used very synonymously. Indeed they are interrelated, however, Virtual Care is a broader term in which healthcare providers use digital tools to communicate and deliver care to their patients. Telehealth and Telemedicine are a part of Virtual Care where doctors deliver care to their patients, remotely via phone, video, or instant messaging. Virtual health includes care delivery beyond video consultation where hospitals provide services using technology such as wearables for remote monitoring, instruments for post-op care and second opinions, e-pharma services, and medical information, etc. 

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic gave an impetus to Virtual Care, but even in the Pre-COVID time, the Healthcare sector was slowly gearing up for this next wave in care delivery. What COVID-19 did was, help patients get acclimatized to the digital health tools and services. 

What does Virtual Health help with?

The pandemic has brought the burning issues of the healthcare sector to center stage. Patient experience and access to healthcare services are key differentiators for people while choosing a healthcare provider. Let’s take a look at some of these issues addressed by technology in the healthcare sector-

The increasing number of patients

Apart from the pandemic, there’s already been a rise in the number of patients due to drastic changes in lifestyle and food habits, an increase in pollution levels, increase in new types of viruses, etc. This has caused undue stress on healthcare institutions and workers and has led to the deterioration of the quality of patient care. Virtual Health technology such as mHealth apps, EHR (Electronic Health Record), video conferencing, etc. has helped reduce the pressure on hospitals.

Difficulty in traveling for old patients

The pace of life is increasing at a rapid rate. It is getting insanely difficult for the elder population to navigate through the traffic and commute long distances for a check-up. Many times, they have to depend on their family members to take them to hospitals. Moreover, they are at risk of exposure to viruses in hospitals and clinics. Now that they have had the experience of virtual consultations, they prefer care delivery at home rather than going to hospitals.

Chronic Diseases treatment

The number of people above the age of 45 face health issues. Some patients are suffering from chronic diseases regardless of age. Regular monitoring of their vitals is very important. Moreover people now prefer Virtual healthcare services which are easily accessible and save a lot of time, effort, and money. Now that people have found these services effective, they will opt for online consults rather than frequent in-person visits. 

Post-op Care

The duration of post-operative care is quite long and tedious. If given a choice, people will lean towards wearables which will help keep doctors posted on the status of the treatment. Many times, the cost of post-op care is more than the actual treatment and sometimes is not covered under insurance. Virtual care-delivery services will help reduce the financial burden of people going through these treatments.

Follow-ups/Second opinion  

Some health conditions need multiple follow-ups and second opinions to figure out the right approach to treat the issue. It is much easier for patients to do follow-up consults virtually rather than going through the tedious process of appointment booking, commuting, and waiting for their turn. It helps reduce the queue outside the doctor’s office as well. Some health issues need a second opinion, sometimes both by patients and doctors. Virtual Healthcare technologies make it possible for them to take second opinions from doctors all over the world. With electronic records and image sharing, doctors can diagnose the problem better.

What does Virtual Health include?

Virtual Health can be broadly divided into below applications-

mHealth Applications

mHealth applications have widespread use. From symptom checkers to appointment booking, from fitness trackers to uploading medical records, from video conferencing features to chatbot integrations, mHealth apps are on a rise mainly because of easy accessibility for the tech-savvy customers. According to a study by NCBI, among the 22 selected mHealth apps operating in India, Practo, mfine, DocsApp, 1mg, Netmeds, Lybrate, MediBuddy, and Medlife were found to be the eight most popular ones with over a million downloads and on average four-plus user rating out of five. All the above apps are mainly being used for online consults. This just goes about showing that people prefer having homecare services instead of stepping out. 

E-Triage Tools

The rising number of patients with different stages of COVID symptoms was a task to deal with. E-triage software here enables hospitals to triage patients into different sections when there’s an overload of patients at a particular time. Now, in the case of home care, e-triage tools help patients to access the gravity of their health condition and notify the healthcare provider accordingly. Such tools help reduce A&E waiting time and improve NHS performance. Many companies are building healthcare software integrating the E-triage module within EHR, telemedicine, clinical decision making, billing, etc. In India, Persistent Systems’ cutting edge platform has a Nurse Triage system that enables nurses to see the queue of patients and triage via phone calls. Once the calls are done, a triage report is generated and sent to care providers. Many leading doctors feel that AI in image triage will see a boost in near future.

Remote Patient Monitoring 

There are multiple benefits such as reduced post-op expenditure, time wastage, less exposure to other diseases, etc. The global remote patient monitoring devices market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period (2019–2027) according to Coherent Market Insights. Some of the top players in this space are Biotronik, Boston Scientific Corporation, CAS Medical Systems, CONTEC MEDICAL, Dragerwerk, GE Healthcare, Guangdong Biolight Meditech, Medtronic, Mindray Medical, Nihon Kohden, Philips Healthcare, Spacelabs Healthcare, Abbott. Companies such as GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare have done a great job with building remote patient monitoring systems within the hospital premises as well as homecare for COVID patients. The main goal was to reduce the exposure of healthcare workers to at-risk patients. 

Synchronous and Asynchronous Telehealth

Synchronous telehealth, in other words, Telemedicine is where there is a live conversation between the patient and the doctor. Asynchronous telehealth involves the exchange of recorded data e.g. images, video, medical reports, pathology reports between patients and doctors, at times between doctors as well. Similar to mHealth space, companies like Practo, 1mg, Lybrate, Medlife, and Portea Medical in India are some of the top players in telehealth and telemedicine. Lybrate’s USP lies in CMS (Clinical Management System) which helps doctors with tedious tasks of managing patients and providing better care. Meanwhile, Portea Medical’s home consults and pharma delivery have more relevance with the audience as it combines technology with a touch of personalization. 

Digital Therapeutics

Digital Therapeutics delivers evidence-based therapies with the help of software which can be used both as a preventive measure as well as treatment application. The effectiveness of the medication and lifestyle changes on patients are monitored by leveraging technology. In India, major non-communicable diseases that account for 62% of the total mortality rate are CVD, diabetes, respiratory conditions, and cancer. Prominent global players in this space include Noom (US), Livongo Health (US), Omada Health (US), WellDoc (US), Pear Therapeutics (US), Proteus Digital Health (US), Propeller Health (US), Akili Interactive Labs (US), Better Therapeutics (US), etc. Omada Health is the pioneer in the DTx (Digital Therapeutics) that focused primarily on diabetes and pre-diabetes but now is branching out in the mental health space as well. In India, Altran (a part of Capgemini) is into building personalized DTx applications for clients. Whereas a start-up called Wellthy Therapeutics has ready solutions catering to multiple diseases.

Future of Virtual Health

Undoubtedly, there has been a massive increase in the adoption of Virtual Health technologies as people have gotten accustomed to the ease of certain services at home. In the coming future, mHealth apps, remote patient monitoring, and Digital therapeutics see a surge in demand from the customers. According to a study by Markets and Markets, “The global digital therapeutics market is projected to reach USD 6.9 billion by 2025 from USD 2.1 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 26.7% during the forecast period (2020–2025).” A study by Fortune Business Insights, “The global mHealth market size is projected to reach USD 293.29 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 29.1% during the forecast period.” A Research and Markets report says, “The remote patient monitoring market is expected to reach US$31.326 billion by the end of 2023.” Apart from the above, development in digital infrastructure such as virtual health stations where doctors can provide consultations globally, mobile ICUs, MRIs, X-rays, ultrasound equipment, the establishment of rural virtual care units reaching the remote areas of the country are some of the trends which will gain momentum. The focus would always lie upon the personalization of the virtual care experience for patients driven by data exchange and interoperability. 

Indeed, there are certain challenges to the implementation of these technologies, lack of infrastructure, and digital literacy amongst elders and lower strata of society. Many healthcare institutions still have inhibitions while investing in digital technologies fearing rejection from the customers. It will be crucial for care providers to choose the right partner for implementing these technologies and create awareness amongst people to adopt them.  

In a Nutshell

The success of virtual care relies on how well the digital experience is designed for the patient. “By 2025, as many as 95 percent of all customer interactions will be through channels supported by artificial intelligence (AI) technology” – Microsoft. The use of algorithms and AI for personalizing these experiences will be the key. 

Find out more about unchartered territories in ‘Blue Ocean’ of Digital Health. Join our webinar hosted by Parag Sharma (CEO, Mantra Labs) as he shares his insights on untapped opportunities using digital self-care tools within behavioral healthcare & emotional wellness.

Save your spot! 

Further Readings:

  1. Reimagining Medical Diagnosis with Chatbots
  2. HealthTech 101: How are Healthcare Technologies Reinventing Patient Care
  3. What will be the state of the healthcare industry post pandemic?
  4. Healthcare Chatbots: Innovative, Efficient, and Low-cost Care
Cancel

Knowledge thats worth delivered in your inbox

Loading More Posts ...
Go Top
bot

May i help you?

bot shadow

Our Website is
Best Experienced on
Chrome & Safari

safari icon