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Angular-2 – Developers Preview

Angular 2 is a big upgrade from Angular 1. It is a framework for mobile apps and can be used for desktop as well. Like Angular 1, Angular 2 (currently in alpha) is built on a set of concepts that are used throughout the framework and they would be used directly or, indirectly while writing applications.

Angular 2 separates updating the application model and reflecting the state of the model in the view into two distinct phases. The developer is responsible for updating the application model. Angular, by means of change detection, is responsible for reflecting the state of the model in the view. The framework does it automatically on every VM turn.

Angular 2 Features:

Component-based UI
Angular is adopting a component-based UI, a concept that might be familiar to React developers. In a sense, the Angular 1.x controllers and directives blur into the new Angular 2 Component. This means that in Angular 2 there are no controllers and no directives. Instead, a component has a selector which corresponds to the html tag that the component will represent and View to specify an HTML template for the component to populate.

User Input with the Event Syntax
Angular 2 applications now respond to user input by using the event syntax. The event syntax is denoted by an action surrounded by parenthesis (event). You can also make element references available to other parts of the template as a local variable using the #var syntax.

Goodbye $scope
Even though ‘$scope’ has been replaced by “controller as” as a best practice since Angular 1.2, it still lingers in many tutorials. Angular 2 finally kills it off, as properties are bound to components.

Better Performance
With an ultra fast change detection and  immutable data structures, Angular 2 promises to be both faster and more memory efficient. Also, the introduction of uni-directional data flow, popularized by Flux, helps to ease some of the concern in debugging performance issues with an Angular app. This also means no more two-way data binding which was a popular feature in Angular 1.x. Not to worry, even though ng-model is no more, the same concept can be solved in a similar way with Angular 2.CWcQuqmWsAE8UKK

In any front-end web, frameworks is the technique used for change detection. Angular 2 adds a powerful and much flexible technique to detect changes on the objects used in the application. In Angular 1, the only way the framework detects changes, is through dirty checking. Whenever digest cycle runs in Angular 1, the framework checks for changes on all objects bound to the view and it applies the changes wherever they are needed. The same technique is used for any kind of objects. In AngularJS 2, we don’t have a chance to leverage the powers available in objects – like observable and immutable. Angular 2 opens this channel by providing a change detection system that understands the type of the object being used.

In addition, the change detectors in Angular 2 follow a tree structure to detect changes. This makes the system predictable and it reduces the time taken to detect changes.

If plain JavaScript objects are used to bind data on the views, Angular 2 has to go through each node and check for changes on the nodes, with each browser event. Though it sounds similar to the technique in Angular 1 but the checks happen very fast as the system has to parse a tree in a known order. If we use Observables or, Immutable objects instead of the plain mutable objects, the framework understands them and provides better change detection.

Angular 2 is written from the ground-up using the latest features available in the web ecosystem and it brings several significant improvements over the framework’s older version. While it retires a number of Angular 1 features, it also adopts a number of core concepts and principles from an older version of the framework.angular-2-better-or-worse-26-638-1

Short Summary:

  • Angular 2 separates updating the application model and updating the view.
  • Event bindings are used to update the application model.
  • Change detection uses property bindings to update the view. Updating the view is unidirectional and top-down. This makes the system a lot more predictable and performant.
  • Angular 2 embraces unidirectional data-flow.
  • You can use the same mindset when building Angular 1.x applications.

The team has collaborated with the TypeScript team at Microsoft, both the teams are working really hard to create a great framework and they are also working with TC39 team to make JavaScript a better language. The best is yet to come and hence the future is going to be exciting for all developers.

In case, you have any queries on Angular 2 framework, feel free to approach us on hello@mantralabsglobal.com, our developers are here to clear confusions and it might be a good choice based on your business and technical needs.

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MantraTalks Podcast with Parag Sharma: Delivering Digital-first Health Experiences for Patient Care in the New Normal

6 minutes read

The healthcare industry took the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic from the very beginning. It was, and still is, a humongous task for hospitals to deal with the rising number of COVID patients as well as handling the regular consults. 

To delve deeper into the state of healthcare in the COVID times, we interviewed Parag Sharma, CEO, Mantra Labs Pvt Ltd. Parag shares his insights on how technology can help in delivering digital-first health experiences for patient care in the New Normal.

Parag is a product enthusiast and tinkerer at heart and has been at the forefront of developing innovative products especially in the field of AI. He also holds over ten years of experience working in the services line and has been instrumental in launching several startups in the Internet & Mobile space. His rich domain expertise and innovative leadership have helped Mantra climb to the top 100 innovative InsurTechs in the World – selected by FinTech Global. 

Catch the interview:  

Connect with Parag- LinkedIn

COVID-19 and Its impact on Healthcare Organizations

Considering the COVID situation, according to you how has COVID-19 impacted the IT & service operations among healthcare organizations?

Parag:  Since the onset of COVID-19, the healthcare sector has been deeply impacted. Institutions are facing a serious crunch in manpower. IT support systems which were usually manned and managed by a large team of IT professionals are not available in the same strength. Resource allocation’ is one of the biggest concerns due to physical and mental exhaustion of the healthcare workforce. 

Hospitals are facing issues such as operational disruption due to staff quarantine, supply-chain delays and sudden decline in patient footfalls, difficulty in sustaining fixed costs, etc. People are not comfortable getting out of the safety confinements of their homes due to the rising risk of getting infected with the virus. Hospitals will have to reassess their future strategy and budgets in light of the uncertain economic situation.

Preparing for the Future

What can hospitals do to ensure the continuity of their customer-facing operations in the wake of a second Pandemic wave?

Parag: There are many things that hospitals can do to manage themselves in this hour of crisis. Being more digital than what they are would be one step forward for all of them. They can bring their IT systems to the cloud so that the person can access data and manage their work remotely. They can enable their patients to book appointments and enquire about services through apps and chatbots which won’t require them to call the reception or come to the hospital. These are some of the services which hospitals can provide to their customers with minimum physical contact. 

Related: Manipal Hospital’s move to a self-service healthcare mobile application

Hospitals can extend Telehealth services to their patients. Recently, telehealth has proved to be useful especially when there is asymmetry between the number of patients and healthcare providers. I think it will be very useful for healthcare institutions to deploy telehealth solutions to provide medical facilities to people who have so far been outside the benefits of healthcare.

New Expectations in Health Experiences

Is consumer behavior defined by the ‘new normal’ going to change the way we access healthcare from this point on?

Parag: Yes, people will expect a completely different way to access healthcare services from now on. Hospitals should gear-up and rise to this occasion. The pandemic has also provided a new opportunity to adopt a completely different approach in the way healthcare is delivered. They always felt that medical care cannot be provided remotely but now this is happening and people are appreciating remote healthcare services. Hospitals and healthcare institutions are convinced that telehealth and remote care will be more successful soon.

Technology in Healthcare can Bridge Operational Gaps

What are the operational challenges, as far as digital capabilities go, that hospitals are facing currently? And, what steps must they take to bridge these gaps?

Parag: Operational challenges are not just digital challenges. But a lot of these challenges can be addressed with technology. For example, Electronic Health Records which hospitals manage within the premises can be moved to the cloud so that the person can access these records on the cloud itself and need not come to the hospital. 

Related: Medical Image Management: DICOM Images Sharing Process

Secondly, if you deploy telehealth and telemedicine solutions, irrespective of where your patients are or doctors are, hospitals can deliver the required care to its patients. You can even extend your diagnostics services to your patients by giving them an application through which they can seamlessly book appointments for consults, diagnostics, or pathological services and resolve their queries, etc. Simply by giving a seamless interface either through bots or applications can go a long way in providing better health experiences to the customers.

Role of Chatbots in Superior Customer Experiences

According to you, what role does chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence have in the Healthcare CX landscape?

Parag: Chatbots are the simplest example of the implementation of AI-based technology in healthcare. There are a lot of things which bots can do simplistically. For example, if a patient wants to book an appointment with the doctors, instead of going through a complex web applications and interfaces, what if I can simply write “I want to book an appointment with the doctor Dr. XYZ at 4 pm” and the bot can figure out in case the time slot is available with that particular doctor, it will confirm the appointment followed by a payment process if the payment has to be made upfront. 

Apart from this, you can extend your bots to provide e-consultations where doctors can do remote consultations via audio and video features of a chatbot. So there is a huge scope for bots beyond answering routine queries by customers or booking appointments. It does not stop just there. You can extend chatbot functionalities to support functions such as admin, HR, finance, and business process efficiency so that they can provide better services to their customers.

Related: Healthcare Chatbots: Innovative, Efficient, and Low-cost Care

Chatbot Use Cases in Healthcare

Could you tell us some possible bot use cases for delivering better customer experiences to digital health users?

Parag: Apart from booking appointments and resolving customer queries, these bots can conduct remote consultations, internal processes, health symptom checker, out-patient video consultation, second opinion consultation, ordering medicines, psychological counseling & mental wellness, scenario-based risk advice, Heroism Recognition for employees, etc. Also, it can be further extended to help patients enquire about health insurance related queries, and all the interactions between insurance companies and hospitals can be provided to the patient. 

Related: Healthcare & Hospitals Use Cases | Digital Health

The Road Ahead

COVID-19 has forced hospitals to revise patient support strategy with limited operational staff that is bringing every day a new challenge. A way out is to heavily rely on digital innovation.

In India we have a disparity between the no. of healthcare providers and care seekers. Without technology, I don’t think there is any way healthcare institutions will be able to scale to a level where they can provide meaningful services to such a large number of people. Hospitals can invest in setting up an information exchange; making the process as seamless as possible; and removing all possible inefficiencies from the supply chain through technology.

Future growth for hospitals will come from digital technology because patients will opt more for digital platforms. And it is up to hospitals to catch up with the pace at which modern technology is developing. We, at Mantra Labs, have achieved several use cases including hospitals/diagnostic centers that are able to deliver superior health experiences.

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