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LAMP/MEAN Stack: Business and Developer Perspective

Currently, there are more than 1.73 billion active websites in the world, according to Internet Live Stats. Every second a new website is being created. Creating a website seems simple, but launching a website that serves some specific business purpose is tricky. When business owners approach application/web developers, they encounter jargon like LAMP/MEAN, backend/frontend, DevOps, and many more. In such scenarios, a person not accustomed to web development will either go with his instincts or the developer’s instincts or maybe cost.

Growing number of websites.

To avoid such situations here is an easy-to-understand description of the LAMP stack and MEAN stack along with their best use and related FAQs.

What is LAMP Stack?

Lamp Stack is a bundle of web development software – Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. This is the foundational stack where MongoDB and Python can replace MySQL and PHP, respectively.There are four distinct layers under this architecture. Linux is the operating system and all other software applications run on top of this layer. Apache is the web server software responsible for connecting web browsers to the correct website. MySQL is the database to store, retrieve, and update data based on input queries. Finally, PHP is the web programming language. Websites and web applications run on this layer.

The Lamp Stack architecture

What is MEAN Stack?

The MEAN stack comprises MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node.js. It is an open-source javascript-based software stack useful for developing dynamic web applications. Here, JSON (Javascript Object Notation) storage has completely replaced the database layer. JSON is lightweight, easy to understand, and is widely used for storing and transporting data from server to web page. 

The components of MEAN Stack-

MongoDB is a NoSQL database system. It is a cross-platform, document-oriented database program. Express is a framework to build web applications in Node. AngularJS provides a framework for frontend development with features like two-way data binding. Node.js provides a server-side javascript execution environment. 

The MEAN Stack architecture

LAMP vs MEAN : Which is Better for Startups/Businesses?

LAMP has been in use for decades and many sophisticated applications are built using LAMP stack. MEAN is relatively new, but is considered as one of the best technology stacks for developing mobile applications. However, which one to select totally depends upon the type of web application you want to build. 

LAMPMEAN
ScalabilityLAMP’s limiting factor is MySQL. During more requests, it creates a bottleneck. I.e. if there is high concurrency, MySQL fails to perform. MySQL works well when there’s a low write/read ratio. MEAN scales all the layers of frontend, backend, and database. MongoDB supports auto sharding and auto-failover. When the data on one node exceeds the threshold, MongoDB automatically rearranges the data to evenly distribute the data. 
PerformanceHorizontal scaling is not easy and high transaction loads (millions of read/write) seriously affect the performance.MongoDB is very fast, but it achieves its performance by trading off consistency (in clustered setups). Thus, MongoDB is great when you need speed and flexibility in your model and can accept minor (and relatively infrequent) data loss.
SecurityLAMP is a secure and stable platform. However, because of different client and server codebases, security is uncompromised in LAMP.MEAN is a secure and stable platform.
PrivacyLAMP applications are mostly native. Therefore, there are negligible privacy issues.Because of privacy concerns, many users disable javascript on their browser. This might break a MEAN application, since it is completely dependent on Javascript.
For example, apps like facebook cannot function properly if the user has disabled the javascript.
DevelopmentYou might require a full-stack developers team for developing an application on LAMP. For instance, you’ll need a javascript expert for frontend and PHP/Perl/Python expert for the backend. LAMP also features multiple layers of navigation with various configuration files and differing syntax.A team of javascript experts can develop end-to-end applications on MEAN.
CostLAMP might cost you more as it requires different specialists for frontend and backend development.Application development in MEAN is cheaper as you won’t need different specialists.However, the cost depends on the complexity of the project.

In short, LAMP is best for developing APIs, simple websites, and e-commerce sites. Whereas MEAN is most suitable for Tech-heavy startups, GUI focused Apps and developer teams who are proficient in javascript only.

LAMP/MEAN : What Developers Prefer?

For web applications, there are full-stack developers and MEAN stack developers. Developing an application in LAMP requires a team of developers knowing different frontend and backend technologies and/or full-stack developers. MEAN stack developers require expertise in javascript and because all other components of MEAN are compatible with JS, it is comparatively easier to develop web and mobile applications. 


LAMPMEAN
Difficulty to learnLAMP or full-stack developers need to be familiar with all the layers of web development. MEAN developers require proficiency in programming techniques like javascript and HTML and knowledge of Node.js, Express, MongoDB, and AngularJS.
TeamsIt can be challenging to switch teams in LAMP. Using javascript for both frontend and backend development provides a homogenous workflow. Thus, teams can switch from frontend to backend development and vice versa easily.
PerformanceDeveloping native applications work well on older browsers and mobile devices.MEAN applications with javascript heavy frontend might not perform in the second-world countries, where internet speed and devices are not robust.
LibrariesLAMP’s library is more mature with a number of functions to make backend development easier. For example, the REST library.
UI
UI-focused apps are easy to build in MEAN and are more intuitive. 
DatabaseYou might face scalability concerns with MySQL database.Although it is fast and capable of dealing with large databases, MongoDB is not the best platform for developing apps with complex transactions. 

Also read – 7 Ways to boost AngularJS applications!

Wrapping Up

MEAN stack mostly includes front end development components while LEAN stack comprises backend tools. You won’t find an operating system reference in MEAN, but, in fact, most MEAN applications are developed on Linux. Thus, we can say — LAMP refers to a more low-level development environment and MEAN to the high-level environment. 

It is also possible to modify the technology stacks in both LAMP and MEAN. For instance, you can use MongoDB or Cassandra with other components of LAMP. Some applications can have both stacks — LAMP for the API and MEAN for GUI. Moreover, both software stacks are compatible with the cloud. Therefore, depending on the project you can choose between the two.

We at Mantra Labs frequently encounter the client’s dilemma regarding the choice of LAMP/MEAN stack. Hopefully, this blog clarifies the myths and mysteries encircling these platforms.

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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
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