- Developed using BlackBerry® Java® SDK and BlackBerry® Java® Plug-in for Eclipse®
- Integrates with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express and BlackBerry® Internet Service
- Connects via BlackBerry Bridge to BlackBerry® Playbook™ tablet
- App is used by more than 3,500 physicians around the world
- High security standards and simplicity of platform's infrastructure are crucial
BlackBerry Developer Success Story - MphRx
In the high stakes medical world, a successful application must balance strict patient privacy rules with a physician's need for easily accessible and shareable patient information. MphRx's India R&D team achieved both by building an enterprise class app that not only enables physicians to send and receive large image files on India's 2G networks, but also adheres to the United States medical industry's strict HIPPAA and HITECH patient security and privacy rules.
Sameer Grover, Head of Product Management at MphRx, spoke with us about India's unique development challenges, BlackBerry's security features, and the tools he used to develop the MphRx app.
Q: How did you develop a solution that improved upon India's limited 2G download speeds?
Sameer: Physicians usually need to share patient information in the form of large image files that contain 1,000 frames or more, so we needed to develop a way to decrease download times while maintaining the profession's strict security and privacy rules. Working closely with the BlackBerry Developer Relations teams in Toronto and Singapore, we created a demo app to simulate data transfer speeds and observe how the information traveled through the networks and the clients BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
We weren't happy with our existing download speeds, so we began to develop for the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) protocol and started developing progressive downloading. After weeks of testing and fine-tuning the protocols and parameters, we successfully achieved download speeds that helped reduce the file download time to 7 or 8 minutes, a huge improvement from the previous 30 minutes.
Q: Why did you choose to develop this app for the BlackBerry platform?
Sameer: By using the tools, resources and support BlackBerry provides, MphRx was able to create a cost effective native application that offered top-notch security along with the download speeds we needed. By also integrating the app with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, we knew that it would be encrypted and secure and that it was possible for administrators to remotely manage it or switch off the application if the phone was lost or stolen.
Q: How important was your partnership with RIM's various development teams?
Sameer: To develop the MphRx Connect app, we had to deal with very complex issues, including confidentiality, encryption, huge file sizes, data hierarchies of patients, and different modalities that required some level of expert mentoring, which we got from the BlackBerry teams in Toronto and Singapore. They helped us build the app and developed the protocol system needed to help accelerate download speeds on India's 2G network, which required a lot of R&D and involved not only app development but also infrastructure development. The BlackBerry team gave us the inputs, documentation and technical support to build the app and we also worked with beta users - in this case, radiologists - to help test the app. Using the feedback we received on each version of the app, we made adjustments and improved it each time.
Q: What development tools did you use?
Sameer: We used the BlackBerry Java SDK and the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse provided for the compilation of the COD files. These development tools provided us with the APIs to develop a powerful, full-featured app and we were able to distribute them over the air (OTA), which made the updates to the app very easy and very quick to deploy.
Also, the fact that we could use the Eclipse plug-in meant that we didn't have to learn an entirely new language and could simply apply our previous Java skills to Eclipse, which is the tool of choice with lots of Java developers. All of this made developing easier and we were able to bring the product to market much faster.
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