We often do things out of routine without considering if there is an easier way to achieve the same result quicker and even more effectively. In a larger company or organization, this is the job of the business analyst.
What if we applied this to other daily activities and tasks that shape the way we live?
This would give us more time to partake in the things we love.
It’s hard enough for most working-class adults to spend most of their days in the week behind a PC. This is usually followed by hours behind the wheel in traffic or commuting via public transportation.
This makes the task of going shopping or even attending a doctor’s check-up after an 8-hour work stint more of a burden or chore. Worse over if you must queue further to get the service.
This very example came to mind when a relative complained about having to go from one doctor to another. When referred to a specialist they had to then book another appointment by calling that specialist’s practice.
Now granted, this is basically a ´first world problem’. Because having a specialist attend to a back problem after your doctor recommends it during an initial check-up is a luxury. One that third world citizens could only dream of having in the first place!
So, in the case of the referral to a specialist, a simple unified medical system can resolve this. A CRM database linking all the medical practitioners including their schedules can save you the time taken to arrange the new appointment.
This system would also have a secure high-tech scanning and attachment add-on so that X-rays, scans, diagnoses and the attending doctor’s notes can be attached. All for the attention of the specialist.
The times for the new appointment can be chosen quickly while the patient is at the doctor’s practice. When convenient, you could then go to the specialist directly.
The concept explained
This is one very basic and rudimentary example of how an automated, centralized software solution can help schedule appointments.
To achieve maximum optimization the system would clearly require several tests before implementation.
Too often systems analysts and developers do not consider the end users. The user experience (UX) is the most crucial aspect of software development and should be the first step in building an automated system or it will never achieve its purpose.
It doesn’t have to be used as a national health solution. This is because centrally planned systems, as mentioned in a previous blog, can lead to inefficiencies.
It would need to be localized in order to make the system easier to maintain and be updated with contact details. This especially when information can change on a weekly or monthly basis.
Naturally, and for decades, health insurance companies have utilized card systems to document patient visits to practitioners. This also helps you and practice to easily claim back medical costs.
But this only serves a singular function and is laborious to run. What is being proposed in this blog post is something to resolve this in a more secure and decentralized manner.
Application and security
Cloud security has become a huge requirement and will be a necessity for all businesses and services in the very near future. Europe, for instance, is implementing compliance laws for storage of data under its new GDPR regulation.
Countries like Sweden also have similar compliance laws to handle financial (with a lot of banking going mobile) and medical data stored in the cloud.
So, security would become less of a concern for businesses when it comes to data storage and automated CRM systems in the future.
Shopping and housing convenience
The burden of shopping can also be alleviated with initiatives such as cashless processes. We first saw this introduced in Asia (China) and now adopted in the West through Amazon’s new cashless´ and cashier-less grocery stores.
While shoplifters might not see the innovation in this ‘new method’ of shopping; it saves you time spent queueing to pay and will invariably help resolve the scourge of shoplifting.
It will, however, require more reliance on technology for surveillance, to monitor and track the scanning of the goods and keep a database of records on a server.
This helps you with the inventory management and other back-office processes and is managed by an automated ERP solution (and not a person).
We are still waiting for massive roll-outs of the so-called smart houses equipped with smart chips that help regulate temperature, turn off energy-consuming devices when not in use.
Some are even equipped with fridges that remind you when food is expiring or simply needs to be replaced.
Designing such systems would naturally require careful observation into the various steps needed to reach the desired result. Details in every step from how you go from point A (selecting a product); to point Z.
Point Z being you walking out of the shop with a fully paid item. All without using cash or the need for a cashier.
Tweaking the solution
The system analyst’s job would be to engage or even simulate the processes using different test subjects and not just the best practice.
There is the possibility that you might forget to pay for the milk after checking out of a security area. That could result in an embarrassing scenario for all.
These are just two examples of countless scenarios that can help us benefit from the use of automation and AI.
There are many other subtle examples such as in the motor industry. This includes the use of computers to diagnose a ‘sick car’.
There can be a solution for every bottlenecking problem. Addressing this is now has become a new field of study. Computerization and the use of robotics to handle manual labour and repetitive blue-collar jobs will be new highly lucrative career paths.