30. July 2012 13:54
So, we all hate going to the doctor’s office for one reason or another, whether it’s because it’s not fun being sick, you hate needles, or it’s just a pain to take time out of your busy schedule. One of my biggest pet peeves is walking into my doctor’s office, checking in with the receptionist, filling out any necessary paperwork (which is normally about fifteen pages) and then you sit. You sit and wait for what seems like a lifetime, not knowing if you will be next or if the eight people sitting there along with you will be called back before you. No one gives you any idea of a time frame on how long you will be there. Everyone has his or her face buried in a magazine and not much conversation is had.
Well, all of that is about to change. Close your eyes and picture this. You enter through large wooden doors into a beautiful lobby area. Directly in front of you is a peaceful and serene waterfall. To your right is a big screen TV that takes up the entire wall. Right next to this is a cheerful chef making delicious chocolate chip cookies or a healthy chicken salad. A smiling face then greets you and introduces himself or herself as a member of the Life Guide team.
A Life Guide meets patients immediately upon entering the clinic and redirects them to a decentralized check-in area. This private, more intimate area allows patients to feel like their visit is one-on-one. The Life Guide helps with any paperwork and gives a brief tour of the clinic, and when the caregiver is ready, the Life Guide escorts the patient to a procedure room. No longer are patients sitting in a lobby, waiting and wondering how long it will be until they are seen by a caregiver. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Now open your eyes because this is the reality at one group of forward-thinking clinics. I recently went to a newly opened Mosaic Clinic in Kansas City, Missouri for a site visit, and as I was introducing new Voalte users to the solution, I kept asking myself, “What is this Life Guide position all about?” I learned that Life Guides are there to make patients feel as though they are not just numbers. Life Guides are welcoming, caring, and compassionate, and they help guide patients through the sometimes confusing and frustrating process of obtaining healthcare services. Most traditional clinics can make us feel like we’re trapped in the “hurry up and wait” game. We are checked in and paperwork is pushed through and we are left to wonder whether we will be there for ten minutes, one hour or half a day. In Kansas City, the status quo is no longer good enough. At Mosaic clinics, you, the patient, are the main priority from the moment you walk through those doors, and we all know there is no better feeling in the world than when someone makes you feel special. Inarguably, Life Guides are playing a critical role in solidly establishing Mosaic as a leader in this movement towards more comprehensive, personalized service. Nationwide clinics take note. We’re your patients, your customers, and THIS is what we want!
11. February 2010 19:13
Our First Open Source Project
The project is an audio driver that connects the iPhone audio system, using the Audio Unit API, to the PJSIP framework (also open-source). It's primary propose is to provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) using the PJSIP framework on the Apple iPhone platform.
The iPhone SDK has a couple of audio API's. The choice of Audio Units gives very low-latency audio input/output in near-real-time. Audio Units are the lowest audio layer available in the iPhone SDK. In addition to this, Apple has supplied the Voice Processing I/O Audio Unit which provides acoustic echo cancellation! We take for granted the fact that we don't hear ourselves (an echo) when talking on speakerphone.
In the iPhone, the speaker (used in speakerphone mode) and the microphone are in very close proximity to each other. (They're both on the bottom of the device.) This can easily cause feedback, or an echo, when the microphone picks up sound coming out of the speaker. Consequently that sound gets sent back to the caller who now hears an echo of his/her voice. The echo is so bad that some VoIP software providers opt not to support speakerphone on the iPhone device.
Another major component of this echo cancellation capability is the ability to remove system sounds or alerts. For example when you are on a phone call and the device plays an alert tone that may or may not have come from your application. The voice processing unit removes the alert tone from the audio input, and the person you are talking to does not hear it at all. These noises are normally impossible to dampen, as they originate outside the pjsip audio stack.
By open-sourcing, we hope to promote VoIP on the iPhone platform, and a broader collaboration from both the iPhone and PJSIP communities. We encourage others to contribute by providing ideas, solutions and improvements by way of bug fixes, performance improvements, added features and thorough testing beyond our own application environment. Because of the BSD-license any iPhone developer will be able to use the work, including commercial apps. We hope this equates to more interest in the project, and more active development from a larger audience. Ultimately, we want to encourage open collaboration and provide the best user experience for VoIP on the iPhone platform.