Entrepreneurial

Tech Tonic checks in with HealthTap

HealthTap wants to make visits to the doctor’s office a thing of the past. Anthony De Rosa talks with HealthTap founder Ron Goodman about his new app that allows users to ask doctors questions without ever leaving home. But is less face time actually a good thing?

Banjo mobile app keeps travelers in touch

A missed opportunity to connect with friends at an airport was the impetus behind a new social discovery service targeted at smartphone users.

The free service, Banjo, is the brainchild of 38-year-old tech entrepreneur Damien Patton. It launched this week and is available for iPhone and Android owners.

“It was started because I missed out on a personal connection,” Patton said. “It brings all the social information together into one convenient place on the mobile device.”

Mobile app helps diagnose Parkinson’s

Can smartphones help diagnose disease? Yes, according to Konrad Körding, one of the developers of an Android app being used to track the movement of Parkinson’s patients.

The app uses the phone’s sensory capabilities to evaluate a user’s patterns of movement, such as if walking is unstable or if a fall occurs.

“Most patients already carry a phone with them,” said Körding, a researcher who holds academic posts at both Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. “It’s known that you can detect disease based on movement.”

New payroll app targets small business

Making payroll has always been a bit of a fraught experience for Shelley O’Sullivan and her husband at their five-employee construction firm located just north of San Francisco. But a simple mobile app has reduced that anxiety.

“The hassle we were always having with the computer issue is that we do payroll on Thursday and so we have to be home and input it by 3 o’clock to get the checks (out) by the next day,” said O’Sullivan, whose husband started using the iPhone app offered by their payroll service provider, ADP, a month ago. “Now that we have an app he’s out in the field and hits a button and boom, it’s done.”

O’Sullivan said the app is especially handy for their construction business, as they normally spend a lot of time outside the office on sites.

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