Think about everything you can do on your smartphone – as a consumer. Why doesn’t the same status quo exist for employees? That’s a question that Greg Eoyang wants more companies to answer, as he pushes for mobile app solutions in the workforce. It’s something Eoyang, who’s the senior architect of daVinci, a subsidiary of the full-service workforce solutions company Intelligent Decisions, is passionate about.
Recently, Eoyang offered WashingtonExec his candid insights into mobile app solutions – and how and why companies should care about moving their businesses to a consumer-friendly mobile-app platform that employees can use.
WashingtonExec: When did daVinci start?
Greg Eoyang: daVinci started about 2 ½ years ago as an offshoot of Intelligent Decisions, specifically focused on mobile app solutions. It started with the premise that most of what people are focusing on for mobility solutions are in the consumer space; not in the corporate space.
WashingtonExec: What should companies consider when considering mobile apps?
Greg Eoyang: There is a golden rule for mobile solutions: If you don’t get more out of it than you put into it, you won’t do it. Am I getting more than I put into it? Am I getting results? Think about downloading apps as an individual: Most people download free apps and if they like it they may pay for the full version. That’s not the way corporations do their apps. They don’t try to earn your loyalty. They don’t try to engage you. They basically say, “This is your job and here is the app and if you don’t like it, tough.” This is the wrong model. That’s why we launched daVinci; we saw a gap in mobile solutions among corporations that have traditionally spent a lot of money on IT instead.
So what we are working on, among other things, is assisting patients in keeping their plan of care through a mobile solution after they leave the hospital. They can download instructions, they can see it on their phone whenever they want and have reminders pop up to take their pills. We think this is the beginning of new chronic care management.
WashingtonExec: What is your biggest frustration with corporations’ understanding of mobile app solutions?
Greg Eoyang: My biggest frustration is they are stuck. Think about the things you do on your phone that take 30 seconds: You check your account balance, you read a text message, you schedule a meeting, you review documentation, you check the weather, you look at stocks. Then think about the things you do at work like that – not very many. If the corporations would get out of their chair and walk around to the other side and say, “How can I make my employees want to use this?” That is exactly how mobile developers have to think.
One of the mantras for an app of ours is, “Does the app conform to the user’s needs?” We try not to tell you which device to run. Our app should run on whatever device you feel like using. Corporations should satisfy the person who is holding the device — you have to compete for those people, for the employees, and if you are not, you are probably dead as a company.
WashingtonExec: What segments is daVinci developing apps for?
Greg Eoyang: One of the main segments is healthcare. You have things like Fitbits and health monitors but guess who is using those – generally people who are already healthy. So we’ve been focusing on automating processes that people need to do but need a little push. For example, you come out of the hospital – what you get is a list of discharge instructions. It’s been proven that you only remember about 60% of what you’ve been told, if that. So what we are working on, among other things, is assisting patients in keeping their plan of care through a mobile solution after they leave the hospital. They can download instructions, they can see it on their phone whenever they want and have reminders pop up to take their pills. We think this is the beginning of new chronic care management.
WashingtonExec: As a company, how are you helping to mitigate privacy concerns in the use of mobile apps for healthcare?
Greg Eoyang: There are two solutions to that. One is that most of the data doesn’t need to be personally identifiable. With organizations, when the data comes to the app, it doesn’t say, “Sally Smith,” it will say, “Patient 1234.” So we sever the data from the ability to identify who it is and then it can be handled as a different class of data. The other thing is if you actually look at the HIPAA regulations, the data that is yours is yours to do what you want with. That’s why our Well app is patient-centric. If you download the data it is your data, it lives on your phone. It is no different than giving you a piece of paper and putting it in a folder. That’s exactly the same paradigm. However, people still do get worried about it and so we of course put the standard industry best practices in place for dealing with secure data.
WashingtonExec: What do you think of Internet of Things?
Greg Eoyang: In the case of Nest, compare that to the last thermostat that you bought which was basically 30 or 50 years ago. The latter is ridiculously out of date. I applaud the people who said, “We can do better.” Are there some security risks and privacy issues with IoT? Sure. That doesn’t mean they are insurmountable – or that you should have just stuck with the old thermostat.
WashingtonExec: How can the government revise its procurement process for a better product?
Greg Eoyang: Far too often, instead of being focused on results, they are focused on effort. In fact, one of the estimating techniques you use when you are doing a proposal response is to state level of effort, an LOE. Why do you care? Did you download Angry Birds because you knew how much and how long it took them to write the app? At the end of the day working hard doesn’t assure a valuable product and not working hard doesn’t ensure a bad product. All you care about is that you get a good product, and that’s our focus at daVinci.