Last year, Apple and IBM formed a wide-ranging partnership that, among other things, will result in the launch of 100 iPad apps for various enterprise verticals by the end of 2015.
A number of these have already appeared, with the first 10 rolling out last December and three more coming out at the beginning of March. This week's release of eight more apps brings the total to 21, a quarter of the way through 2015.
Previous apps have been across a number of verticals, including banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecom, airlines, and government.
The new group expands that to healthcare, with four of the eight new apps in that sector. Another app is in industrial products, with others coming to retail, airlines, and insurance. Healthcare, perhaps more than any other industry, is ripe for innovation. Technology is everywhere, but there remains room for improvement all over the place. Here's an overview of the new offerings.
The first app is called Hospital RN, an iPhone app for staff nurses that delivers patient records and a quick look at all their patients at a glance. iBeacons can be used to automatically display patient data when a nurse enters a room, while push notifications can display patient requests, lab statuses, safety alerts, and task lists. With nurses already overworked from helping patients and managing endless paperwork, anything to reduce the workload will be sure to help improve patient care.
Hospital Lead is an iPad app for charge nurses, displaying patient statuses across an entire floor. Nurses can delegate tasks quickly, and it allows them to report, delay, delegate, or complete issues as they arise. Multiple databases combine into one view, so they can perform complex tasks like patient discharges from a single device.
Hospital Tech gives nurse technicians real-time notifications of patient needs, from lab statuses, patient requests, and delegated tasks (perhaps from the other apps). Techs will have tasks laid out based on priority and patient schedules. Because tasks are marked when completed in the database, patient needs won't get lost in shift changes or masses of paperwork.
Home RN is meant for home care nurses, allowing nurses to add video, photos, text, and audio notes to a patient's file, with push notifications going right to the patient care team. The app can show nurses where their patients homes are, find nearby pharmacies and labs, and more. Paperwork is eliminated, allowing records to be kept up-to-date for everyone.
Rapid Handover helps industrial production supervisors document and share information with incoming shift members. It includes everything from production goals to equipment maintenance. A foreperson signs into the app, and it shows where the previous ship left off, saving production time.
Ancillary Sale is a great app for flight attendants (and flyers). With this app, in-flight staff can sell seat upgrades, food and drink, and even duty-free merchandise—all in the air. Transactions can be completed, naturally, via Apple Pay, or with a credit card. Passenger preferences can even be tracked for frequent flyers.
Order Commit helps merchants plan their product assortment, examining merchandise, forecasting sales and sell-through, and more. Designed for both in-store use and by buyers in the field, this app helps display more information for merchants to improve the bottom line.
Finally, Risk Inspect helps insurance inspectors capture photo or video of client sites, while a smart analytics component helps suggest risk areas. This app also includes access to information like claim history and neighborhood crime statistics.
The apps are available to IBM corporate clients, with pricing varying widely, depending on client needs. Dozens more apps will be available over the next weeks and months.
Which of these apps are you most interested to see in action? What other apps do you hope are on the horizon? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.