Leveraging iOS to power a connected healthcare workforce and environment

March 10, 2023

We have recently explored the powerful combination of Olinqua’s iOS App – with its various solutions and capabilities to enhance clinical communications and collaboration – with Apple technology and devices. Our team members received several questions and inquiries to find out more about the iOS system and its impact and/or implications for implementation within a healthcare facility IT systems and operations. With that in mind, our certified Apple Consultants, Product Development and Technology team members have provided some technical insights to further elaborate on the iOS capabilities and deployment considerations to support a more Connected Healthcare Workforce and Environment.  


A brief introduction to iOS  

iOS — considered the world’s most advanced mobile operating system — powers every iPhone.  

It is a known platform for innovation because of its comprehensive security, integrated hardware and software, vast library of apps for healthcare, extensive set of services and capabilities for developers, simple yet scalable deployment, and complete device management options. 

Today, many healthcare institutions view their mobile platforms as mission critical. Choosing the right platform is an essential enterprise decision. When a healthcare facility and its workforce invest in iPhone and iOS, they are not only choosing the multi-purpose devices for the current deployment but also considering the potential for future innovation across multiple use cases. 


A secure, powerful operating system  

iOS is packed with amazing healthcare features that offer institutions powerful ways for clinicians to stay connected to patients and care teams, provide useful information, keep data secure, and protect patient privacy. 

Olinqua’s iOS app follows a stringent development process to meet entry into the Apple App Store, focused safety, usability, security, and accuracy – amongst many other criteria.  


iOS for connected healthcare workforce and environment  

Apple’s operating system has several features specifically designed to enhance healthcare connectivity. These include: 

  • Critical alerts entitlement. When this feature is enabled, it authorizes an app to play critical sounds that ignore Do Not Disturb and the device’s silent switch. Critical alerts require a special entitlement issued by Apple. 
  • Local Push Connectivity entitlement. Apps typically use Local Push Connectivity in a restricted network environment and Apple Push Notification services (APNs) in an unrestricted network. The Local Push Connectivity API (Application Programming Interfaces) allows developers to create push connectivity services that work on local Wi-Fi networks. This app extension is responsible for maintaining a network connection with the provider server and receiving the notifications. The Local Push Connectivity API requires a special entitlement issued by Apple. 
  • Forced on-device dictation. Apple has introduced a mobile device management (MDM) restriction for supervised devices that limits keyboard dictation to be on device only. This feature forces iPhone or iPad to process keyboard dictation locally. Healthcare organisations now have the ability to restrict dictation with iOS 14.5 or later and iPadOS 14.5 or later. 
  • Medical barcode symbologies. iOS 15 now has expanded support for barcode symbologies, including those commonly used for barcode medication administration (BCMA). With iOS support for multiple barcodes at once and the strong low-light capabilities of iPhone, clinicians can scan codes — even in dark scenarios — without activating a laser or disturbing patients while they rest. Medical barcoding scanning is available within the Olinqua iOS app.  


Selecting the right iOS provider  

Like all types of technology implementations, successfully deploying, rolling out and using iOS in a healthcare facility depends on finding the right provider of iOS app solutions for healthcare.  

Through our work with 70+ Australian hospitals and aged care facilities, our design, implementation, and consultation team members have put together the following considerations when evaluating a potential iOS app solution: 

  • What specific tasks and workflows does the app solution support? 
  • Does the app support soft scanning for BCMA, or does it require a hardware sled? 
  • Does the voice solution integrate with your communications platform and network? 
  • Is the app intuitive and easy for new users to learn? 
  • What is the recommended deployment model? 
  • Does the app solution use platform technologies like CallKit, AppConfig, critical alerts, or quality of service (QoS)? 


Find out more from Olinqua’s certified Apple Consultants Network  

As a certified member of the Apple Consultants Network, Olinqua’s team is experienced in all facets of enterprise mobility deployment in healthcare, with skills in iOS development, deployment, training, and ongoing management. 

This experience helps to power the development of Olinqua’s iOS app, complete with a variety of solutions are designed to help with nursing tasks, such as secure communications, alert and alarm management, clinical documentation, and medication administration. 

To find out more about how your healthcare and/or aged care facility can leverage iOS for a more connected workforce and environment – and positive, long-lasting outcomes for staff and patients – get in touch for a free consultation and discussion.