Mobile Consumer Applications Across Communication Networks

Abstract- This paper presents an innovative approach to design and develop mobile consumer applications across communication network. The design involves mobile client, base station server and a database server, together forming service oriented architecture. Android framework is used for implementation and the HTTP protocol is used for data transfer. Server side scripting is done using PHP, and MySQL is employed for the database. Target consumer applications implemented include Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Utility billing application. The developed applications are tested for correctness and analyzed for performance with varying input data type and size. The applications are also verified and validated by deploying on Samsung mobile device that runs Android OS. Tasks comprising images take longer processing time compared to text data.
Android [2] is the most emerging open platform today and its growth rate can be high. It is based on Linux operating system [3] providing wide range of features and a lot of scope for high quality Android application development [1].
PHP is the perfect back end for mobile, highly scalable and light weight. Over 35% of the web runs PHP today. PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-processor. PHP is a server-side scripting language like ASP. PHP scripts are executed on the server.
An Electronic Health Record (EHR) [7] is a computerized health record created in an organization that delivers care, such as a hospital or physician's office. Electronic health record tends to be a part of a local stand-alone health information system that allows storage, retrieval and modification of records. The EHR provides the essential infrastructure required to enable the adoption and effective use of new healthcare modalities and information management tools such as integrated care [9], evidence-based medicine, computer-based decision support, care planning and pathways, and outcome analysis.
Utility Billing application forms a large sector of the popular consumer applications. Carrying out end-to-end service for this purpose, using mobile handheld device is of major help. Both bill generation and bill payment for end-user, as well as administrator is a major workflow in this application. An example application is Electricity Bill, which is a commercial document issued by any electricity board to the consumer, indicating the units and agreed prices for Watts the organization has provided the consumer. An Electricity Bill indicates the consumer the amount he must pay the according to the payment terms. The buyer has a maximum amount of days to pay before the due date.

Overall architecture, common to the both the consumer applications, is shown in Figure. 1 Designs for Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electricity Billing Applications are shown in Figure. 2 and 3 respectively.

A. Architecture
Architecture involves services for client provided by the server that interacts with database storage.
The First layer (ref.figure 1) is Client-Side Software that is Android (SDK/OS) which is specific to certain roles for instance doctors, field operators (lab technicians, clinicians) in Electronic Health Record Application and meter reading operators, consumers/users in Electricity Billing Application. In second layer Android applications makes its interaction through XML (Extensible Mark-Up language) and Java and gets connected to PHP server through the HTTP services provided in the third layer and PHP sends/receives data to/from MySQL database using it's APIs in the fourth layer. Figure 2 is a design flow diagram of Electronic Health Record[EHR] Application, wherein Doctor or Field Operators can view the patient details which also includes diagnostic images by just entering Patient Id or capturing barcoded Patient's bracelet image from their Android Mobiles(Further decodes encoded Patient Id) which is connected to centralized EHR system provided by hospital/clinic.Design flow diagram for billing application is shown in figure 3. Meter Reading Operator computes the Consumer's Electricity Bill according to the Electricity Board's standard unit prices and updates onto the server through Android mobiles. Consumer can view their Electricity Bill generated and also pay the bill by just entering their RR Number from their Android phones which is connected to Centralised server maintained by Electricity Board.

A. Software Requirements
Operating System (Windows XP, Windows 7), JDK 1.7.0, JRE 7, ANT-1.7.0, Android SDK, ADT-10.0.1, Eclipse IDE, PHP: the implementation of scripts., MySQL DBMS, Apache: a web server (Wamp Server)., Zxing-2.0 Library Integration for scanning barcoded Images.

B. Steps Followed in Electronic Health Record
1. Login Verification for both Doctor and Field Operators.
2. On Success, Upload Patient bracelet image onto the
Android SD Card or can also capture the bar-coded code 128 bracelet image [10] from Android camera.
3. Once image is decoded, pass the obtained decode
data (Patient ID) to the server.
4. After verification of Patient ID by the server, obtain
the required information such as Patient personal details, diagnosis, prescription (available only for doctors) etc.

C. Steps Followed in Electricity Billing Application
1. Login Verification for Meter Reading Operator.
2. On Success, enter RR Number of the consumer and
is verified by the server.
3. If the RR number is valid, Operator computes the bill of that consumer using the readings and units consumed by the Consumer/User according to the Electricity Board's standard unit prices and updates on to the server.
4. Next comes, Login Verification for Consumer.
5. On Success, enter RR Number and is verified by the
6. If it is valid, Consumer can view the bill generated and pay the same through the device.

Various outputs obtained for the electronic health record application are discussed below with snapshots of the sequence of operations in figures 4 ' 11. The performance results are discussed one by one - for the EHR and the billing application.
Initially login screen is displayed (figure 4). Desired designation i.e., Doctor or Field Operator can be selected to move on to the next page.

After selecting Doctor as designation, Doctor's login page would be displayed as in figure 5. IP Address of the system must be given. If the username and password matches with the server's database, login authentication is given.Next, uploaded bar-coded Patient's bracelet image is decoded and Patient ID (0803820 as in figure 6) is displayed and clicking on the Proceed button takes you to the next page. On entering the Patient Id obtained from the previous page, if the entered Patient Id matches with the server's database, the above message shown in figure 7 is displayed and dynamic button 'Proceed' would be seen. Clicking on the proceed button takes you to the next page.A number of options are displayed in the patient details page, viz., Basic Patient Details, Diagnosis, and Prescription as shown in figure 8. We can select one Radio Button which is of particular interest, to view the details of Patient.Basic Patient detail includes Patient Id, Name,Age and his/her Address. Patient's personal information is displayed as shown in figure 9. Figure 10 shows the ability to display on mobile an image that is included in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient and clicking on 'Click to View the Description' button displays Description of the image. The image is retrieved from patient database, by matching the ID number.Doctor can prescribe(provide treatment/management) for the patient based on the previous diagnosis page,and this detail would be added to the server's database of that patient by clicking on to the 'Click to add the details' button and acknowledgement would be obtained as shown in figure 11. The performance is analyzed using Android trace view profile feature. This profiling includes time panel and profile panel. Time panel indicates execution time taken by the each thread in an application such as Patient's bracelet decoding module or Consumer's electricity bill generation module. Profile panel shows inclusive time (time spent in module/method and in any called function) and exclusive time (time spent in method), also their percentages, total number of calls, recursive calls, and number of calls made to module under consideration. The values thus obtained are listed in table I. Using the information in table I, graph is drawn as in figure 12. These application workflows are Patient bracelet image decoding, Patient Id verification, Diagnostic image retrieval, Text information retrieval, modules of Electronic Health Record Application and Bill Generation module of Electricity Billing Application and time denotes the execution time taken by these modules which is determined by Android trace view profiling. Timing performance depends on network, event actions, data size, text and image.
The results reveal that the time taken is high if there are images involved. Workflows involving images form the potential parts for resource/cost saving and thus offer scope to improve the performance.
Android Mobile technologies represent convenient, fast and popular technology [6]. Developing Consumer applications on Android with MySQL through PHP or any other scripting languages provides fast, high quality and innovative services, immediate access to information anytime and anywhere [5]. Android is more realistic mobile device open-source software and provides immediate application porting [4] on to the device with interactive features, rich JAVA libraries.
The work presented in this paper involves two of the popular consumer applications [8]. One is utility billing application for Electricity consumption and it is implemented for large collection of consumer data built using MySQL server. The other is an Electronic Health Record application for working on the patient details from the field points communicated to hospital environment. This application has been tested for correct functionality and analyzed for timing performance using Android tracing and profiling feature. While text or simple data processing consumes less time and resource, images take more time and resource, which offer potential performance optimization parts of the application.
Future work is to analyze these applications for multi-client situation and for a real life application and to integrate real credit card environment for bill payment in Electricity Billing application.

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