Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 10/02/16

Looking to Grow Your Business? There's an App for That!

By David Ryan for America's Backbone Weekly

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Staying on top of today's tech trends can be challenging, especially when you're already busy in a demanding professional trade. It may seem like you don't have time to keep up with the latest gadgets and programs. However, today's high-tech solutions can dramatically improve your workflows, increase productivity and take your mind off some of the more tedious aspects of managing your business. Here are, by sector, some incredible apps that are revolutionizing the construction, agriculture and healthcare industries.


Fieldwire: Fieldwire is a collaborative planning app, available for the iOS and Android operating systems. It lets entire teams view plans, blueprints and photos from one location and across multiple devices. It's free for small teams (up to 10 users over 5 projects). Pro and Business plans cost $29 and $29 per user per month respectively.

Safesite: As the name implies, this iOS- and Android-compatible app helps keep workers safe. Workers can upload safety checklists, conduct inspections and send completed forms to managers in the blink of an eye. Any noted problems are tracked and logged, ensuring their resolution. The app costs $40 per month for up to 10 users. If your team is bigger than that you can negotiate a price with Safesite.


Connected Farm Field: This Android- and iOS-compatible app lets farmers create field records for different crop types, such as corn and wheat. Costs can be entered for every field for the purpose of generating profit/loss reports. The app includes basic mapping features and access to weather data and commodity price reports. The basic app is free, but users can upgrade to the Connected Farm Standard version which costs $1.75/acre/yr.

OpenScout: OpenScout helps farmers identify and record the locations of insects, weeds, blight and more. It rates each agronomic problem by severity so that farmers can prioritize strategically. Scouting routes are tracked automatically so you'll be sure you haven't missed any areas. The app is available for both iOS and Android and is free.


Box: This app lets medical professionals access and share files with colleagues from anywhere and with any mobile device. It meets Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act standards so that healthcare workers can share information safely and securely, without fear of lawsuits. The price is based on the number of users and varies based on packages. It is iOS- and Android-compatible.

Epocrates: Epocrates is a great knowledge and sharing resource for healthcare professionals. It provides comprehensive data on drugs and possible interactions between drugs. Secure messages can be sent between team members through the app, allowing for thorough consultations. The basic app is free, but users can upgrade to the more comprehensive Epocrates Plus for $174.99 per year.

Smart tools for smart apps

Now that you have an idea of what apps can do for you, have you got the right tools to run them? U.S. Cellular has a great selection of mobile devices. Are you ready to upgrade to the iPhone 7? If your current iPhone is getting older it might be a good idea. For Android fans, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are great handsets that can run apps lightning-fast. If tablets are your thing, the iPad Pro models are stellar, as is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. There are a lot of choices, and having the right tools for the job can make your demanding life as a professional that much easier.

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David Ryan has many years of experience as a freelance writer and is active covering science and technology stories in the United States. He also enjoys writing short stories and traveling. 

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