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Building a medical image search platform on AWS

Improving radiologist efficiency and preventing burnout is a primary goal for healthcare providers. A nationwide study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2015 showed radiologist burnout percentage at a concerning 61% [1]. In additon, the report concludes that “burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance in US physicians worsened from 2011 to 2014. More than half […]

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Improving radiologist efficiency and preventing burnout is a primary goal for healthcare providers. A nationwide study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2015 showed radiologist burnout percentage at a concerning 61% [1]. In additon, the report concludes that “burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance in US physicians worsened from 2011 to 2014. More than half of US physicians are now experiencing professional burnout.”[2] As technologists, we’re looking for ways to put new and innovative solutions in the hands of physicians to make them more efficient, reduce burnout, and improve care quality.

To reduce burnout and improve value-based care through data-driven decision-making, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to unlock the information trapped in the vast amount of unstructured data (e.g. images, texts, and voice) and create clinically actionable knowledge base. AWS AI services can derive insights and relationships from free-form medical reports, automate the knowledge sharing process, and eventually improve personalized care experience.

In this post, we use Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) as a feature extractor to convert medical images into a one-dimensional feature vector with a size of 1024. We call this process medical image embedding. Then we index the image feature vector using the K-nearest neighbors (KNN) algorithm in Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES) to build a similarity-based image retrieval system. Additionally, we use the AWS managed natural language processing (NLP) service Amazon Comprehend Medical to perform named entity recognition (NER) against free text clinical reports. The detected named entities are also linked to medical ontology, ICD-10-CM, to enable simple aggregation and distribution analysis. The presented solution also includes a front-end React web application and backend GraphQL API managed by AWS Amplify and AWS AppSync, and authentication is handled by Amazon Cognito.

After deploying this working solution, the end-users (healthcare providers) can search through a repository of unstructured free text and medical images, conduct analytical operations, and use it in medical training and clinical decision support. This eliminates the need to manually analyze all the images and reports and get to the most relevant ones. Using a system like this improves the provider’s efficiency. The following graphic shows an example end result of the deployed application.

Dataset and architecture

We use the MIMIC CXR dataset to demonstrate how this working solution can benefit healthcare providers, in particular, radiologists. MIMIC CXR is a publicly available database of chest X-ray images in DICOM format and the associated radiology reports as free text files[3]. The methods for data collection and the data structures in this dataset have been well documented and are very detailed [3]. Also, this is a restricted-access resource. To access the files, you must be a registered user and sign the data use agreement. The following sections provide more details on the components of the architecture.

The following diagram illustrates the solution architecture.

The architecture is comprised of the offline data transformation and online query components. The offline data transformation step, the unstructured data, including free texts and image files, is converted into structured data.

Electronic Heath Record (EHR) radiology reports as free text are processed using Amazon Comprehend Medical, an NLP service that uses machine learning to extract relevant medical information from unstructured text, such as medical conditions including clinical signs, diagnosis, and symptoms. The named entities are identified and mapped to structured vocabularies, such as ICD-10 Clinical Modifications (CMs) ontology. The unstructured text plus structured named entities are stored in Amazon ES to enable free text search and term aggregations.

The medical images from Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) are converted into vector representations using a pretrained deep learning model deployed in an Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) AWS Fargate cluster. Similar visual search on AWS has been published previously for online retail product image search. It used an Amazon SageMaker built-in KNN algorithm for similarity search, which supports different index types and distance metrics.

We took advantage of the KNN for Amazon ES to find the k closest images from a feature space as demonstrated on the GitHub repo. KNN search is supported in Amazon ES version 7.4+. The container running on the ECS Fargate cluster reads medical images in DICOM format, carries out image embedding using a pretrained model, and saves a PNG thumbnail in an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket, which serves as the storage for AWS Amplify React web application. It also parses out the DICOM image metadata and saves them in Amazon DynamoDB. The image vectors are saved in an Elasticsearch cluster and are used for the KNN visual search, which is implemented in an AWS Lambda function.

The unstructured data from EHR and PACS needs to be transferred to Amazon S3 to trigger the serverless data processing pipeline through the Lambda functions. You can achieve this data transfer by using AWS Storage Gateway or AWS DataSync, which is out of the scope of this post. The online query API, including the GraphQL schemas and resolvers, was developed in AWS AppSync. The front-end web application was developed using the Amplify React framework, which can be deployed using the Amplify CLI. The detailed AWS CloudFormation templates and sample code are available in the Github repo.

Solution overview

To deploy the solution, you complete the following steps:

  1. Deploy the Amplify React web application for online search.
  2. Deploy the image-embedding container to AWS Fargate.
  3. Deploy the data-processing pipeline and AWS AppSync API.

Deploying the Amplify React web application

The first step creates the Amplify React web application, as shown in the following diagram.

  1. Install and configure the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI).
  2. Install the AWS Amplify CLI.
  3. Clone the code base with stepwise instructions.
  4. Go to your code base folder and initialize the Amplify app using the command amplify init. You must answer a series of questions, like the name of the Amplify app.

After this step, you have the following changes in your local and cloud environments:

  • A new folder named amplify is created in your local environment
  • A file named aws-exports.js is created in local the src folder
  • A new Amplify app is created on the AWS Cloud with the name provided during deployment (for example, medical-image-search)
  • A CloudFormation stack is created on the AWS Cloud with the prefix amplify-<AppName>

You create authentication and storage services for your Amplify app afterwards using the following commands:

amplify add auth
amplify add storage
amplify push

When the CloudFormation nested stacks for authentication and storage are successfully deployed, you can see the new Amazon Cognito user pool as the authentication backend and S3 bucket as the storage backend are created. Save the Amazon Cognito user pool ID and S3 bucket name from the Outputs tab of the corresponding CloudFormation nested stack (you use these later).

The following screenshot shows the location of the user pool ID on the Outputs tab.

The following screenshot shows the location of the bucket name on the Outputs tab.

Deploying the image-embedding container to AWS Fargate

We use the Amazon SageMaker Inference Toolkit to serve the PyTorch inference model, which converts a medical image in DICOM format into a feature vector with the size of 1024. To create a container with all the dependencies, you can either use pre-built deep learning container images or derive a Dockerfile from the Amazon Sagemaker Pytorch inference CPU container, like the one from the GitHub repo, in the container folder. You can build the Docker container and push it to Amazon ECR manually or by running the shell script build_and_push.sh. You use the repository image URI for the Docker container later to deploy the AWS Fargate cluster.

The following screenshot shows the sagemaker-pytorch-inference repository on the Amazon ECR console.

We use Multi Model Server (MMS) to serve the inference endpoint. You need to install MMS with pip locally, use the Model archiver CLI to package model artifacts into a single model archive .mar file, and upload it to an S3 bucket to be served by a containerized inference endpoint. The model inference handler is defined in dicom_featurization_service.py in the MMS folder. If you have a domain-specific pretrained Pytorch model, place the model.pth file in the MMS folder; otherwise, the handler uses a pretrained DenseNET121[4] for image processing. See the following code:

model_file_path = os.path.join(model_dir, "model.pth")
if os.path.isfile(model_file_path): model = torch.load(model_file_path) else: model = models.densenet121(pretrained=True) model = model._modules.get('features') model.add_module("end_relu", nn.ReLU()) model.add_module("end_globpool", nn.AdaptiveAvgPool2d((1, 1))) model.add_module("end_flatten", nn.Flatten())
model = model.to(self.device)
model.eval()

The intermediate results of this CNN-based model is to represent images as feature vectors. In other words, the convolutional layers before the final classification layer is flattened to convert feature layers to a vector representation. Run the following command in the MMS folder to package up the model archive file:

model-archiver -f --model-name dicom_featurization_service --model-path ./ --handler dicom_featurization_service:handle --export-path ./

The preceding code generates a package file named dicom_featurization_service.mar. Create a new S3 bucket and upload the package file to that bucket with public read Access Control List (ACL). See the following code:

aws s3 cp ./dicom_featurization_service.mar s3://<S3bucketname>/ --acl public-read --profile <profilename>

You’re now ready to deploy the image-embedding inference model to the AWS Fargate cluster using the CloudFormation template ecsfargate.yaml in the CloudFormationTemplates folder. You can deploy using the AWS CLI: go to the CloudFormationTemplates folder and copy the following command:

aws cloudformation deploy --capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM --template-file ./ecsfargate.yaml --stack-name <stackname> --parameter-overrides ImageUrl=<imageURI> InferenceModelS3Location=https://<S3bucketname>.s3.amazonaws.com/dicom_featurization_service.mar --profile <profilename>

You need to replace the following placeholders:

  • stackname – A unique name to refer to this CloudFormation stack
  • imageURI – The image URI for the MMS Docker container uploaded in Amazon ECR
  • S3bucketname – The MMS package in the S3 bucket, such as https://<S3bucketname>.s3.amazonaws.com/dicom_featurization_service.mar
  • profilename – Your AWS CLI profile name (default if not named)

Alternatively, you can choose Launch stack for the following Regions:

  • us-east-1

  • us-west-2

After the CloudFormation stack creation is complete, go to the stack Outputs tab on the AWS CloudFormation console and copy the InferenceAPIUrl for later deployment. See the following screenshot.

You can delete this stack after the offline image embedding jobs are finished to save costs, because it’s not used for online queries.

Deploying the data-processing pipeline and AWS AppSync API

You deploy the image and free text data-processing pipeline and AWS AppSync API backend through another CloudFormation template named AppSyncBackend.yaml in the CloudFormationTemplates folder, which creates the AWS resources for this solution. See the following solution architecture.

To deploy this stack using the AWS CLI, go to the CloudFormationTemplates folder and copy the following command:

aws cloudformation deploy --capabilities CAPABILITY_NAMED_IAM --template-file ./AppSyncBackend.yaml --stack-name <stackname> --parameter-overrides AuthorizationUserPool=<CFN_output_auth> PNGBucketName=<CFN_output_storage> InferenceEndpointURL=<inferenceAPIUrl> --profile <profilename>

Replace the following placeholders:

  • stackname – A unique name to refer to this CloudFormation stack
  • AuthorizationUserPool – Amazon Cognito user pool
  • PNGBucketName – Amazon S3 bucket name
  • InferenceEndpointURL – The inference API endpoint
  • Profilename – The AWS CLI profile name (use default if not named)

Alternatively, you can choose Launch stack for the following Regions:

  • us-east-1

  • us-west-2

You can download the Lambda function for medical image processing, CMprocessLambdaFunction.py, and its dependency layer separately if you deploy this stack in AWS Regions other than us-east-1 and us-west-2. Because their file size exceeds the CloudFormation template limit, you need to upload them to your own S3 bucket (either create a new S3 bucket or use the existing one, like the aforementioned S3 bucket for hosting the MMS model package file) and override the LambdaBucket mapping parameter using your own bucket name.

Save the AWS AppySync API URL and AWS Region from the settings on the AWS AppSync console.

Edit the src/aws-exports.js file in your local environment and replace the placeholders with those values:

const awsmobile = { "aws_appsync_graphqlEndpoint": "<AppSync API URL>", "aws_appsync_region": "<AWS AppSync Region>", "aws_appsync_authenticationType": "AMAZON_COGNITO_USER_POOLS"
};

After this stack is successfully deployed, you’re ready to use this solution. If you have in-house EHR and PACS databases, you can set up the AWS Storage Gateway to transfer data to the S3 bucket to trigger the transformation jobs.

Alternatively, you can use the public dataset MIMIC CXR: download the MIMIC CXR dataset from PhysioNet (to access the files, you must be a credentialed user and sign the data use agreement for the project) and upload the DICOM files to the S3 bucket mimic-cxr-dicom- and the free text radiology report to the S3 bucket mimic-cxr-report-. If everything works as expected, you should see the new records created in the DynamoDB table medical-image-metadata and the Amazon ES domain medical-image-search.

You can test the Amplify React web application locally by running the following command:

npm install && npm start

Or you can publish the React web app by deploying it in Amazon S3 with AWS CloudFront distribution, by first entering the following code:

amplify hosting add

Then, enter the following code:

amplify publish

You can see the hosting endpoint for the Amplify React web application after deployment.

Conclusion

We have demonstrated how to deploy, index and search medical images on AWS, which segregates the offline data ingestion and online search query functions. You can use AWS AI services to transform unstructured data, for example the medical images and radiology reports, into structured ones.

By default, the solution uses a general-purpose model trained on ImageNET to extract features from images. However, this default model may not be accurate enough to extract medical image features because there are fundamental differences in appearance, size, and features between medical images in its raw form. Such differences make it hard to train commonly adopted triplet-based learning networks [5], where semantically relevant images or objects can be easily defined or ranked.

To improve search relevancy, we performed an experiment by using the same MIMIC CXR dataset and the derived diagnosis labels to train a weakly supervised disease classification network similar to Wang et. Al [6]. We found this domain-specific pretrained model yielded qualitatively better visual search results. So it’s recommended to bring your own model (BYOM) to this search platform for real-world implementation.

The methods presented here enable you to perform indexing, searching and aggregation against unstructured images in addition to free text. It sets the stage for future work that can combine these features for multimodal medical image search engine. Information retrieval from unstructured corpuses of clinical notes and images is a time-consuming and tedious task. Our solution allows radiologists to become more efficient and help them reduce potential burnout.

To find the latest development to this solution, check out medical image search on GitHub.

Reference:

  1. https://www.radiologybusiness.com/topics/leadership/radiologist-burnout-are-we-done-yet
  2. https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(15)00716-8/abstract#secsectitle0010
  3. Johnson, Alistair EW, et al. “MIMIC-CXR, a de-identified publicly available database of chest radiographs with free-text reports.” Scientific Data 6, 2019.
  4. Huang, Gao, et al. “Densely connected convolutional networks.” Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2017.
  5. Wang, Jiang, et al. “Learning fine-grained image similarity with deep ranking.” Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2014.
  6. Wang, Xiaosong, et al. “Chestx-ray8: Hospital-scale chest x-ray database and benchmarks on weakly-supervised classification and localization of common thorax diseases.” Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2017.

About the Authors

 Gang Fu is a Healthcare Solution Architect at AWS. He holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Mississippi and has over ten years of technology and biomedical research experience. He is passionate about technology and the impact it can make on healthcare.

Ujjwal Ratan is a Principal Machine Learning Specialist Solution Architect in the Global Healthcare and Lifesciences team at Amazon Web Services. He works on the application of machine learning and deep learning to real world industry problems like medical imaging, unstructured clinical text, genomics, precision medicine, clinical trials and quality of care improvement. He has expertise in scaling machine learning/deep learning algorithms on the AWS cloud for accelerated training and inference. In his free time, he enjoys listening to (and playing) music and taking unplanned road trips with his family.

Erhan Bas is a Senior Applied Scientist in the AWS Rekognition team, currently developing deep learning algorithms for computer vision applications. His expertise is in machine learning and large scale image analysis techniques, especially in biomedical, life sciences and industrial inspection technologies. He enjoys playing video games, drinking coffee, and traveling with his family.

Source: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/machine-learning/building-a-medical-image-search-platform-on-aws/

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Things to Know about Free Form Templates

A single file that includes numerous supporting files is commonly known as a form template. Some files will define or show the controls to appear on the free form templates or design. The collections of these supporting files or templates are also called form files. While designing free form templates, users should be able to […]

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A single file that includes numerous supporting files is commonly known as a form template. Some files will define or show the controls to appear on the free form templates or design. The collections of these supporting files or templates are also called form files. While designing free form templates, users should be able to view and also work with the form files. 

It will create a new free form template by copying and storing those files within a folder. A form template (.XSN) file designing or creation of a single file will include various supporting files. Users may fill out the online form by accessing the .XML form file, which is a form template.

Designing Free Form Templates

There are numerous processes that define free form template design, and are as follows:

  • Designing the form’s appearance – the instructional text, labels, and controls
  • Controls will assist with user interaction behavior on the form template. You can design a specific section to appear or disappear when the user chooses a particular option
  • Whether the form template may include some additional views. For a permit application form design, for example, you have to provide different views for each person. One view especially for the electrical contractor, next for the receiving agent, and finally, the investigator. He or she will deny or approve the permit application
  • Next, you need to know how & where to store the form data. Designing free from templates will allow users to submit their data within the database either online or direct access. If not, they can also store the same in any specific shared folder
  • It is essential to design the other elements, colors, and fonts within the form template
  • Users must be able to personalize the form. Allowing users to include various rows within the optional section, repeating section, or a repeating table
  • Users should receive a notification when they forget to input a mandatory field or make mistakes within the form
  • After completing the free form templates design, you can publish the same online using a .XSN file format

Club Signup Form

A simple registration form can help your Club Signup Form creation process go smoother. This signup form could be an ideal solution for a new club membership registration for any organization or club.

Application Form

Application form templates are much easier to use & set-up to streamline your application process. You can customize this online form and utilize the same for numerous applications. Make use of this application form as a job application form, volunteer applications, contest entries, or high school scholarship applications. It is an ideal solution for scholarship programs, nonprofit organizations, business owners, and many such users and use cases.

Scheduling Form

Scheduling form templates are handy and can be used for numerous appointment booking requirements. A scheduling form is also utilized for various appointment scheduling or online reservations and booking purposes. Regardless of your business requirement, it is easy to customize the form template.

Concept Testing Survey

While testing a new design or concept, it is essential to gather the responses quickly. Freeform templates for a concept testing survey make it much easier to gather product feedback and reach the target audience. It is essential to conduct market research while planning to release a new product. A mobile-friendly form will allow you to utilize the survey questions for collecting the product’s consumer input quickly.

Credit Card Order Form

It is not always a complex process to provide an online credit card payment form for the customers. This form template will allow you to access numerous services or products for collecting card payment information. You can utilize this yet-another endless and simple payment form.

Employment Application Form

The employment application form for recruitment will assist the HR team to gather the required information from candidates. During the interview or application process, you can easily remove any expensive follow-ups. Some of the fields are contact information, employment history, useful information, etc. as well as an outline of the job description, consent for background checks, military service record, anticipated start date, any special skills, and many more. It is optional to enable notifications for the form owners to receive an alert or email when a new employment application is submitted.

Source: https://1reddrop.com/2020/10/24/things-to-know-about-free-form-templates/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=things-to-know-about-free-form-templates

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Are Chatbots Vulnerable? Best Practices to Ensure Chatbots Security

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Rebecca James
credit IT Security Guru

A simple answer is a Yes! Chatbots are vulnerable. Some specific threats and vulnerabilities risk chatbots security and prove them a wrong choice for usage. With the advancement in technology, hackers can now easily target the hidden infrastructure of a chatbot.

The chatbot’s framework has an opportunity for the attackers ready to inject the malicious codes or commands that might unlock the secured data of the customers and your business. However, the extent of the attack’s complexity and success might depend on the messaging platform’s security.

Are you thinking about how chatbots are being exposed to attacks? Well! Hackers are now highly advanced. They attack the chatbots in two ways, i.e., either by social engineering attack or by technical attacks.

  • An evil bot can impersonate a legal user by using backup data of the possibly targeted victims by social engineering attack. All such data is collected from various sources like the dark web and social media platforms. Sometimes they use both sources to gain access to some other user’s data by a bot providing such services.
  • The second attack is technical. Here also attackers can turn themself into evil bots who exchange messages with the other bots. The purpose is to look for some vulnerabilities in the target’s profile that can be later exploited. It can eventually lead to the compromise of the entire framework that protects the data and can ultimately lead to data theft.

To ensure chatbots security, the bot creators must ensure that all the security processes are in place and are responsible for restoring the architecture. The data flow via the chatbot system should also be encrypted both in transit and rest.

To further aid you in chatbot security, this article discusses five best practices to ensure chatbots security. So, let’s read on.

The following mentioned below are some of the best practices to ensure the security of chatbots.

It’s always feared that data in transit can be spoofed or tampered with the sophistication of cybercriminals’ technology and smartness. It’s essential to implement end-to-end encryption to ensure that your entire conversation remains secured. It means that by encryption, you can prevent any third person other than the sender and the receiver from peeping into your messages.

Encryption importance can’t be neglected in the cyber world, and undoubtedly the chatbot designers are adapting this method to make sure that their chatbot security is right on the point. For more robust encryption, consider using business VPNs that encrypt your internet traffic and messages. With a VPN, you can also prevent the threats and vulnerabilities associated with chatbots.

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4. Chatbot Conference Online

Moreover, it’s a crucial feature of other chat services like WhatsApp and other giant tech developers. They are anxious to guarantee security via encryption even when there’s strict surveillance by the government. Such encryption is to fulfill the legal principles of the GDPR that says that companies should adopt measures to encrypt the users’ data.

User identity authentication is a process that verifies if the user is having secure and valid credentials like the username and password. The login credentials are exchanged for having a secure authentication token used during the complete user session. If you haven’t, then you should try out this method for boosting user security.

Authentication timeouts are another way to ensure your chatbots security. This method is more common in banks as the token can be used for the predetermined time.

Moreover, two-factor authentication is yet another method to prove user identity. Users are asked to verify identity either by a text message or email, depending on the way they’ve chosen. It also helps in the authorization process as it permits access to the right person and ensures that information isn’t mishandled or breached.

The self-destructive message features open another way for enhancing chatbot security. This option comes in handy when the user provides their personally identifiable information. Such information can pose a serious threat to user privacy and should be destroyed or deleted within a set period. This method is handier when you’re associated with backing or any other financial chatbots.

By using secure protocols, you can also ensure chatbots security. Every security system, by default, has the HTTPS protocol installed in it. If you aren’t an IT specialist, you can also identify it when you view the search bar’s URL. As long as your data is being transferred via HTTPS protocol and encrypted connections, TLS and SSL, your data is secured from vulnerabilities and different types of cyber-attacks.

Thus, make sure to use secure protocols for enhanced security. Remember that when Chatbots are new, the coding and system used to protect it is the same as the existing HIMs. They interconnect with their security systems and have more than one encryption layer to protect their users’ security.

Do you know what the most significant security vulnerability that’s challenging to combat is? Wondering? Well! It’s none other than human error. User behavior must be resolved using commercial applications because they might continue to believe that the systems are flawed.

No doubt that an unprecedented number of users label the significance of digital security, but still, humans are the most vulnerable in the system. Chatbot security continues to be a real big problem until the problem of user errors comes to an end. And this needs education on various forms of digital technology, including chatbots.

Here the customers aren’t the ones who are to be blamed. Like customers, employees can make a mistake, and they do make most of the time. To prevent this, the chatbot developers should form a defined strategy, including the IT experts, and train them on the system’s safe use. Doing so enhances the team’s skillset and allows them to engage with the chatbot system confidently.

However, clients can’t be educated like the employees. But at least you can provide them a detailed road map of securely interacting with the system. It might involve other professionals who can successfully engage customers and educate them on the right way to interact with the chatbots.

Several emerging technologies are keen to play a vital role in protecting the chatbots against threats and vulnerabilities in the upcoming time, among all the most potent method behavior analytics and Artificial Intelligence developments.

  • User Behavioral Analytics: It’s a process that uses applications to study the patterns of user behavior. It enables them to implement complex algorithms and statistical analysis to detect any abnormal behavior that possibly represents a security threat. Analytical tools are quite common and powerful; thus, this methodology can become a fundamental component of the chatbot system.
  • Developments in AI: Artificial technology is a two-end sword that offers benefits and threats simultaneously. But, as AI is predicted to fulfill its potential, it will provide an extra security level to the systems. It is mainly because of its ability to wipe a large amount of data for abnormalities that recognizes security breaches and threats.

The Bottom Line

Security concerns have always been there with new technologies and bring new threats and vulnerabilities with them. Although chatbots are an emerging technology, the security practices that stand behind them are present for a long time and are effective. Chatbots are the innovative development of the current era, and emerging technologies like AI will transform the way businesses might interact with the customers and ensure their security.

Source: https://chatbotslife.com/are-chatbots-vulnerable-best-practices-to-ensure-chatbots-security-d301b9f6ce17?source=rss—-a49517e4c30b—4

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Best Technology Stacks For Mobile App Development

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What’s the Best Tech Stack for Mobile App Development? Read To Know

Which is the Best Tech Stack for Mobile Application Development? Kotlin, React Native, Ionic, Xamarin, Objective-C, Swift, JAVA… Which One?

Image Source: Google

Technology Stack for smartphones is like what blood is for the human body. Without a technology stack, it is hard even to imagine smartphones. Having a smartphone in uncountable hands is rising exponentially. For tech pundits, this is one unmissable aspect of our digital experience wherein tech stack is as critical as ROI.

The riveting experience for a successful mobile app predominantly depends on technology stacks.

The unbiased selection of mobile apps development language facilitates developers to build smooth, functional, efficient apps. They help businesses tone down the costs, focus on revenue-generation opportunities. Most importantly, it provides customers with jaw-dropping amazement, giving a reason to have it installed on the indispensable gadget in present times.

In today’s time, when there are over 5 million apps globally, and by all conscience, these are whopping no.s and going to push the smartphone industry further. But now you could see mobile app development every ‘nook and corner.’ But the fact is not who provides what but understanding the behavioural pattern of users.

So the pertinent question is, which is the ideal tech stack to use for mobile app development?

In native mobile app development, all toolkits, mobile apps development language, and the SDK are supported and provided by operating system vendors. Native app development thus allows developers to build apps compatible with specific OS environments; it is suitable for device-specific hardware and software. Hence it renders optimized performance using the latest technology. However, since Android & iOS imparts — — a unique platform for development, businesses have to develop multiple mobile apps for each platform.

1. Waz

2. Pokemon Go

3. Lyft

1.Java: The popularity of JAVA still makes it one of the official programming languages for android app development until the introduction of Kotlin. Java itself is at the core of the Android OS. Many of us even see the logo of Java when the device reboots. However, contradictions with Oracle (which owns the license to Java) made Google shift to open-source Java SDK for versions starting from Android 7.0 Nougat

2.Kotlin: According to Google I/O conference in 2019- Kotlin is the officially supported language for Android app development. It is entirely based on Java but has a few additions which make it simpler and easier to work.

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It’s my gut feeling like other developers to say that Kotlin is simply better. It has a leaner, more straightforward and concise code than open-cell Java, and several other advantages about handling null-pointer exceptions and more productive coding.

HERE’S A Programming Illustration Defining the CONCISENESS OF KOTLIN CODE

public class Address {

private String street;

private int streetNumber;

private String postCode;

private String city;

private Country country;

public Address(String street, int streetNumber, String postCode, String city, Country country) {

this.street = street;

this.streetNumber = streetNumber;

this.postCode = postCode;

this.city = city;

this.country = country;

}

@Override

public boolean equals(Object o) {

if (this == o) return true;

if (o == null || getClass() != o.getClass()) return false;

Address address = (Address) o;

if (streetNumber != address.streetNumber) return false;

if (!street.equals(address.street)) return false;

if (!postCode.equals(address.postCode)) return false;

if (!city.equals(address.city)) return false;

return country == address.country;

}

@Override

public int hashCode() {

int result = street.hashCode();

result = 31 * result + streetNumber;

result = 31 * result + postCode.hashCode();

result = 31 * result + city.hashCode();

result = 31 * result + (country != null ? country.hashCode() : 0);

return result;

}

@Override

public String toString() {

return “Address{“ +

“street=’” + street + ‘\’’ +

“, streetNumber=” + streetNumber +

“, postCode=’” + postCode + ‘\’’ +

“, city=’” + city + ‘\’’ +

“, country=” + country +

‘}’;

}

public String getStreet() {

return street;

}

public void setStreet(String street) {

this.street = street;

}

public int getStreetNumber() {

return streetNumber;

}

public void setStreetNumber(int streetNumber) {

this.streetNumber = streetNumber;

}

public String getPostCode() {

return postCode;

}

public void setPostCode(String postCode) {

this.postCode = postCode;

}

public String getCity() {

return city;

}

public void setCity(String city) {

this.city = city;

}

public Country getCountry() {

return country;

}

public void setCountry(Country country) {

this.country = country;

}

}

class Address(street:String, streetNumber:Int, postCode:String, city:String, country:Country) {

var street: String

var streetNumber:Int = 0

var postCode:String

var city: String

var country:Country

init{

this.street = street

this.streetNumber = streetNumber

this.postCode = postCode

this.city = city

this.country = country

}

public override fun equals(o:Any):Boolean {

if (this === o) return true

if (o == null || javaClass != o.javaClass) return false

Val address = o as Address

if (streetNumber != address.streetNumber) return false

if (street != address.street) return false

if (postCode != address.postCode) return false

if (city != address.city) return false

return country === address.country

}

public override fun hashCode():Int {

val result = street.hashCode()

result = 31 * result + streetNumber

result = 31 * result + postCode.hashCode()

result = 31 * result + city.hashCode()

result = 31 * result + (if (country != null) country.hashCode() else 0)

return result

}

public override fun toString():String {

return (“Address{“ +

“street=’” + street + ‘\’’.toString() +

“, streetNumber=” + streetNumber +

“, postCode=’” + postCode + ‘\’’.toString() +

“, city=’” + city + ‘\’’.toString() +

“, country=” + country +

‘}’.toString())

}

}

I’d say KOTLIN IS THE BEST FIND FOR ANDROID APP DEVELOPMENT.Google has dug deeper with some plans ahead since announcing it as an official language. Moreover, it signals Google’s first steps in moving away from the Java ecosystem, which is imminent, considering its recent adventures with Flutter and the upcoming Fuchsia OS.

Objective C is the same for iOS what Java is for Android. Objective-C, a superset of the C programming language( with objective -oriented capabilities and dynamic run time) initially used to build the core of iOS operating system across the Apple devices. However, Apple soon started using swift, which diminishes the importance of Objective -C in comparison to previous compilations.

Apple introduced Swift as an alternative to Objective-C in late 2015, and it has since been continued to be the primary language for iOS app development.Swift is more functional than Objective-C, less prone to errors, dynamic libraries help reduce the size and app without ever compromising performance.

Now, you would remember the comparison we’ve done with Java and kotlin. In iOS, objective-C is much older than swift with much more complicated syntax. Giving cringeworthy feel to beginners to get started with Objective-C.

Image Source: Google

THIS IS WHAT YOU DO WHEN INITIALIZING AN ARRAY IN OBJECTIVE-C:

NSMutableArray * array =[[NSMutableArray alloc] init];

NOW LOOK AT HOW THE SAME THING IS DONE IN SWIFT:

var array =[Int]()

SWIFT IS MUCH MORE ` WHAT WE’VE COVERED HERE.

In cross-platform app development, developers build a single mobile app that can be used on multiple OS platforms. It is made possible by creating an app with a shared common codebase, adapted to various platforms.

Image Source: Google

Popular Cross-platform apps:

  1. Instagram
  2. Skype
  3. LinkedIN

React Native is a mobile app development framework based on JavaScript. It is used and supported by one of the biggest social media platforms- Facebook. In cross-platform apps built using React Native, the application logic is coded in JavaScript, whereas its UI is entirely native. This blog about building a React Native app is worth reading if you want to know why its stakes are higher.

Xamarin is a Microsoft-supported cross-platform mobile app development tool that uses the C# programming language. Using Xamarin, developers can build mobile apps for multiple platforms, sharing over 90% of the same code.

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, and is a statically-typed programming language supported by Microsoft. TypeScript can be used along with the React Native framework to make full use of its error detection features when writing code for react components.

In Hybrid mobile app development, developers build web apps using HTML, CSS & JavaScript and then wrap the code in a native shell. It allows the app to be deployed as a regular app, with functionality at a level between a fully native app and a website rendered(web browser).

Image Source: Google
  1. Untappd
  2. Amazon App Store
  3. Evernote

Apache Cordova is an open-source hybrid mobile app development framework that uses JavaScript for logic operations and while HTML5 & CSS3 for rendering. PhoneGap is a commercialized, free, and open-source distribution of Apache Cordova owned by Adobe. The PhoneGap platform was developed to deliver non-proprietary, free, and open-source app development solutions powered by the web.

Ionic is a hybrid app development framework based on AngularJS. Similar to other hybrid platforms, it uses HTML, CSS & JavaScript to build mobile apps. Ionic is primarily focused on the front-end UI experience and integrates well with frameworks such as Angular, Vue, and ReactJS.

To summarize, there are 3 types of mobile apps- Native mobile apps, Cross-platform mobile apps, and Hybrid mobile apps; each offers unique technologies, frameworks, and tools of their own. I have enlisted here the best mobile app technology stacks you could use for mobile app development.

The technologies, tools, and frameworks mentioned here are used in some of the most successful apps. With support from an expert, a well-established mobile app development company, that may give much-needed impetus in the dynamic mobile app development world.

Source: https://chatbotslife.com/best-technology-stacks-for-mobile-app-development-6fed70b62778?source=rss—-a49517e4c30b—4

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