As the SMART® app platform continues to mature, there exists a growing need to design and create targeted, healthcare-focused apps that satisfy a specific need or use case. Managing multiple code bases (such as Java/Kotlin for Android or Swift for iOS) can be a challenge, and while multiple options exist to develop an Android/iOS using a single code base, each comes with its own set of tradeoffs.

Thankfully, the app market is rapidly evolving. In 2017, Google announced a public release of an open-source software development kit called Flutter, which uses the Dart programming language. Since its release, the Flutter community has grown substantially, and the platform’s “hot reload” feature allows for dynamic changes to be performed in real-time while an app is still running on a device or emulator. Put simply, we can now make rapid design tweaks on the fly, and in a manner that harnesses agile development techniques to its full potential.

As healthcare providers, it may be easy to ideate and dream of ways that a simple app could make our lives better at the bedside. Now, it’s becoming very easy to turn an idea into a reality. The barrier to enter a product on the app store has become marginalized. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged to attend, though I will focus more heavily on the basics and on how to design/layout your app. This will be a collaborative workshop, so feel free to join and help out if you have more development experience or have previously coded with Flutter.

Describe the new knowledge and additional skills the participant will gain after attending your presentation.: This 2-hour workshop will provide an introduction to the programming Software Development Kit (SDK) Flutter, which uses the Dart programming language. Bring your laptops and come ready to code. This will be an open workshop for people of all skill levels, though I will mostly cover the basics. I will provide real-time demonstrations on how to build responsive layouts and how to “hot reload” your changes as you make them.

It is ideal to follow the relevant steps (https://flutter.io/docs/get-started/install) to install Flutter and an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) on your laptop prior to this event. The installation files are quite large, so please plan accordingly. I plan to use the open source IDE Visual Studio Code during this session, though you are welcome to use any IDE that supports Flutter.


John Manning (Presenter)
Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center

Presentation Materials: