Prediction: Smartphones to replace pagers in hospitals

By Brian Dolan
06:51 am

No surprise here.

Popular medical blogger Dr. Kevin Pho, also known as KevinMD, has a noteworthy post on the growing popularity of smartphone use in hospitals and smartphones' "inevitable" displacement of pagers. A recent study by Manhattan Research found that 64 percent of doctors use smartphones like BlackBerrys or iPhones. Each of those platforms support mobile applications that provide pager functionalities.

BlackBerry partner Wallace Wireless offers a pager service called WIC Pager. Wallace points out that since many healthcare workers already carry a smartphone, "a single device solution reduces the costs and resources necessary to manage the traditional pager and cellphone combination." WIC Pager can leverage cellular networks as well as in-building WiFi. It also "allows for quick responses by implementing a one-click call back feature," which trumps legacy pagers one-way flow. The service also offers "real-time reporting on all pager alerts" so administrators can keep track of messages, too.

While the iPhone supports a number of pager-like apps, one service of note is Voalte. The Sarasota, Florida-based start-up has been turning heads since its launch last year with its voice, alarm and text functionality. Voalte describes itself as a "unified communications solution enabling phone calls across the hospital VoIP system, text messaging via the user directory, and user-friendly alarm management." Voalte enables caregivers to receive and respond to alarms dispatched by more than 200 hospital systems and devices. The service also touts its flexibility: Users can add additional applications to the iPhone allowing them to customize the service to particular departments or user groups.

"The pager is growing more extinct by the day," KevinMD concludes. We couldn't agree more.

Read KevinMD's entire post here.
Check out more about the Wallace Wireless WIC Pager here.
Read up on Voalte's iPhone-based service over at the company's site. 

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