Who would have thought years ago that mobile technology would also make an impact in the health-care industry? The pager (a.k.a. beeper) in particular has been the staple of IT healthcare and was used for some time by medical personnel to alert them of a person trying to reach them. In the early days a one-way numeric pager was the thing to have.
Then came along the two-way alphanumeric pagers, to send/receive emails and SMSs.
Regardless of what type of pager one carried or may be still carrying, both have the same purpose…being able to reach someone who’s on the move.
For years, IT healthcare has relied on on-site paging for communication. Such a small device proved useful…small enough to carry around on users’ clothing, as people tend to clip them onto a pocket or belt.
Even though pagers are still in use today at hospitals so doctors and nurses can be found in case of any emergencies, they proved not helpful for those doctors on the move who were out of the coverage area.
So, instead of receiving an audible signal or feeling the vibration of a pager to indicate someone is trying to contact them, or needing to call their pager-number to see what messages have come through while their pager was off, the decision was made to replace pagers with smartphones.
Many hospital staffs these days carry around smartphones, either issued by the facility or of their own, to be able to receive calls, e-mails, and SMS text messages – just like one would with a pager while in route and away from the desk or office.
Not knowing if a pager’s “short” message got intercepted by an unauthorized party or was not sent to the right recipient or broadcasted at all, were a couple of the drawbacks of using such a mobile device.
Then the substantial benefits of using a smartphone came along – a Wi-Fi-enabled device which has built-in support for mobile broadband and includes advanced computing capability. It was the preferred device over a pager to have carried as it offers users a wider coverage area to send/receive calls, create e-mails, share and act upon information instantly.
A smartphone is a mobile Internet device (MID) designed to provide wireless Internet access, which has made it possible for physicians to do health research online and pull up medical literature from anywhere, at any time.
Other than the use of a smartphone, tablets have been utilized by some hospital employees to share information with other doctors or providers, which adds the benefits of mobile technology to deliver real-time services.
These two mobile devices, for example, do offer a complete solution to improve the healthcare industry in making health-care information readily available to treat patients, and provide life-saving diagnosis to patients’ doctor/provider before it becomes too late.
As one looks into the future, it appears mobile devices will be more and more used in IT healthcare, in all hospitals or clinics, because they offer the quickest ways to deliver health care services. Such technology allows healthcare facilities to successfully track down personnel and continue to provide quality medical care for patients by being able access relevant clinical data over a network to collaborate in real-time.
Just a few clicks of a button and taps on a touchscreen of a smartphone or tablet will enable physicians to discuss conditions of their patients, see laboratory results or x-rays, and access medical data when on the move and not in their office. Even though this would be impossible with a pager to do, one can still hold on to such a mobile device to deliver services to care for an individual in time of need.