New app helps hospitals turn the page on pagers

Smartpager screenshotIt was great to see Mike Ferguson and Ben Moore on the front page of one of our local newspapers recently. The duo are from SmartPager Systems – a mobile software company based in Victoria.

SmartPager is based in the DataTech Business Centre in Saanich and the firm has developed a smartphone-based app and back-end call centre software designed to replace the out-dated pager system still used by most hospital doctors.

The system launched in January. It allows users to send and receive confidential patient information, discussion and diagnoses via texts, audio messages, and images on smartphones through a cloud network. It has intelligent paging functionality including the ability to page until read and move the message to the next person in the chain if it is not answered.

SmartPager’s largest client group involves about 85 doctors working out of the Centre for Orthopedic Research and Education (CORE) in Phoenix. CORE surgeon Dr. Jason Scalise says it wasn’t hard to abandon pagers.

The reliability of paging networks is eroding daily, he says, and that standard texting between doctors and staff presents a “grey area” in terms of what is allowed under HIPAA. “The entire paging infrastructure in the U.S. is physically failing,” Scalise says from his office in Phoenix. “If a page doesn’t get through, the recipient and sender would never know.

Moore was alerted to the problems of traditional pagers while spending time at a local hospital after his newborn daughter suffered complications.

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