Smartphones vs. Pagers: 5 Reasons Doctors Should Switch


Smartphones vs. Pager

As healthcare becomes increasingly enmeshed in the digital world, it serves as an important question to ask why some doctors and officials are still wedded to pagers. Outside of medicine, there are few institutions as attached to pager technology. In medicine, about 85 percent of hospitals still rely on pagers for critical communications. Hospitals see pagers simply as a cost of doing business despite the fact that more advanced technologies are available .

At the same time, the use of smartphones by doctors is increasing with more than 8 in 10 doctors using smartphones for work. With the rise of BYOD (bring your own device) in hospitals, doctors use smartphones for increasingly more components of their daily routine.

Pagers are not secure

With more doctors wanting to make the switch to smartphones pagers, are becoming less relevant. Pagers are also insecure and rarely use encryption, leaving messages sent over the airways unprotected. Using software-defined radio (SDR) and an inexpensive USB dongle, unencrypted messages can easily be decoded.

A recent study did an analysis of the distribution of data types sent via pagers. The results are mapped out in the pie chart below.graph 1The study which spanned 4 months monitored 54,976,553 records of pages. They found out that 18,368,210 (33%) are alphanumeric and only 10% of the data was actually secured. This data distribution tells us that a lot of information can be gained from pagers which can be collected over time by hackers who specialize in collecting passive intelligence.

Users prefer smart device platforms over pagers

• Many users prefer to consolidate messages (emails, text messages, pages, etc) on one device
• Many users prefer smart device platforms over pagers
• A recent survey at Emory (graph 3: pictured below) showed that approximately 70% of users prefer pages on a cell phone / smart device, while only approximately 15% preferred pagers (remaining 15% chose other options).

graph 3

GRAPH 3: Study participant presences 

Get the white paper to learn how:

  • Your hospital pagers can easily be hacked
  • Smartphones improve workflow
  • 85% of healthcare professionals prefer using their own cell phones

WHITEPAPER 5 Reasons Why Doctors Should Use

Download white paper here