寻呼机不死

2013-07-17 02:49:24 作者:@ lisa 来源:http://www.fortunechina.com 点击数:
关键字: 寻呼机

 

  手机出现之前,寻呼机简直可谓是一项神奇的发明。要想与某人联系,人们只需呼叫这个人的号码,输入自己的联系信息,然后点击井号键发送。寻呼机的主人在听到哔哔的提示音后,就会给你回电。当然,手机的出现使得寻呼机基本退出了历史舞台。

但有一个例外,在医疗行业,寻呼机仍然在蓬勃发展。没错,许多医生和护士仍然随身携带寻呼机,不论他们是否带着智能手机。这个现象很奇怪,因为医疗行业向来以使用尖端药品和精密仪器挽救生命为荣。而就通讯方式而言,许多医疗行业从业者还停留在上世纪90年代。

 原因是多方面的。Frost&Sullivan分析师罗纳德•格鲁娅称:“医生们都恋旧。”不过,格鲁娅也表示,许多医院沿用过时的技术是为了省钱。为员工配备智能手机,空旷的医疗建筑内安装保障手机服务的技术,这些要花不少钱。

寻呼机在1994年达到顶峰,当时寻呼机的保有量达到了6,100万部。据格鲁娅称,这个数字随后缩减到今天的五、六百万部。这是他根据自身经验做出的估计。Frost & Sullivan公司已于2006年正式停止追踪寻呼机市场,因为这个市场已经变得无关紧要。

虽然寻呼机早已风光不在,但其实这种通讯工具还是有不少优点。它们体积小、重量轻,很适合塞进口袋或者别在皮带上;而且也无需充电,只用更换干电池即可。不过,方便是相对的。一个显而易见的不足是,寻呼机没有电话簿。用户无法判断是谁在寻呼自己,除非发送方在信息中附上姓名。目前似乎没人打算改善这一点。

低效的寻呼机带来了高昂的代价。技术研究机构波耐蒙研究所(Ponemon Institute)最近的调查显示,由于寻呼机及其它过时通讯技术,美国医院每年蒙受83亿美元损失,而且病人办理出院手续的时间也大为增加。波耐蒙研究所调查了来自577所医疗机构的医护人员,发现医生、护士及其它医疗工作者每天会浪费45分钟在低效的通讯系统上。

调查还发现,病人办理出院手续的平均时间长达101分钟,大大高于预期。大部分受访者表示,如果使用安全短信,医院有望把这个时间缩短一半。

不过,像大多数调查报告一样,我们同样应该对这份报告持保留态度。经济损失是从少量调查样本中推算出的。而且,调查由Imprivata公司资助,后者开发了管理软件,可供医院同时在桌面和移动平台访问病人病历。所以,这份调查完全有可能是夸大事实,以达到推动Imprivata软件销售的目的。

   

 

    Pagers seemed like a fabulous invention in the years before mobile phones. To reach someone, all you had to do was call their number, enter your contact information, and hit the pound sign to send. The pager's owner, alerted by a symphony of beeping, would then return the call. Mobile phones, of course, eventually drove the technology to near-extinction.

 But pagers, in fact, continue to thrive with one critical constituency: the medical industry. Yes, many doctors and nurses still carry pagers instead of -- or in addition to -- smartphones. It is an odd reality for a field that otherwise prides itself on using cutting-edge medicine and sophisticated machinery to save lives. For communication, at least, many people in the medical field are stuck in the 1990s.

The reasons are many. "Doctors are creatures of habit," says Ronald Gruia, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan. But he also argues that many hospitals hang onto the outdated technology to save money. Equipping staff with smartphones and installing technology to guarantee cell phone service inside cavernous medical buildings is expensive.

Pagers reached their zenith in 1994 when there were over 61 million in use. Their numbers have since dwindled to around five or six million today, according to Gruia. His estimate is an educated guess. Officially, Frost & Sullivan stopped tracking the pager market in 2006 because of, well, its irrelevance.

Despite their obsolescence, pagers do have some advantages. They're small and light enough to carry in a pocket or on a belt. They also don't need to be charged. Instead, you just pop in new batteries. Convenience is a relative term, however. Pagers have no address book, for example. They also lack a way to easily identify those who page you unless the sender includes a name in the message. And nobody is working to improve them.

Such inefficiency comes at a price. Pagers and other outdated communications systems cost hospitals $8.3 billion annually in lost productivity and increased patient discharge times, according to a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute, a technology research organization. The survey, based on responses from 577 healthcare professionals, found that doctors, nurses, and others in the health care field waste around 45 minutes daily because of inefficient communications systems.

Additionally, hospitals take longer to discharge patients -- 101 minutes, on average -- than otherwise necessary, the survey found。 By using secure text messaging, hospitals could cut that time by half, most of the respondents said。

 Granted, the survey, like many of its kind, should be taken with a grain of salt. The financial losses are extrapolated from a relatively small sample of respondents. Furthermore, the survey was paid for by Imprivata, a company that provides hospitals with software for accessing patient files from both computers and mobile devices. There's an obvious incentive to make the problem seem bigger than it really is to drum up business.

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