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How an SA health tech company is moving UK hospitals beyond the pager era

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Apps on phones enable doctors to communicate faster and more effectively.
Apps on phones enable doctors to communicate faster and more effectively.

Pagers were the height of technology in the 1980s and 1990s, and their incessant beeps were common in hospitals as doctors used them to communicate as they ran between patients and emergencies. And although the world has since moved on to faster, more effective communication, UK hospitals are still stuck in the pager past - but Healthcent, a South African health technology company, is set to change that.

The UK government has been struggling for years to transition from pagers and spends £6.6 million (just over R145 million in today’s exchange rate) annually for the 130 000 pagers its staff use at its National Health Service (NHS) facilities. However, last year Matt Hancock, the country secretary for health and social care, ordered that NHS facilities around the country stop using pagers, which are becoming obsolete, by 2021 and take up alternatives like mobile phones and apps to communicate.

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