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a blog by Chris Barrow

The smartphone in dentistry

I was recently asked to submit an article to the new A-Dec magazine Utopia on the future of smartphone connection in dentistry. At last week’s BDTA I was especially interested to see how developers are embracing mobile technology, not just from the “mobile-friendly” web site but through to on-line appointment booking, social media integration in collecting patient feedback and m-commerce functionality. There have been some who have questioned whether m-commerce could ever work in dentistry – perhaps the same people who suggest that 3D printing will never replace the human touch (perhaps true for 5% of things but not 100%). Last Sunday night Annie and I were truly privileged to hear John Mayer at The O2 perform some of the greatest guitar playing I have ever heard live (and I’ve heard a lot). The 18,000 people in the auditorium were blown away by Mayer’s virtuosity – the concert was about the guitar, not about the (amazing) voice. I paused for thought during one of the numbers – and looked around the room to see literally thousands of smartphones pointed at the stage, either photographing or videoing the performance. In fact, on the Tube there and back, in the bars and restaurants around the arena, everywhere – people of all demographics on smartphones. The smartphone is now a way of life, the primary way that we communicate – I was chatting to my son Jon over the weekend about using FaceTime as well as Skype to make voice calls – we simply don’t need telephone accounts any more, as long as we have wifi, we can talk. Don’t ask IF and HOW dentistry can take advantage of this – ask WHEN and HOW – and HOW YOU CAN STAY AT THE EDGE OF INNOVATION?

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