Categories
Hardware

How to Speed Up Your Slow PC and Laptop

From technize:

One of the ways how to make the laptop run faster is to remove malware. It is surprisingly easy to pick up malware on a modern computer with access to the internet. Not only does malware open your laptop up to potential malicious attacks, but it is a major drain of resources.

Source: How to Speed Up Your Slow PC and Laptop [Definitive Guide]

A nice resource.

Categories
Future Tech Hardware Management

Enterprise software, devices to drive 2021 IT spending to $4.1T

From  VentureBeat:

The source of funding changes “from an overhead expense that is maintained, monitored and sometimes cut, to the thing that drives revenue,” Lovelock said in the press release.

Source: Enterprise software, devices to drive 2021 IT spending to $4.1T | VentureBeat

The linked article is more for investors than tech buyers. Nevertheless it makes a point I have been pushing for years. Technology used properly should not be an expense it should be a revenue driver. It should reduce overhead.

Many dentists do not see this. Instead technology becomes an ever increasing and expensive burden. The key to making technology pay is to use it. Stop doing things the way you did before technology and adopt a digital, paperless workflow.

Do NOT

  • Use paper charts
  • Call to confirm
  • Mail paper statements
  • Hand out a clipboard
  • Send impressions to a lab

Use the digital technology you already have and employ the e-services you are most likely already paying for.

Categories
Hardware Paperless Software

As Robots Fill the Workplace, They Must Learn to Get Along

From WIRED:

SO MANY ROBOTS work at Changi General Hospital in Singapore that until recently it wasn’t uncommon to find two delivery bots sitting in a hallway or outside an elevator in a standoff.

Source: As Robots Fill the Workplace, They Must Learn to Get Along | WIRED

I concede it will be necessary for robots to interact with each other.

MORE IMPORTANTLY I would like our applications to interact with each other. This is called interoperability. It is almost nonexistent in dentistry. It is outrageous that we can still not transfer an electronic dental record from one office to another.

Categories
Future Tech Hardware Mobile Telemedicine

CES sees rise in telehealth tech in response to pandemic

From Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“This year, with all of the digital health products, we’ve seen rapid acceleration of these technologies given the global pandemic,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research for the Consumer Technology Association, which owns and presents CES. “It’s definitely a category that has been rising over the past few years. It’s been a big category during CES. It will be again for CES 2021.”

Source: CES sees rise in telehealth tech in response to pandemic | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Follow the link for a rundown of some of the amazing devices now available for at home telemedicine, including:

— Toothpic, a teledentistry program that partnered with Philips. For $10, users can get help with a specific dental issue within six hours just by taking a photo of the problem area. An in-depth oral health report using six photos is available in less than 24 hours for $35.

Categories
General Hardware Management Mobile

Best UV Phone Sanitizers 2020

UV Phone sanitizers are suddenly hot. I suggest you get a few and provide phone sanitizing as a free extra to all your patients. The patients will appreciate this, especially during the pandemic and it gets the phone out of their hands during the appointment. I suggest you have the sanitizer in the treatment room where the patient can see it. That will add to the the interest and more importantly reduce the anxiety we all seem to feel when our phones are out of out control.

Below is a buyers guide.

From iMore:

Of all the UV sanitizing devices we’ve seen, this specialized gadget from PhoneSoap is the most convenient. It zaps away bacteria and virus germs, charges your device, and functions wirelessly! Any object you put inside this magic box will come out squeaky clean—keys, headphones, your favorite fidget spinner—you name it. The best part is that any device that supports Qi wireless charging will be charged simultaneously while it is cleaned. The sanitizing process takes about 10 minutes.

Source: Best UV Phone Sanitizers 2020 | iMore

Categories
Corona Pandemic Hardware Office Design

CK5 Cleankeys® keyboard with a touch surface

An update on the Cleankeys keyboard.

The new glass keyboard CK5 continues the famous Cleankeys® series and impresses users with its smart design and no compromises regarding hygiene. Compact dimensions and a generous touch pad/numpad area make it possible to operate the unit without a PC mouse

Source: CK5 Cleankeys® keyboard with a touch surface | washable-keyboards.com

Just in time for the Covid Pandemic.

Categories
Cameras Corona Pandemic General Hardware

UV-C Disinfecting Wand

Categories
Hardware Office Design

Donuts?

Monitors follow the law of donuts; if one is good two is better and three is even better.

Two at the front desk: Schedule and patient chart.

Two in the treatment room: One for the patient one for the practice.

Three (or more) in the dentists office: Chart, radiographs, photos.

 

Categories
Hardware Management Security

3 Things Can Help Your Office Comply with HIPAA Requirements

I contributed to this article in Dentrix Magazine:

Dentists wrongly think their practice network is just another piece of equipment, such as a dental chair. It’s delivered, they unbox it, and they get it up and running. They forget that their network is a system that needs to be cared for, upgraded, and supported.

Source: Dental Office Technology: 3 Things Can Help Your Office Comply with HIPAA Requirements – Dentrix Magazine

Categories
e-Services General Hardware Internet Management

Wink accused of extortion over mandatory subscription policy

From 9to5Mac:

Smart home company Wink has been accused of extortion by customers furious at an announcement that they will be forced to pay a monthly subscription else their existing products will cease to function.

Source: Wink accused of extortion over mandatory subscription policy – 9to5Mac

This is another example if the hazy issue of ownership in the digital age. If a vendor can make a device you have paid for useless by disabling online functionality do you really own it?

A dental vendor could easily do something similar with any device that is linked to the Internet. For example a digital impression scanner. What happens if you do not pay your monthly subscription fee?

Related.

Categories
Hardware Security

3 Things Can Help Your Office Comply with HIPAA Requirements

From Dental Products Shopper:

In the early days of in-office computer use, dental offices had very limited choices for professional IT support. They would rely on just about anyone who was good at computers, including their patient’s nephew. Today, hardware has become more sophisticated, but some dentists make the same unsophisticated mistake. Many practices still don’t have proper IT support.

Source: Dental Office Technology: 3 Things Can Help Your Office Comply with HIPAA Requirements | IT Services & Hardware

I worked with Tech Central from Henry Schein One to create the linked article.

Categories
Future Tech General Hardware Mobile

Oh Yeah, It’s a Phone Too

iphone (2)One of the fundamental changes that digital technology has produced is so subtle we often don’t even acknowledge it yet it is so substantial that it has altered everything.

Once the basic capacity is in place a digital device can do many many that is to say many tasks. The most obvious example is a modern cell phone.

A typical cell phone has both a still camera and a video camera, plus it is an answering machine, an e-mail device not to mention text messages and photo sharing, a social media connection and a web browser. It is a calculator, a pocket watch, a flashlight, an alarm clock and a stop watch. It is a calendar an e-reader, a GPS, a map and a gaming device. You get the idea. The actual phone function of any new smart phone is almost an afterthought.

Just a few years ago all those devices (if they existed at all) would have been separate purpose built expensive machines. Now we get them as part of our cell phone at essentially no cost with thousands of other options available at the App store.

Currently there are numerous medical devices that plug into a smart phone that are being marketed to physicians. A dental ultrasonic diagnostic device called S-Ray is under development that would attach to a smart phone and could produce a digital impression as well as diagnose periodontal pockets and interproximal decay.

Why not? Today’s smart phone has far more computing power than the old desktops we first plugged x-ray sensors into back in the 90s. And a smart phone is connected to the world so data can easily be sent to the cloud for storage or analysis. And of course a smart phone is far less expensive than a purpose built digital impression box and you can use the phone for all the other things mentioned above.

Categories
Hardware

Dan’s Word on Hardware

I just finished a very informative conversation with Dan Edwards one of my chief go to guys on dental office hardware. Dan is the founder and CEO of Pact One. https://www.pact-one.com/

Dan told me that for the majority of his single site dental clients the most efficient IT system is still a local workstation – server network, with the server installed in the dental office. That is the same basic configuration we have been using for years.

The good news is that computers are still evolving at a remarkable rate and new machines are much faster and more powerful than the machines available just a few years ago. The bad news is that means we still need to continually upgrade and replace the actual computers in the network. That hasn’t changed, what has changed is how we pay for it.

There are basically three ways we can pay for our IT systems. (NOTE I am not an accountant or a lawyer. Do not take any of the following as financial advice. (blah, blah, blah) Ask your CPA for tax and financial advice.)

Buy it. This is the traditional system we were forced to use when computers first invaded dental offices. The dentist buys the machines, writes off the capital expense as depreciation and replaces them every three to four years. The old machines have virtually no residual value and need to be scrapped. The dentist will also need to contract with an IT service provider for service and support.

Lease it. Rather than purchase the dentist leases the equipment.  There is no capital expense so there is no depreciation however the lease payments are operating expenses. Again the machine will have no residual value and need to be replaced after the lease term of three or four years and the dentist will need IT support services. The decision to buy or lease is essentially a tax and financial decision.

Rent it. You do not rent the equipment you rent the system. The IT provider is responsible for all the components and may upgrade or replace them as needed. The renter (the dentist) is not leasing anything tangible, like a server, the renter is renting the functionality of a complete IT system. This is generally called HaaS, Hardware as a Service. As with a lease there is no capital expense or depreciation, the dentist deducts the monthly rent as an operating expense.

HaaS is the newest and most innovative way to pay for your IT infrastructure. It has many advantages, most notably that is transfers most of the responsibility of choosing and maintaining an up to date IT system from the dentist to the IT provider. The downside is the expertise and reliability of the IT provider. Some dentists have been left high and dry when their IT provider went out of business or worse yet, the IT company was hacked and the dentist is left with nothing but a HIPAA nightmare. Choose wisely.

Categories
Hardware Management

Hardware as a Service: The Vital Decision You Only Have to Make Once

From  Dentrix Magazine:

TechCentral by Henry Schein One has created OmniCore, which combines physical IT equipment with professional services to ensure that IT hardware, software, and security, including backups, are appropriately managed. With OmniCore, rather than incur the cost to purchase and support your networking hardware, TechCentral retains ownership of it, so they take on the responsibility of maintaining, updating, or replacing components automatically as they become out of date.

Source: Hardware as a Service: The Vital Decision You Only Have to Make Once – Dentrix Magazine

Ever since computers invaded dental offices thirty years ago dentists have been faced with the ongoing headache of buying, upgrading, repairing, trouble shooting, and replacing computer hardware. Finding a reliable dental IT professional was a constant challenge. Dentists were used to buying a chair or an x-ray unit that provided decades of use while needing minimal service. Computers are not like that. They need constant service and should be replaced every three to four years.

There is now a solution that is better than either buying or leasing hardware. That is to rent the entire system. Hardware as a service (HaaS).

With the New Year approaching now is a good time to be planning for the coming year. HaaS may be a good option for you if your computers are more than two years old or if you are still running Windows seven. Microsoft will cease support for Windows seven January 14.

Categories
Hardware Security

Less than 60 Days Left Until Microsoft Ends Support for Windows 7 & Server 2008

From TechCentral:

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft is retiring Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7. When Microsoft retires an operating system, it ceases to maintain it, provide critical patches or provide support for system issues. You might be running one or both of these operating systems.

What does “End of Support” mean?

If you continue to use Windows versions after support has ended, your PC or server will still work, but may become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Microsoft will no longer provide the following support for your business.

  • No Technical Support

  • No Software Updates

  • No Security Updates

Source: Upgrade Windows | TechCentral

The last time this happened, when Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, a vicious strain if ransomware called Wannacry infected computers all over the world, including the National Health Service on the UK. If you do not upgrade you are at risk. If you do suffer a data attack you will have no defense when the HIPAA police come calling.

Rather than buying all new machines you may want to consider renting your hardware infrastructure as a service. This is called HaaS (hardware as a service).

Categories
Hardware Management Radiography Theraputics

What to buy before year end?

Where should you spend your one million dollars of section 179 money before the end of the year?

Section 179 is the tax law provision that allows businesses to expense certain capital investments. For details regarding the law look here.

Complete or upgrade your technology infrastructure. If you still do not have computers in every treatment room linked to a server do that now. Every other high-tech system is dependent on a complete network. If you have a network but it is more than four years old, it needs upgrading. ($25,000 or less)

An alternative is to use XaaS. With this system the service company provides all the computers and networking and the dentist simply pays a monthly fee for the service. There are definite advantages to this however XaaS does not qualify for section 179.

Radiography. There is no excuse not to be exclusively using digital radiography in 2020. If you do not have a basic sensor system get one now. You only need one basic sensor linked to you practice management system. ($4,000)

If you have a sensor then consider a digital panoramic machine. You will be able to see and diagnose more effectively and it will pay for itself in less than a year. ($10,000)

If you are a surgeon or if you place implants then consider a Cone Beam CT. ($80,000)

An interesting alternative to x-rays for interproximal caries detection is the CariVu from Dexis.

Once these basics are taken care of you are ready to consider more advanced systems starting with digital impressions. You can start with an impression scanner only; you do not need to get a full CAD-CAM system with a mill. However, be sure you can add a mill in the future if you want. ($23,000)

Next look at getting a laser. Start with a soft tissue diode laser. You will be amazed at all you can do with one of these inexpensive lasers, starting with tissue troughing around preps. You will never need to pack cord again. ($1,800)

If you have everything on the list so far and are looking to take the next step, consider a hard tissue laser. My favorite is the Solea. They just introduced a new improved version. ($100,000)

As always you would be a fool to consider this tax or legal advice consult your CPA etc. etc. etc.

Categories
Hardware Office Design

ICW Ergonomic Dental Computer, Monitor & Keyboard Mounts

ERGONOMIC COMPUTER, MONITOR & KEYBOARD MOUNTS designed to create efficient, comfortable DENTAL workspaces. Superb range of motion, compact, strong and durable.

Source: ICW Ergonomic Dental Computer, Monitor & Keyboard Mounts

A great resource. Ceiling mounts are the best option for most treatment rooms.

Categories
Future Tech Hardware

Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy

From Gizmodo:

This morning, Google scientists confirmed in a blog post that their quantum computer had needed just 200 seconds to solve a problem that they claim would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

The team first ran the algorithm last spring using a 54-qubit processor called “Sycamore.” While the achievement is called quantum supremacy, it doesn’t mean that quantum computers are suddenly more capable than classical computers, since Google’s quantum computer only beat the competition at a single, highly contrived problem. Quantum computers with day-to-day applications may still be decades away, but this is an important scientific milestone when comparing quantum computers to their classical counterpart.

Source: Google Confirms Achieving Quantum Supremacy

This is amazing and immediately brings to mind two thoughts, one good one not so good.

  1. The potential speed and power of quantum computers will make future AI and other advances in diagnosis and treatment much more effective.
  2. The potential speed and power of quantum computers will make current security and encryption methods obsolete.
Categories
Hardware Security

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Leave Windows 7

From  Dentrix Magazine:

If you haven’t upgraded your network operating system, your patient data is at risk. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and 2008 R2…

Unsupported OS Increases Risk

Running unsupported operating systems is a data security risk that leaves your office network more vulnerable to attack. Unsupported operating systems are not updated with patches in response to new security threats.

Legacy Windows operating systems, in particular, act as a major vulnerability for connected medical devices, according to a recent report. Data from that study showed that a majority of vulnerable systems were running Windows versions that will expire by January 14, 2020, including Windows 7, Windows 2008, and Windows Mobile.

Source: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Leave Windows 7 – Dentrix Magazine

Categories
Hardware Paperless

Making it Digital

It is possible to turn all the gobs of dead tree (paper) information stuffed in our charts into electronic digital information. YES. There are four ways to create digital information

Enter it: What this refers to is the process of directly typing or clicking in information.

Capture it: Digital capture refers to a process that creates or captures information (usually images) into an electronic format. In dentistry the best examples would be digital photographs and digital radiographs

Scan it: A scanner is a hardware device that converts hard copy paper or film into soft copy digital information

Import it:  Data import does not create new digital information. It is a function that allows users to add already existing digital information to a patient record. The difference between scanning and importing is that scanning starts with a piece of paper. Importing never goes through a paper phase.