Pebble Watch Applications for Dentists

Pebble Watch has Hands-Free Applications for Dentists and Doctors

While the Pebble Kickstarter campaign ended with much fanfare on May 18, 2012, as of March 18, 2013 you still can’t get a Pebble watch. But that’s not why I’m writing. I know the Pebble watch will eventually come out by either Pebble or some other company so I’m writing to explain how this watch could be helpful to doctors.

Pebble Watch Notification AlertsAccording to their website, Pebble watches have “notifications, messages and alerts,” for:

  • Incoming Caller ID
  • Email (Gmail or any IMAP email account)
  • SMS on both Android and iPhones
  • iMessage (iOS only)
  • Calendar Alerts
  • Facebook Messages
  • Twitter
  • Weather Alerts
  • Silent vibrating alarm and timer

It’s not just for active individuals or sly students, this is perfect for doctors and dentists who can’t stop to scrub off again after checking their phone or pager. This is similar to the reason Bluetooth technology was developed for Windows authentication – doctors no longer have to press CTRL+ALT+DEL and enter their username and password every time they walk up to a computer. As long as they have their Bluetooth-enabled device, the computer automatically logs them on. It uses a Bluetooth protocol for wireless sensor authentication that is HIPAA-compliant.

Would Pebble watches be HIPAA-compliant? Possibly. A company called MyCareText is already counting on delivering their text messages to doctors wearing Pebble watches and Pebble seems to like their idea. I have to give credit to a dental assistant named Brandon Kollar who works for one of my clients, a local Indianapolis dentist. He wanted to invent a watch that would allow him to get his text messages and Caller ID notifications on a watch via Bluetooth. I didn’t realize this had already been done until I re-watched the video on 3D printing. When I sent him the link, he didn’t reply. He’s always coming up with new ideas so maybe one day he’ll hit on one he can run with – or maybe he can write an app for it.

Pebble Watch SDK

According to Mashable, the Pebble Watch software development kit (SDK) is coming out in April, 2013. A (SDK) is a set of software development tools that allows for the creation of applications for a certain software package or hardware platform. Mashable writes, “In this initial release, the SDK will be fairly limited; developers won’t yet have access to the accelerometer or communication between watchfaces and smartphones.” Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky said in a Kickstarter post, “I know we have communicated very poorly to developers up until this point, but we hope that you’ll understand how important it was for us and for Pebble as a platform to have the initial release of the hardware go well.” More than 40,000 Pebble watches have been built for it’s initial 70,000 backers and of those, approximately 30,000 have shipped leaving backers waiting over 6 months to get their watches. As one commenter on Hacker News (HN) stated, “From a startup perspective, Pebble is an example of how to ruin an opportunity to build a community around a product offer.” Pebble may have inadvertently created both a new market and an opportunity for Apple to strike.

Apple Smart Watches

Another HN post commenter writes, “One thing the Pebble has convinced me of is that smart watches will be a popular product category in the near future. There’s just too much potential, and even my very basic, very early-stage Pebble has already become one of my favorite gadgets.” In case you missed it, Pebble raised over 10 million dollars for a watch that didn’t even exist yet. Pebble wasn’t the first company to develop a smart watch. Sony has the MN2SW SmartWatch and the Ericsson LiveView and Motorola has the MOTOACTV Sports Watch. All three deliver text messages to your watch via Bluetooth from your smart phone, but let’s think for a second. Who is the 800-pound gorilla in the room of mobile devices? When the sleeping giant wakes up to a new revenue source to further tie their dominant platform of iPods, iPhones, and iPads together with a new iWatch, people will be saying “Pebble who?” Apparently this has already happened and Apple will be releasing a smart watch this year (2013). It looks like it will be more like a band with a flexible touchscreen display, but only time will tell.

Eye-Fi Wireless Card Helps Improve Dental Process

A Eye-Fi wireless flash card turns almost any digital camera into a wireless camera. This type of wireless card helped solve a problem at an Indianapolis dentist who needed a fast and easy way to take new patient photos.

Eye-Fi Camera CardEach new dental patient was supposed to get their picture taken so it could be added to their Dentrix patient records. Before the Eye-Fi wireless card they were forced to turn off the camera, take the flash card out, place it into a flash card reader, copy the files, then go back to Dentrix to add the patient photo.

With the new Eye-Fi wireless card they now take the picture and go straight to Dentrix to add the photo from the network drive. Now new patient photos actually get taken because there are less barriers to the process. This is just one of the ways you can use this type of technology, but it’s not without some issues.

Eye-Fi Connectivity Issues

During a recent Windows Update, Windows DNS took over the communications port used by the Eye-Fi transfer software. After reviewing Eye-Fi Support, I found that the Eye-Fi wireless card communicates on port 59278. Windows DNS had taken over that port and Eye-Fi stopped working properly.

Resolution “The Fix”

I edited the Registry to exclude port 59278 for use by the Eye-Fi. This change only takes effect after the computer has rebooted. Occasionally more Windows Updates would occur and this process would need repeated, but it’s since stayed working for a while now.

Eye-Fi (X-Fi) Troubleshooting

Make sure the computer is logged in and that the orange ‘wi-fi’ symbol in the lower-right system tray is running. Dentrix does not require the server to be logged in to run, but the program that captures pictures on the network (Xfi) does require it. If Windows is logged in the program may not be running for some reason. Attempt to start the program from the Start menu. It will either start or give an error message. The worst case scenario is that you’ll have to manually copy files over using the media card in the camera.

Connectivity Issues Due to DHCP Limits

DHCPThe DHCP server that hands out IP addresses can become full and stop handing out IP addresses. This can happen when wireless access points share DHCP leases. The Eye-Fi camera card attempts to get a new IP address every time the camera turns on. If it has no address, it can’t communicate on the network.

This issue can be fixed by a) deleting all the old instances of DHCP leases b) expanding the total number of IP addresses allowed in the DHCP range and c) restricting the number of days an IP address exists from the default 8 days to 5 days. This same issue would also prevent new mobile phones and tablets from joining the Wi-Fi network so that could also be a clue as to why the Eye-Fi card can’t connect.

Indianapolis Dental IT Consulting

My name is Erich Stauffer and I am a local IT business consultant who offers dental IT consulting to dentists in the Indianapolis area. I specialize in Dentrix, but have clients using Soft Dent as well. Most of the time issues are related to technology, which is why I am a Microsoft Certified Professional with A+ and Network+ certifications to back up the years of experience I have serving small business customers in the Indianapolis area. If you’re interested in a free consultation or technology review, please contact me.

Paid Advertising with Google AdWords

Google AdWords

One of the things that can really help get your website traffic fast is paid advertising.

We recently helped an Indianapolis dentist get started with paid advertising from Google AdWords. We came up with a marketing plan together and created a budget. We were able to use input from the client and data from Google Analytics to know what people had been searching for and finding them in the past. Basically, we wanted to amplify and expedite what the site was already doing well through content marketing and SEO.

We setup a campaign for the metropolitan area of Indianapolis, funded it with an initial payment, and setup 6 different ads so we could test to see which one was more effective. We plan on revisiting this over the next couple of days to see which ones were more popular and possibly add new ones. The ads usually take a little under a day to start showing up. This is because of an initial approval process by Google and for time for the payment to process.

Bid Per Call

One recently new feature (added in 2011) is a bid-per-call feature that allows you to bid for phone calls, in addition to bidding for clicks, when you show Google search ads on computers and tablets. According to Google, both your max bid per click (max CPC bid) and max cost-per-call bid (max CPP bid) can influence your ad’s position on the results page. You can increase your ad position and drive more phone calls to your business by setting a bid that is equal to or greater than the $1 minimum call fee.

Bid-per-call requires you to use a Google forwarding number when you activate call extensions. It provides detailed call reporting, so you can have a better sense of the value of calls and clicks your campaigns are generating.

With bid-per-call, the maximum cost-per-call (CPP) and your call Quality Score will be factored into your Ad Rank. This means that you’ll automatically be rewarded with higher ad position and lower cost per call when your phone number is useful to users. And you’ll have increased control over the position of your ads and your call volume by adjusting your bid. As always, you’ll never pay more than you’re willing to for either a phone call or a click.