The imminent death of fax?
We know shared political views will divide a room and trigger conversation. Fax can elicit the same response? It’s true!
A few months ago, I presented to a group of Monash University Executive MBA students visiting the AusTrade Landing Pad in San Francisco, California. Thirty seconds into my presentation, audible gasps of disbelief accompanied the revelation that the fax industry was growing worldwide; while others who regularly work with fax technology confirmed the astonishing truth that fax was, indeed, still very much alive.
We can all agree that the Australian healthcare industry has a deep reliance on fax technology. As an industry, we have integrated with it so tightly that an organisation’s movement away from fax is akin to self-imposed social isolation! Ouch. In 2017, IDC published a white paper reporting that the biggest driver for organisational fax usage was use of fax technology by the organisation’s valued stakeholders, which, in turn, made use of fax for the organisation requisite for conducting business.1 Translation: “Everyone else is using fax, so I have to fax too.”
Document transmission through fax technology has long been regarded as a security safe-haven, and still today is a reliable and stable method of document transfer that:
- Requires a direct peer-to-peer connection before transmission
- Meets strict privacy, security and other regulatory requirements
- Provides proof of physical delivery
- Is cost effective when compared to alternative methods of physical delivery
So, back to our room of astonished Executive MBA graduates... yes, fax continues to remain relevant and usage grows from year to year. But we must consider the questions:
- Is there a better alternative technology to fax?
- If so, how can it be implemented when a whole industry would seemingly need to switch in the same moment?
- And if these concerns can be solved, where does that leave fax?
An alternative to fax?
GoLogic Group developed Australia’s leading online fax solution, GoFax, over 15 years ago and continues to improve the product and serve its 10,000+ customer base. The team and I have been working incredibly hard on a new vision that embraces everything we’ve learned over the last 15 years while simultaneously recognising the industry’s evolving requirements.
We bucked trends to move the industry from physical fax hardware to cloud based fax solutions, so, it won’t be a surprise to our many loyal customers that we’re blazing a new path of smooth transition from fax to user-verified, secure messaging delivery (SMD) and file transfer technologies.
We recognise both the demand for secure message delivery and its potential in improving upon the efficiency and effectiveness of fax technology. In many cases, when paired with secure digital file transfer, it serves as the next logical evolution from, and alternative to, fax transmission. Though, the problem still remains, how can you implement a shift from fax when the whole industry would seemingly need to do so simultaneously?
Introducing Notifyre — a transitional communications platform
Notifyre gives organisations the ability to transition from traditional messaging mediums like fax, to more secure, advanced and interoperable technology options like SMD. Organisations can easily make the shift to SMD in their own time without being in synchronised step with every other organisation in the industry.
The modular-based platform can be used for organisations as a foundation for secure communication, with the flexibility to implement messaging products they are familiar with like fax, whilst trialling and implementing new technologies to meet growing industry standards across healthcare.
Using the Notifyre directory and smart AI routing, Notifyre gives users the options to send different file types dependent upon the receiving user’s options for allowed communication delivery, whether it’s fax, SMS or SMD and file transfer.
To register for early access visit www.notifyre.com/beta
- Supports secure messaging delivery and file transfer (powered by STIRDIE)
- Send & receive fax/send and receive SMS — built to support high volume messaging
- Advanced security features including data sovereignty
- Manage user roles and permissions across your organisation
- Access using online dashboard, desktop & mobile app, integrate with email
- API integrations available
Introducing STIRDIE — SMD and file transfer
STIRDIE is a block-chain based SMD and file transfer product. STIRDIE securely supports documents and other files within its secure messaging framework with advanced features to manage file permissions as well as maintaining a complete audit trail and history.
We are actively working towards connecting digital health-ready organisations and users to our secure messaging delivery directory. By joining the STIRDIE secure messaging network, organisations and their users can set their privacy settings in the directory to “public” which will allow other users to initiate a connection and begin sending.
We’re also building the STIRDIE “general public directory” that would include verified patient users in the flow of sensitive data, like lab results, prescription details and diagnosis outcomes.
- Secure, encrypted digital file transfer with no limitations to file type
- Connects you to verified organisations and users within the directory
- Manage user permissions and access options when sharing
- Maintain a complete and verifiable record of all digital transactions
To register for early interest visit www.stirdie.com/beta
So, where to from here?
Fax has proven its value over decades and has shown its adaptability in both form and function. Rightly so, Government and Industry will continue to push for development of new tools and ways of addressing industry hurdles. I feel confident in saying that we haven’t read our last article declaring the imminent death of fax with SMD standing on its grave. These suppositions paint our choices in black and white when there is a whole colourful array of possibilities that take advantage of the strengths of SMD, as well as fax and many other communication mediums.
The transitional communication platform, Notifyre, will give users the confidence to experiment with SMD while maintaining established critical communication pathways with stakeholders over fax and SMS.
STIRDIE, a robust and interoperable SMD and file transfer technology, accessible within the Notifyre platform, will leverage off the backbone of unique fax number identifiers to determine whether the message and file intended for a recipient can be sent via SMD or by traditional fax.
History teaches us that the best outcomes are often derived from the utilisation of the strengths acquired from diversity. As part of that diversity within the available secure communication tools, I believe that fax will continue to be relevant as it integrates with future technology, that it will play a part in the successful delivery and outcome of SMD within Australia, and that it will maintain a role in the way the industry does business for years to come. Politics may divide a room when opinions are shared but there’s no reason for fax to do the same. We can utilise the best of all technologies for the benefit of the industry to ensure a positive outcome for organisations, practitioners and patients alike.
Join us in building the future of secure messaging interoperability
We’re not blind to the fact that our Secure Message Delivery tool, STIRDIE, has obstacles to overcome, and we recognise that you might have some input or expertise that you’d like to see incorporated into future development. If that’s the case, we’re currently inviting consultation.
Please register your interest at www.stirdie.com
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1. Glaz, R., and Muscolino, H. (2017). Fax Market Pulse: Trends, Growth and Opportunities. International Data Corporation.
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