All that's new in the world of dentistry
Recently in the technology & digital world there has been a lot of talk about the “Internet of Things”. The IoT is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to automatically transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. This has evolved from the coming together of wireless technology, modern electronics and of course the internet.
So examples of the internet of things in the real world are a phone connected watch, Google glasses or a fridge that tells you when you are low on milk. The ideas and opportunities are endless, any natural or man-made object, as long as it is assigned with an IP address and has the ability to transfer data over a network becomes a part of the Internet of Things.
Yesterday I went to a press launch by Oral-B at the BDA Conference. Oral-B will be introducing a new electric toothbrush to the market in May 2014. What caught my attention is the fact that it will have Bluetooth built in and will connect to its own app. This means that your tooth brushing can be recorded and even checked by your dentist to make sure you are accessing the correct areas. This recording of data will personalise your brushing routine and will also allow the dental professional to programme their patients’ brushing routines in the app to improve brushing behaviours & techniques. Oral-B claim this will help drive patient compliance, which determines success of a large part of future dental appointments.
So not only will this innovation potentially improve oral health it is also a great example of an everyday appliance working alongside the internet and being an early adopter of the “internet of things”. I believe this could be an exciting development in dentistry and shows plenty of innovation. We look forward to seeing how the app will develop plus also it got us thinking about what will be the next piece of dental technology that improves patient care and improves the daily routine? Any ideas?
What's in an Acronym? CR in the current climate is not that jaw relationship that is so critical to dental function.
Politically it is destined to be Contract Reform.
But maybe it should be Contract Rejection ...
The sands of dentistry and its politics often shift with the tides of time and events.
I am sure many of you share my frustration, often palpable profession wide, that the BDA often seem to be in the stuck in the wet sticky variety, making little inroad to the wider landscape of NHS Dentistry.
Well, all of that has changed. Suddenly dentistry and the BDA is running on the beach and it is the DH and NHS England [and inter alia the other NHS authorities] that are dragging through the sludge.
First we have the election of Dr Mick Armstrong to the Chair of the BDA’s flagship Professional Executive Committee. At a time when we need people who will call a spade a spade, this man carries a Northern reputation for using the thing to whack his message in if necessary.  .
VT Pay Cut now
Then the DH published its “Dental Contract Uplift and Efficiencies 2014/15" information  . It would be fair to say that to lead with the word “Uplift” is backspin indeed worthy of any Minister.
And two items hit dentists between .
Firstly, just when it cannot get any worse for some of our younger colleagues, their starting salary has just been chopped by some £2000pa.
Secondly 4% cuts efficiency savings are being projected onto NHS Dentistry.. The invisible ink suggests that there will be more to come in the next parliament. The DH have not finished yet.
GDP Pay cut next?
Now if we assume that your practice profit margin in your practice is say 30%, and if we assume that in the real world , your employment costs and overheads are inexorably on the rise [and DON’T look at your materials bill !!] we must conclude that the 4% will come off YOUR take. So if your profit margin reduces to 26% that equates to you, the business owner, risk taking dentist being offered a 13.3% pay cut to run with the Contract Reform package.
Now add to the toxic brew that is stirring the news from Lloyds Bank and their specialist market research that dentistry is now amongst the most confident in the development of Private Practice    … Really? Well, surprise !
CR are the letters that will absorb much of your thinking processes in the next year. Contract Reform is being piloted near you and the new methods of working are in themselves more than a cause to focus the mind.
Now ask yourself: Do you really want all that hassle for a pay cut?
Now ask yourself if these projected circumstances are likely to make you a happy bunny, offering your patients the best of modern dental care appropriate to your circumstances?
Maybe the acronym “CR” actually will come to mean Contract Rejection. It sounds like one of the professions leading banking units thinks you are not alone and that you do have the confidence and ability to make it happen.
SS BDA – off the rocks?
As the BDA begin their conference with a superb weekend of dental derring-do, I suspect like many I can think of no better leader than Dr Armstrong to conjure the words that will tell the Government where to take to their Contract Reform and indeed where to stick it if their attitude remains so brutally cavalier.
Its not just meteorological Spring sunshine you can feel. The profession suddenly is starting to shine.
Have a joyful Easter and if the Conference is your scene, may all your conferring be about the positive future. May your personal CR be unaffected by all this fuss about ... CR
We all have habits. We all do things in our own way, at the time we like and at a time that is convenient for ourselves.
Social Media has become a habit in many of our lives; we look at Facebook or Twitter in the morning or the same online news page. There is one major reason behind visiting these sites; you are looking to see what is new. You visit the same pages or social media sites because it has become a habit.
This habit formation I am talking about is extremely prevalent in online communities. Reading GDPUK is a habit to thousands of dentists every day, our members want to see what is new, how discussions have evolved or discuss a piece of dental news that has caught their eye.
Members of a community want to know what people like themselves are doing, thinking, using and reading. The site is constantly evolving and changing on an hourly basis because of the four actions listed above and that is what keeps people coming back. It is human nature to be attracted to the latest news and find out what your peers thinks about it. We can all think of examples of this, a story on Facebook, the latest football transfer gossip on the BBC sport website or a heated discussion on the GDPUK forum.
This is the amazing advantage of online communities and their constantly evolving nature. The GDPUK forum is an invaluable tool for dentists because as well as reading & learning like in traditional publications, users can also participate and share ideas. The site then becomes addictive and then of course a habit!
What are your habits? Has GDPUK become a daily habit for you? Do you have a daily social media habit?