First digital fax assistant launched to support NHS ban on fax machines


Medical messaging platform, Siilo, creates digital fax machine functionality within its app

Medical messaging platform Siilo has launched an inbuilt solution for secure faxing in the healthcare sector for a smooth transition to a paperless era.

The app, which is designed specifically for healthcare professionals, now contains a secure, digital fax assistant, eliminating the need for physical fax machines.

This development follows an NHS-wide ban on both buying and using fax machines.

But, by simply announcing a ban without a replacement service in place, there is a risk that it will negatively impact critical information-sharing between healthcare professionals, who rely on them for patient care on a day-to-day basis.

Although fax machines may seem like relics in most professional settings, they are still frequently used across the NHS, and in wider healthcare organisations.

Joost Bruggeman, chief executive of Siilo, said: “It’s easy to jump on the critical bandwagon, but before we ‘axe the fax’, let’s just think about it for a minute.”

“The fax machine is still widely used in the NHS because it meets a very-specific communication need, which is not easily replaced by email.

“Fax communication is usually not between two individual professionals, but between two organisations without the need for a ‘personal’ connection between the people sending and picking up that fax. The information just needs to get across and the sender needs a confirmation upon receipt. Today, lives still depend on fax communication.”

Now, with Siilo’s ‘fax machine’ feature, professionals can connect their physical fax machine to their digital fax assistant and still send and receive information in a way that feels familiar.

“As a MedTech company, we feel it is not very empathetic to simply ban critical communication tools from healthcare professionals that are already under tremendous pressure,” said Bruggeman.

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“It would be better to wean from a fax machine and not completely break critical communication flows.”