Every dentist has done it, they’ve gone to the trade show and got swept up in the latest-greatest-doo-dad or gizmo. 6 months later it’s moved into the closest next to all the other ‘game-changers.’ A graveyard full of expensive, half-implemented ideas that given a few changes might have lived up to the hype.
Part of the issue is isolation. How does your office stack up when it comes to using these new tools? How much of your technology is being underutilized and needlessly tying up your capitol?
Enter Brad the Toaster. Brad was part of a design project in Europe (www.addictedproducts.com) Brad is an average toaster with one key difference. He really wants to make toast. Brad is networked with many other toasters in the area and ‘knows’ when he’s not making as much toast as the other toasters.
As mentioned, Brad really wants to make toast. If Brad is falling below average usage, he’s going to let you know. Initially, he’ll just try and get your attention by wiggling the slide that lowers the bread. If that doesn’t work, Brad will take to social media and complain that he’s not making toast. If the negligence continues, Brad will actually order bread on-line to be sent to the house. If all else fails, Brad will sell himself on-line and arrange for UPS to pick him up.
Your toaster is leaving you.
This future may not be that far away. The CEO of Samsung has declared that 100% of their products will be ‘smart’ by 2020. Just imagine when that treadmill you never use, sells itself.
Now, imagine an inventory system that learns to you, alerts you when technology isn’t being utilized or possibly prevents you from buying it in the first place.
I firmly believe that most manufacturers want their products to be used, but typically the sales literature reflects a best-case scenario. As the world gets smarter, and data becomes easier to get we’ll know what that usage really is, this gives the manufactures guidance and feedback and provides a lot of protection to the consumer.
One interesting and unintended consequence of the Brad experiment, was the emotional reaction and connection, they now felt with the toaster. If the toaster got upset, people got legitimately concerned and sought to make the toaster ‘happy.’ It’s actually easy to see this happen.
So, take your hand piece to dinner. Bring your pano on a picnic. Bond with your technology you heartless monster. Just kidding. However, what you can do, is associate an emotion with the technology to get greater usage. Does it save you time, help more patients? The more stories you can wrap around these objects, the more valuable they become to you.
Take Your Pano’s Temperature
The truth is most if not all dentists purchase a piece of equipment with the intention to utilize it. And until our machines go the way of Brad the toaster, it is our duty to create the conscious intention to make the most of our technology, set our goals, and track our progress. If we fail to do so, it won’t be your technology that’s leaving, it will be the patients.