Will smartphones replace the pager?

It seems inevitable.

A recent study showed that 64 percent of doctors use smartphones, such as an iPhone or a BlackBerry. Medical schools, such as Georgetown University and Ohio State University, are beginning to give them out to students.

And I can certainly see the allure. They’re more powerful than PDAs, and there’s a wealth of medical applications that are being written for the devices. More importantly, they can replace several devices – namely, the PDA, phone, and pager – and instead of a Batman-like belt of electronic tools, doctors can simply carry one.

As always, there will be people concerned about patient privacy, especially as sensitive information is being transmitted and stored on smartphones. But we’re past the tipping point.

The pager is growing more extinct by the day.