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“How to fax without a fax machine?” This question is plugged into search engines 2,900 times a month on average. Healthcare professionals have prior authorizations to send, after all. And the dreaded fax machine awaits. But instead, using in-workflow solutions is how you “fax without a fax machine.”

It’s understandable. No one really wants to use the fax machine.

You might send patient medical records to local WFAA news in Dallas, complete with Social Security numbers (the fax number was off by a digit). You might send patient medical records to NASA (and get a call from the FBI about it).

Does NASA need to know about your patient’s diagnosis? I’d say no, given that today’s electronic solutions do an end-run around faxing altogether.

What use is outdated technology like the fax machine? The answer: Give them new life. Turn them into useful, interesting, playful objects. That’s what Josh Weston did—the designer, artist and blacksmith who appeared on the History Channel’s reality TV show "Forged in Fire". We asked Weston to demolish as many old fax machines as he wanted, and he put them back together again, transformed.

ArtiFax #163: The Stethoscope

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Doctors and nurses always need one of these on hand (or, rather, draped around the neck). More than they need a fax machine, anyway. Why? Because the stethoscope is a tool used in direct patient care. The fax machine, on the other hand, only represents paperwork and patient care delays.

ArtiFax #66: The Clock

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Doctors and nurses and support staff are accustomed to watching the clock—not because they’re waiting for quitting time, but because there are only so many hours in the day to send faxes. Well, not anymore. This clock is a reminder: In a world without fax machines, there’s more time for actual patient care.

ArtiFax #212: The Picture Frame

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Like the clock, this picture frame serves as a reminder of old history, of outdated technology, of a time when kids walked a mile to and from school every day. Or of healthcare professionals hunched over in some dark corner of the hallway, punching buttons on the fax, wincing as the machine’s jarring squeal reverberates throughout the clinic. And waiting, often in vain, for confirmation of transmission.

We call these “ArtiFax,” and you can see all of them here. They are a part of our faxless future—one where the future of healthcare doesn’t rely on technology from the past.

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