Pagers continue to be vital for communication across a range of industries.

They are valued for their extensive coverage and steadfast reliability in delivering time-sensitive critical messages.

Past privacy breaches have highlighted the need for enhanced security in this essential technology. Ikonix Technology bridges this gap with paging encryption, bolstering the already indispensable benefits of traditional paging systems.

In healthcare, the responsibility for using unencrypted systems properly often falls on staff, who are expected to refrain from entering private information into these systems.

However, providing context to message recipients often necessitates including private information. Messages are frequently sent by automated systems, bypassing human review.

It's evident that an effective messaging solution for healthcare cannot solely rely on transmitting non-private information.

Nurse on phone holding tablet computer

Unencrypted paging poses a serious risk to healthcare organisations, highlighted by recent incidents in Western Australia and Tasmania. In those incidents, patient medical information, including sensitive details like personal information, medical conditions, and even HIV status, was intercepted and publicly exposed.

Despite police referrals and system shutdowns, the underlying issue persisted. Similar breaches have occurred in the US, where public access to Protected Health Information (PHI) was facilitated by easily accessible retail equipment. In Canada, researchers uncovered widespread use of unencrypted paging frequencies, allowing for the rapid interception of patient data within minutes.

Busy hospital corridor with clinicans and patients

Global cloud security organisation Trend Micro investigated unencrypted paging in 2016.

They theorised a variety of possible attacks bad actors might undertake using intercepted paging messages. They include the risk of ordering restricted medications through pages to the pharmacy, inadvertently relocating patients to incorrect areas within facilities, and falsely declaring emergencies, causing confusion and potential harm.

Additionally, unencrypted systems may allow unauthorised rerouting of communication from attending doctors, identity theft of deceased or incapacitated individuals, and the manipulation of messages through spoofing, enabling various forms of social engineering and fraud.

Medicine pills

Sending pages to the pharmacy to order or misdirect restricted medications.


Moving patients within facilities, possibly to the wrong operating room, causing medical error.

Alarm siren light

Declaring an emergency inside facilities, herding staff and visitors to or away from specific areas.


Re-routing communication from officiating doctors, leaking additional health information.

Fingerprint on tablet

Stealing the identity of deceased or incapacitated persons, for further exploitation such as fraud

Priority message black

Spoofing (faking) messages to be from an authorised source, allowing all manner of social engineering events.

We've previously highlighted why pagers remain vital for delivering critical messages in hospitals, providing both the immediacy and network coverage that Wi-Fi or cellular technologies can't match. Ensuring a Code message reaches a physician on time is crucial when patients' lives hang in the balance.

Collaborating closely with our pager manufacturing partners, Ikonix Technology's Research & Development team has developed enhanced message security technology.

With Ikonix Encode Secure, our customers can now safeguard their critical paging solutions with 256-bit AES encryption. This proactive approach to technological advancement aligns the value of paging for personal alerting with the expectations of public and health administrators regarding patient privacy and confidentiality.

Hand closing drawn padlock square

Our partnership with our pager device manufacturers has been instrumental in the development of this encrypted technology. Our solution is supported by two dedicated pagers: the Apollo Gold AP900 and the Unication Alpha Legend Secure+. These devices are purpose-built to seamlessly integrate with Ikonix Encode Secure’s encryption features.

Both the Apollo and Unication pagers are backward compatible with unencrypted paging networks. Staff can transition to an encryption capable device before the technology is rolled out across a network. This ensures that the encryption rollout occurs smoothly with everyone ready to receive and decode encrypted messages.

Encrypted paging will be available from April 2024.

Apollo AP900 small
Reza Forozandeh portrait

Reza Forozandeh

An experienced engineer and project manager with a background in Defence, Reza has a keen interest in secure communication technologies. He has played a pivotal role in overseeing the development of Ikonix Technology’s encrypted paging solution from its inception to delivery. Reza's collaborative approach with hospitals, emergency services and enterprise customers in project management ensures the seamless deployment of solutions aimed at enhancing secure care.