medical panel PC

Give Your Patients The Face-To-Face Time They Need

Face-To-Face: The Patient’s Preference

It almost goes without saying that as social creatures, people love talking to people. But in today’s modern world, machines and automation are taking the human element out of many sectors of the economy, leading people to feel isolated from the institutions they rely upon. Nowhere else is this as pronounced as in the medical field, where doctor time spent with patients in primary care visits has dropped a whopping 18% in a mere four years. Technology, while at the crux of this crisis, also lends us a solution in the form of Medical Panel PCs.

 

What Is A Medical Panel PC?

A medical panel PC is a type of medical grade computer, that unlike standard desktop computers, can help increase the number of times doctors spend face-to-face with their patients. Typical desktop computers are bulky, sitting under a desk collecting dust and rely upon external hardware such as mice, keyboards, and monitors to function. Medical panel PCs, like the Medix M24T from Tangent are just the opposite, featuring a sleek design and utilizing a built-in touchscreen to function. Because of this medical grade computer’s all-in-one design, the Medix M24T requires no peripherals and can stand alone.

 

Medical Panel PCs: Built To Connect

Medical Panel PCs may be sleeker and easier to operate than traditional desktop PCs, but where they really shine is in their ability to help doctors maintain a personable connection with patients. Medical computers like the E22B from Tangent have a front-facing 5 Mega Pixel camera that allows for a variety of uses. Doctors can take quick photos of patient’s areas of concern for later diagnosis, or use the medical grade computer’s camera to easily digitize notes. The high-quality camera can even be used for video calling, allowing doctors to have a face-to-face appointment remotely. The possibilities of using a front-facing camera to better connect with patients are limitless.

 

Give Patients The Personable Experience They Want

People want to be able to connect with people, and while it is not always possible for doctors to physically meet with patients, there are still avenues for them to enjoy a face-to-face connection. Medical panel PCs are a great way to restore doctor-patient relationships while also embracing the benefits of technology.

medical grade PCs

Preventing Infections In A Post-Antibiotic World

The Center for Disease Control And Prevention just released a 2019 AR threats report titled Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, with some startling findings for the calendar year. The report found that 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. every year, resulting in 35,000 deaths. That’s nearly 1% of the U.S. population succumbing to an antibiotic-resistant infection every year, and a death every 15 minutes. The report goes on further to suggest, “Stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era — it’s already here.” Keeping hospitals sanitary has never been so important, as reducing infections increasingly becomes the surest way of preventing antibiotic-resistant infection fatalities.

While the findings of the 2019 AR threats report are worrisome, there are ways you can help prevent antibiotic-resistant infections from occurring in the first place. High traffic locations in hospitals are prone to bacterial buildup, and these areas should be cleaned as regularly as possible. Similarly, medical computers constitute one of the most widely used tools in the medical setting, and can quickly become hotbeds for bacterial growth. Choosing the right medical computers for your hospital can drastically reduce the spread of bacteria via medical staff.

 

Medical Computers With Antimicrobial Enclosure

From medical assistants, nurses, and doctors, medical computers can change hands between multiple hospital staff members throughout the day. Each time a member of the medical staff interacts with a new patient, they are potentially spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria to both the patient and other employees via medical computers. Ensuring that your staff’s medical computers have an antimicrobial enclosure is one way to keep this potential spread to a minimum. Antimicrobial enclosures feature an antimicrobial agent that clings to the surface of the medical computer, mitigating the growth of bacteria and helping reduce the chance of infection.

 

Fanless Medical Computers

Not all medical computers are created equal, but all medical computers should be fanless medical computers. Fanless medical computers, like the Medix T24B have passive cooling technology that allows them to regulate their temperature without the use of a computer fan. Unlike traditional fan-cooled computers, fanless medical computers do not circulate air inside them. This means that fanless medical computers do not build up dust, pathogens, and other contaminants inside their enclosure. If not cleaned out, the insides of traditional computers can become a breeding ground of bacteria, as more dust and dead skin cells find their way in and stick. Fanless medical computers offer a cleaner, safer way to provide medical computing power in the hospital setting.

Water Resistant Medical Computers

One critical feature of medical computers is the ability to repel liquids. This allows for medical computers to be cleaned regularly with cleaning agents, without damaging the sensitive components within. Medical computers like the Medix KW Line from Tangent feature an IP54 certified water resistant front panel, allowing for the touch screen to be cleaned without damaging the antimicrobial enclosure. The combination of an antimicrobial enclosure and water resistance allows for medical computers to be the last thing you have to worry about causing infections in the hospital.

With a person dying every 15 minutes from an antibiotic resistant infection, it is time hospitals took the prevention of such diseases as seriously as possible. Medical computers from Tangent can help reduce the spread of bacteria in one of the most trafficked areas of hospitals.

medical grade PCs

You Can’t Stop Clostridioides Difficile In The Hospital, But There Is Hope

If you work in a hospital, you may be familiar with Clostridioides difficile (C. diff), a bacterium strain that causes antibiotic-resistant infections. While the prospect of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, commonly known as “superbugs,” are scary enough on their own, a new study in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy has given us a new reason to worry about C. diff. The study, spearheaded by Kevin Garey, a professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Houston in Texas, shows that C. diff is highly resistant to seven of the most commonly used cleaning agents in hospitals. So, what can be done to stop C. diff?

The study concluded, ”no disinfectant was able to completely eliminate C. diff embedded within biofilms.” While this was in a laboratory setting, the ramifications of this conclusion are apparent: normal cleaning is not enough to stop C. diff. Surfaces that are regularly cleaned, like those of medical computers, are still at risk of housing superbugs. Even worse, medical grade PCs are constantly being touched by different medical personnel, each potentially spreading or contracting superbug bacteria.

Tangent Medix T19B
Tangent Medix T19B

Luckily, medical grade PCs from Tangent have a few key features built-in that can help ward off potentially infectious superbugs. Tangent’s lineup of medical computers feature an antimicrobial coating, which mitigates the growth of bacteria. While this coating does not outright kill bacteria, it prohibits the growth of it, effectively eliminating newly placed bacteria over time. This allows medical grade PCs from Tangent to be safely handled by multiple medical personnel and reduced the likelihood of a superbug spread. 

Medical computers from Tangent also come equipped with passive cooling technology, which is completely fanless. Without fans, Tangent medical grade PCs reduce the spread of airborne pathogens and do not build up bacteria cesspools in their enclosures over time. Fanless cooling technology allows Tangent medical computers to be fully enclosed, ensuring that they do not contribute to stagnant, germy environments.

medical grade PCs
Medix KW Series

Because of these airtight enclosures, Tangent medical computers are also rated for IP water resistance. This allows them to be easily cleaned with common cleaning agents. While Professor Garey’s study concluded that no regularly used cleaning agents in hospitals were effective at completely killing C. diff, they did find that Clorox, OPA, and Virex were the most effective at reducing C. diff spores. These cleaners, in conjunction with Tangent’s antimicrobial enclosures, can help curtail the growth and spread of superbugs like C. diff.

With antibiotic resistance on the rise everywhere around the globe, it’s more important than ever to keep your hospital as safe as possible from potential superbug infections. Tangent medical grade PCs can help your hospital stay clean, and remain a place for patients to become healthier.

Emergency Services Benefit From Medical Tablets

Emergency Services Benefit From Medical Tablets

The fires ravaging California are a grim reminder that the world as we know it is changing, in part, due to climate change. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, we can expect the acreage burned by wildfires to increase on a yearly basis as the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases. As these wildfires get bigger, so too does the medical threat they impose. From asthma to burns, wildfires can affect patient health in numerous ways. Keeping your hospital up to date with the latest medical tablets can help ensure that your hospital is ready for the mobile care needed when a fire erupts.

medical tablet
                                                  Tangent Medix M8

When a wildfire ignites, urgent care may be needed in multiple places at once. While the priority may be to always get patients to the hospital as quickly as possible, sometimes this is just not possible. Medical tablets help fill in the gap when larger medical computers are not available for use, such as in the field during an emergency. Like medical computers, medical tablets have features that better suit them for use around patients than typical commercial tablets. Medical tablets, like the M8 8-inch Medical Tablet from Tangent, are 60601-1 Medical Certified for use around patients and sensitive electronics. This makes them ideal for emergency situations, when the last thing emergency personnel should be worrying about is if their equipment is safe for use around patients.

Medical Tablet PC
                                              Tangent’s Medix T13 Medical Tablet PC

Medical tablets can also aid your medical personnel, and emergency services, keep track of patient information to be uploaded once staff return to the hospital. Medical tablets like the T13 Medical Tablet from Tangent come equipped with both front and rear facing cameras, allowing emergency medical personnel to take pictures of patient injuries for use later. This feature is complemented by the T13’s anti-reflective screen, allowing for it to be used outside without eye strain. In addition, the T13 comes with hot-swap battery technology, allowing for it to be used around the clock without needing to sit out to charge. Medical staff can simply swap out a dead battery for a charged one, keeping the T13 ready at all times during an emergency.

 

Wide scale emergencies may sadly be a fact of life due to climate change. Being prepared to help the communities they serve should be at the top of every hospital’s priorities, and that means assisting victims of wildfires as soon as possible. Medical tablets allow medical personnel and emergency services the full use of medical computers on the go, and can help these forces better aid those in need.

AI Medical Doctor

Will AI Replace Doctors In The Near Future?

Every day there seems to be a new artificial intelligence (AI) that can compare our faces to celebrities or swap faces with friends. But recently the New Yorker published a story about how AI could one day take over the news rooms, and the implications of such a feat. AI are becoming increasingly complex, as their capabilities and level of intelligence increase beyond mere entertainment value and into labor value. Given the upward trajectory of AI intelligence, could AI one day take over the medical field, replacing both doctors and medical grade PCs entirely?

 

Can AI Replace Doctors And Medical PCs?

To answer this question, we first have to take a look at what exactly an AI is. Large AI are typically programs on custom built PCs that unlike normal programs, are not created to perform input output operations, but rather to ‘think’ about operations to produce an output. This is how AI filters that can swap faces in real time work, by thinking about what a face is and how they should be swapped instead of merely copy and pasting two faces. Medical grade PCs, on the other hand, typically rely on traditional software for the role of computing power and use Doctors and other medical staff to do the thinking for them. This is where the potential for AI to replace Doctors creeps up, as in theory a sufficiently powerful AI could do the thinking of a Doctor and the operating of a medical grade PC.

 

Are AI more Developed Than Medical PCs?

While this may seem like a scary notion for medical personnel, the good news for them is that medical AI are not as developed as they are marketed as being. The most famous medical AI would have to be IBM’s Watson, which IBM touted as learning how to be the best AI doctor after it successfully displayed its thinking power by winning Jeopardy in 2011. However in the years since, IBM Watson’s delve into the medical field has been over ambitious. In reality, IBM Watson’s capabilities are more in line with being a useful AI powered tool that doctors can access on their medical PCs rather than a complete replacement.

 

One of the reasons for Watson’s failure stems not from the actual AI, but how it(and AI in general) are marketed. AI, despite popular conception, are not actually all that intelligent. In reality, AI are normally trained by teacher programs to pick up on pattern recognitions. They are rewarded or punished for picking answers, and over time learn to pick up on which answers are right. For instance, the AI filter for face swapping probably had to learn to recognize a face in still images, then in video before it even began learned how to swap them. AI like Watson are marketed as learning computers, implying an active learning approach, when it’s more as though they are taught computers.

 

Combining AI And Medical PCs

However, this isn’t to say that AI does not have a valuable place in the medical setting. Medical PCs with access to medical AI can be a great tool for doctors and medical personnel. Researchers from NYU School of Medicine and the NYU Center for Data Science performed a study on the ability of AI to add value to medical diagnoses made by radiologists. What they found was that AI could detect cancer related patterns that the doctors could not, but also that doctors would find patterns new to the AI. In this way, the study suggested that AI tools on medical PCs could help augment medical staff rather than replace them.

 

Medical PCs, Doctors, And AI Working Together

While it may seem like medical AI are the next step in the evolution of Medical pcs, it’s more fair to say that they are the next iteration of software for medical PCs. Large AI, like IBM Watson, are making headway in learning how to diagnose and recognize the patterns of symptoms, and this can directly benefit doctors in many ways. However, relying solely on AI to make these decisions is not reliable. Using AI powered tools on medical PCs is a solid middle ground for the current state of AI, allowing doctors to get second opinions on x-ray images and to make sure their mistakes are kept at a minimum. A combination of doctors, medical AI, and medical PCs can help keep your hospital at the cutting edge of technology while making sure that diagnoses are safe and accurate. Medical PCs from Tangent are are at the edge of medical PC technology, and can help your hospital prepare for the use of AI tools.

Doctor Burnout from Computer Usage

Preventing Doctor Burnout From Computer Usage

It’s no secret that the majority of doctors choose their profession because of one ideal: they truly want to help people. Being a doctor means meeting with patients face-to-face, listening to them, and comforting them. Sadly, in our digital age, people are increasingly becoming more and more isolated as screens take the place of people. This phenomenon has unfortunately spread to doctors, who are spending as much as twice the amount of time looking at screens as they do looking at patients. This can help lead to doctors suffering from occupational burnout, in which doctors may feel powerless or too stressed to work at optimal levels.

 

The World Health Organization has recognized occupation burnout as an actual medical condition, and taking the condition as seriously as they do can drastically help your hospital.  A study by two Stanford researchers found that burnout costs the U.S. economy up to $190 billion dollars every year

Better Access

This phenomenon is not unprecedented, as our technology advances so too does it’s complexity. As decision making on how medical computers are deployed and what software is on them shifts from doctors to management, it is important that doctor’s concerns are taken seriously and their input taken into consideration.

Medix KW Series
Medix KW Series

As doctors have to interact with multiple medical computers throughout the day, saving them the hassle of having to remember a litany of passwords may help ease their stress. Attempting to keep track of multiple passwords for separate medical computers, and then having to contact IT for a password reset can be a time intensive process that turns doctors off from using their medical computers as often as they need to. Medical computers like the Medix KW come equipped with both smart card readers and RFID readers, meaning that doctors can log into these medical computers in the blink of an eye.

 

Better Involvement

While it may seem like the IT department in charge of keeping your medical grade computers have little in common with the doctors using them, a strong relationship between these departments can go a long way. Making sure that the maintainers and users of medical grade computer systems are in touch can help communication of computer problems go much faster. After all, medical grade computers have a large amount of specialty software, and the quickly evolving landscape of digital medical care requires constant learning. Organize meetings between your IT department and medical staff regularly to ensure that all staff are on the same page about medical grade computer usage.

 

Better Usability

Doctors aren’t medical scribes, and their work hours shouldn’t be taken up trying to type on a keyboard hooked up to a medical grade computer. Touchscreen based medical grade computers can save doctors vast amounts of time, as their intuitive interface can be interacted with in the same way doctors use their own smartphones. These medical grade computers should have a strong antimicrobial coating, to ensure that use by multiple medical staff does not cause bacteria build up. 

 

Don’t Give Up

Technology, and medical grade computers, aren’t going anywhere any time soon. While long periods of usage can cause medical grade computers to become a source of burnout, it doesn’t necessarily have to. Keeping your staff updated on how to use their medical grade computers can drastically help alleviate stress they may feel when using them. Updating your medical grade computers to ones with quality of life improvements such as smart card readers can also help. In the end, communication can make a huge difference in preventing occupational burnout.

medical computer safety

Keeping Your Hospital Safe From Hackers and Malware

Many of us seldom think about who—or what— is watching us as we browse the internet. Many websites make use of cookies, which are snippets of code that help keep track of data such as passwords or shopping cart items while you browse the site. While cookies are mostly harmless, similar technologies can be deployed to mine your personal data to gain access to your not only your personal, but work accounts. Keeping your and your staff’s personal data safe on hospital medical computers is crucial to preventing system-wide hacks that can lead to extortion, or worse.

How Do Hackers Infiltrate Medical Computer Networks?

While it’s fun to think of hackers as super-smart, leather trench coat wearing folks sitting behind multiple monitors smashing away at keyboards, the reality of hacking is that many hackers rely on their victim’s human errors. Phishing emails, short and easy-to-guess passwords, and outdated software can turn one medical computer on your network into a hacker’s playground.

 

  • Phishing emails are designed to appear as legitimate emails, often giving off the impression of being sent by a supervisor, IT, or even a friend. These emails typically give a long, contriving explanation as to why certain sensitive data needs to be sent to the phisher immediately. Users of medical computers who are not trained to detect such emails are lured into the false urgency of the email, and send off their personal information without thinking about who it is going to. 
  • There are many misconceptions about passwords, namely that having difficult, complex passwords is the best way to protect your data. While complexity is a factor of how hard a password is for hackers to guess, it often leads to personnel forgetting their passwords to their medical computers and having to constantly reset them.
  • Outdated software on your medical computers constitutes one of the easiest backdoors that hackers have into your network. Outdated software is susceptible due to hackers having more time to figure out how to hack into the software, and being able to use the same method across multiple medical computers.

 

What Damage Can Hackers Do To Medical Computer Networks?

Simply put: it’s a hacker’s world, we’re just living in it. Charles Henderson, global head of IBM’s hacking unit X-Force Red, took to the stage at this year’s Blackhat cybersecurity conference and hacked an ATM, turning it into a cash dispenser in just a few minutes. If a computer exists, it can be hacked and likewise, your medical computers can be hacked. But it’s not just medical computers either, even pacemakers or insulin pumps can be hacked by nefarious folk.

 

While the prospect of patient’s life saving apparatus suddenly being disabled by deviants is justifiably terrifying, most hackers aren’t out to cause such chaos. Instead, they are after one thing: money. Hackers have taken to infiltrating hospital’s medical computer networks, and locking down all files until a ransom is paid. This ransom takes form in the form of untraceable bitcoin, allowing for the hackers to make a clean getaway without ever having set foot in your hospital. Hancock Health was forced to pay hackers $55,000 in 2018 in order to re-access their files that hackers had encrypted and held for ransom. 

 

Preventing Medical Computer Hacking

It’s more than likely that your hospital would not like to pay hackers for access to your own medical computers. Preventing hackers from infiltrating your medical computer network is not as simple as we may like to think, but there are certain ways you can stay one step ahead of the dark web. 

  • Hold Trainings

The easiest way to prevent medical grade computer breaches is to train your medical staff to recognize the various ways that they are constantly under cyber-attack. Medical grade computers are hot-beds for attacks from all angles such as phishing. There are multiple courses, as well as DIY seminars that can teach your staff how to recognize phishing emails, and how to handle them properly. Never ask your staff for any personal information via email, and inform them that any such requests will take place in person. The urgency suggested by phishing emails may cause staff to panic and forget to check who is sending them such emails, but if they know that supervisors would never ask for such information via email they can handle the situation properly.

  • Better Passwords

Complex passwords are a good way of keeping your medical grade computers safe, but they lead to confusion and wasted time by staff trying to remember their logins. Try having your medical staff use passphrases to login to their medical grade computers instead. Passphrases are simply long, easy to remember sentences that staff can use as a password for their medical grade computer that would take a hacker literal centuries to crack. An example would be using “thisismygreatpasswordthaticanremember” instead of “password”.

  • Update Medical Grade Computer Software

If you haven’t updated your medical grade computer’s software in a while, the best time is yesterday. Medical grade computers have to run many different software packages, and while it may be a pain to keep every single one updated, it is crucial to your medical grade computer’s integrity.

 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to keeping your medical grade computer network safe. Only a trained and aware medical staff can help keep hacking risks to a minimum. Medical grade computers are only as capable as their users, and keeping your users informed is the best practice.

Medical Grade Computers for 24/7 Use

Medical Grade Computers for 24/7 Use

In the hospital setting, emergencies can happen at any time. Not only should your medical personnel be ready to do their job at a moment’s notice, but so too should your equipment. Making sure that your medical PCs are able to operate on a 24/7 basis may be crucial to providing care to patients in critical condition.

 

Medical PCs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all have key features that set them apart from commercial models. Firstly, medical PCs must be UL/IEC60601-1 certified for their electromagnetic leakage, which must be within safe levels for use around patients and medical equipment. Second, they should exhibit some level of dust and water resistance, as denoted by their IP rating. IP ratings vary, but medical PCs should at least be rated IP64, which denotes them as fully dust proof and resistant to water exposure and regular cleanings. Lastly, medical PCs should have an antimicrobial agent on their enclosure, which inhibits the growth of bacteria on the medical PC’s surface.

 

You may have noticed that the three key features of medical PCs do not include any metric for reliability. Reliability is not a standard in medical PC manufacturing, but is critical to ensuring that your hospital is able to provide safe and dependable care. Tangent’s lineup of medical PCs and medical all-in-one computers features PCs that are up to the challenge of a 24/7 work environment.

 

Hot Swap Batteries

We’ve all been there, phone at 5% and miles away from an outlet to charge it. In the medical setting, having your medical PC run out of battery while in use is simply not an option. Medical PCs on medical carts have to be plugged in when not in use to ensure that they have a full battery when they are needed, but this charging process requires the whole medical cart be put out of commision during charging. Medical PCs like the Medix E22B feature hot-swap batteries that can be charged on a separate docking station and swapped out with minimal disruption of service. Hot-swap batteries make medical carts infinitely more productive, allowing them to be in use 24/7.

Medical Computers

Uninterrupted Power Supply

While it is not fun to think about worst-case scenarios, it is critical to create plans for emergency situations. A power outage can greatly affect your hospital’s ability to perform live support. While all hospitals today feature generators or battery banks as a contingency, not putting unnecessary stress on these emergency systems is critical to ensuring their longevity. Medical PCs like the Medix C22 can be equipped with an emergency battery supply that allows the computer to function during power outages. Having your medical PCs not strain your emergency power system allows for greater assurance that power is being used where it is most critically required. Medical all-in-one computers with emergency power supplies allow medical personnel to work without fear of draining your power system.

 

Medical PCs are built to keep your hospital a safe and healthy environment to work in, but not every medical PC is built to be a reliable tool for your hospital. Choosing medical PCs with reliability features built in is a key way to ensure that your hospital can meet any emergency at any time.

Medical Computers Redundancy

Preparing Your Hospital For Hurricanes And Other Natural Disasters

While we tend not to think of worst case scenarios, it is important that we are prepared for them. Natural disasters are inherently unpredictable, and it is up to individuals and organizations to be prepared when disaster strikes. Unfortunately, we may not be as prepared as we would like to think. According to the National Health Security Preparedness Index, which measures health protections from numerous sources, the United States is not as adequately prepared for wide scale health emergencies as we should be. The Index rates the United States at a 6.7 out of 10, and while this score has increased from previous years, the rate at which it is growing is slowing. Worse, healthcare delivery was rated at a mere 4.9 out of 10. 

 

What Can Be Done?

In emergency situations, hospitals must be fully prepared to render aid to any and all affected. After all, communities cannot rebuild and return to normalcy when the populace is isn’t healthy. Ensuring that your hospital is ready for natural disasters is crucial to your community’s peace of mind. It is vital that doctors, nurses, and medical staff are able to be relied on in times of crisis, as their services are crucial to preventing natural disasters from turning into health crises. A recent study by American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) surveyed a group of 247 doctors and found that 93 percent believed their hospitals were not fully prepared to deal with large patient influxes due to disasters. Making sure that your medical personnel have the right equipment to handle large patient influxes such as those occurring in natural disasters is just as important.

 

Choosing The Right Equipment.

Disaster can strike at any time, and while hurricanes can be tracked, they cannot be stopped. It’s a fact that America’s power infrastructure is decaying, and relying on traditional wall outlets in an emergency could lead to serious medical consequences. Making sure your medical equipment can operate for extended periods without relying on the power grid is crucial to making sure your hospital is prepared for disasters.

 

Traditional desktop computers rely on external uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) for emergency power. These are fine, but require floor space and IT monitoring and setup, and cannot be moved in an emergency. Medical all-in-one PCs are touchscreen enabled computers that can feature hot-swap battery technology, allowing them to act as their own UPS. Tangent’s lineup of medical all-in-one PCs features PCs that are capable of running off battery power without being plugged into walls. This allows them to be mobile computers, going wherever they are needed. Medical Tablets are also battery operated, and just as capable as traditional computers. Medical Tablets can serve as on-the-go medical PCs in disaster scenarios, allowing doctors to treat and track numerous patients at a time. In search and rescue operations, medical tablets are portable enough to serve first responders without inhibiting their mission. Having medical tablets on standby is just one way to prepare your hospital for natural disasters.

 

Serving The Community.

A hospitals priority should be to serve the public’s health everyday, including days when disaster is unfolding. Allocating Medical all-in-one PCs and medical tablets are just two of the ways that your hospital can better prepare itself for the inevitable. 

 

Medical Grade Computer Monitor: What is the Meaning?

It may be surprising to hear, but calling a monitor “medical grade” isn’t just a marketing tactic. To be a medical monitor, the medical monitor must meet certain legal criteria that allows for the use of the term. These criteria, such as EN/IEC 60601-1 compliance, help keep both patients and doctors safe from workplace hazards. Other features are not legally required, but help maintain a safe and productive work environment in your hospital. These features range from bacteria resistance to touchscreen support, and provide medical personnel with quality of life improvements not found in commercial monitors. Medical monitors are designed specifically for use in the hospital, and their compliance with legal standards and catalogue of features help make them the best choice for hospitals. 

 

Safety Standards

In order to be sold as a medical monitor, a medical monitor must be compliant with the EN/IEC 60601-1 standard from the National Fire Protection Association Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99). The IEC 60601-1 standards are used widely across the globe to create electronics that are safe for use in the medical setting. The EN 60601-1 standards are extremely similar to their IEC counterparts, and function as north america’s variant of the code. These safety standards include rules that limit the amount of electrical leakage from medical monitors to 100 microamps, making them safe for use around patients. 

 

Alongside EN/IEC 60601-1 standards, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its own set of regulations that govern medical monitors. Under 510(k) regulations, medical monitors must be demonstrated to be as effective and safe as a medical monitor that is currently on the market. This set of regulations ensures that ineffective or otherwise low quality monitors are not available on the market as medical monitors, saving hospitals from potentially buying fraudulent medical monitors and harming patients in the process. Some commercial monitors are able to meet these standards, but they are not explicitly designed to do so and may not be as effective as a stand-in medical monitor over time. Commercial grade monitors also do not feature image accuracy software, which is critical for making diagnoses and in the surgery room.

 

Higher Image Accuracy

In the medical setting, computer monitors are not only used for displaying web pages and spreadsheets, but also for showing x-ray images and other diagnostic images. Having these images displayed as accurately as possible is critical to making accurate diagnoses and decisions for care. Experts are still debating on how many colors exactly the human eye can discern, but current estimates put the number around ten million. Tangent’s lineup of medical monitors can display 16.7 million colors, 50% more than is assumed we can currently see. So why have this many colors then? Having this range of color output options allows for greater accuracy matching an image’s true color makeup as the eye would normally see it as if it were printed out. This allows doctors and medical staff to make precise decisions when looking at images and have confidence in their judgement.

 

Most commercial monitors can meet this range of color output, however they do not possess the necessary control system to fully utilize it. Traditional commercial monitors have a manual color control system attached to their monitor normally labeled “brightness control.” While this manual system works fine for home and commercial use, it fails to be useful in the medical setting. Luminance levels vary depending on how long a monitor has been in use, with large shifts occurring from startup to being fully warmed up. If a commercial monitor were to be used in lieu of a medical monitor, one would have to manually adjust the brightness control constantly to maintain image accuracy, all without having a reference point. This would be like tuning a guitar string without knowing what note it is supposed to correspond to.

 

To avoid the discoloration associated with the variance of luminance levels across time, medical monitors today feature Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standards support. Medical monitors that utilize DICOM standards feature technology built into the monitor that actively changes luminance levels to best represent the image on screen as accurately as possible. This automated brightness control system is critical to the medical setting, as it allows for medical monitors to be used with confidence that they are displaying images accurately.

 

Bacteria and Disease Resistance

Diseases contracted in the medical setting, often referred to as nosocomial infections, are a massive concern for hospitals across the country. Not only are such infections a liability for the hospital, but they also go against the purpose of institutions designed to make people healthier. Limiting the spread of nosocomial diseases like MSRA superbugs is critical to hospitals, and therefore critical to medical monitor providers. Tangent’s medical monitors are designed with nosocomial infections in mind and are built to help combat these diseases. 

 

Tangent’s medical monitors feature an antimicrobial additive that is coated onto the monitor’s enclosure directly. This antimicrobial additive helps mitigate the growth of bacteria on the medical monitor’s surface, and thus prevents diseases from forming on the monitor. This is especially useful to Tangent’s medical monitors specifically, as they are fully touch screen enabled. This allows both doctors and nurses to quickly scan medical charts with their fingers without worrying about how many hands have touched the monitor that day. The medical monitors are also IP65 rated water resistant, meaning that it can be easily cleaned with normal cleaning products. The antimicrobial additive is waterproof as well, and will not come off with regular cleaning, making the entire medical monitor safe for regular cleaning. 

 

Medical Monitors: The Safe Choice

Not only do medical monitors meet the legal standards to be sold as medical monitors, they utilize vital features that make them ideal for the medical setting. Using medical monitors in your hospital ensures that patients and doctors are not experiencing abnormal levels of electrical leakage. They also perform critical image accuracy procedures to produce precise pictures on screen for diagnosis. Being touchscreen enabled, medical monitors’ antimicrobial enclosures are critical to helping prevent nosocomial infections. When it comes to the medical setting, it’s clear that medical monitors are necessary tool for safe and accurate computer usage.