Medical Computers

Medical Computers for Major Hospitals

When computers were first introduced into the medical setting, they were still something of a luxury. Today, computers are an invaluable tool for providing patients with safe, secure, and quick care. While there are many different types of computers, computers used in the medical setting should be medical computers.Tangent medical computers come in many variants, each designed to meet certain needs in the medical setting. 

Medical Computer
Medix KW 22 Medical Computer

All-In-One Computers

When it comes to versatility, Tangent’s line of all-in-one touchscreen medical computers are unbeaten. With VESA 75 standardized mounting, all-in-one touchscreen computers such as the Medix KW Series can be placed or mounted in any setting. The widescreen display of the Medix KW allows for more information to be available on screen at any given time, and the 4-wire resistive touchscreen ensures that you can access files with ease.

Tangent all-in-one touchscreen computers are Ul60601 certified, meeting rigorous medical safety standards. As a result, Tangent medical computers are antimicrobic, meaning that they prevent the growth of bacteria on their surfaces. The prevention of harmful pathogens like MRSA and Hepatitis from lingering on the computer screen allows doctors to focus more of their energy on their patients, and less on worrying about the medical computers aiding them.

Medical Computer
Medix E22B Medical Computer

Medical Cart Computers

When it comes to workstations on wheels and medical carts, medical cart computers offer the best mobility to power ratio. Like the all-in-one medical computer, medical cart computers from Tangent are UL60601 certified antimicrobic and sport responsive touch screens. However, models such as the Medix E22B medical computer feature hot-swappable batteries, and can run 24×7 without needing to wait for a charge. Simply swap out a dying battery for a fully charged one, and the Medix E33B is ready for the next eight hours.

Medical Tablet PC
Medix T13 Medical Tablet PC

Medical Tablet PCs

When you’re on the move through the hospital, Tangent medical tablet PCs ensure that you’ll be connected to all your patient’s information. Featuring a convenient carrying handle, the 

Medix T13 medical tablet is an incredibly portable tablet with a powerful 8th generation intel CPU. The Medix T13 comes equipped with an antimicrobial housing, hot-swap batteries, and a magnesium chassis that is 33% lighter than aluminum yet still delivers an impressively high strength-to-weight ratio. 

Tangent's Medical LCD Monitor
Tangent’s Medical LCD Monitor

Medical Monitors

When a room is fitted with an all-in-one PC but needs a secondary screen, medical monitors from Tangent play a critical role. The Touch Screen Medical LCD Monitor from Tangent provides a second full-touchscreen monitor to a medical computer, one that can be mounted on a point-of-care cart, desktop, or arm. The Touch Screen Medical LCD Monitor can fit either VESA 75 or VESA 100 mounts, allowing it to be placed in virtually any situation that it is needed. Just like the medical computer it is attached to, the Touch Screen Medical LCD Monitor from Tangent has an antimicrobial enclosure.

 

There is no one-size-fits-all medical computer that can complete every task, after all the operations of a medical cart are vastly different than that of the exam room. But with Tangent’s array of medical computers, you can be sure that all your hospital’s computing needs will be met. From all-in-one pcs to medical tablets, Tangent’s wide variety of available medical computers ensures that you have the right computer, at the right place, at the right time. 

antimicrobial computer

Antimicrobial Computers: Achieve Sanitation in Healthcare

While it is impossible to create a completely sterile hospital, mitigating the spread of germs is a must in any medical setting. The concentration of sick individuals in a hospital means that every surface is a potential breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The many surfaces of medical computers are no exception to this, and the need for doctors to go back and forth from patient to keyboard puts these surfaces at greater risk. That’s why all medical computers today are antimicrobial computers that halt the growth and spread of dangerous bacteria on their surfaces.

 

Antimicrobial computers are, simply put, computers that are treated to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on their surfaces. Manufacturers produce antimicrobial computers by coating the surfaces of the computer with an antimicrobial chemical that is harmful to microorganisms, but have no effect on humans. Some metals, such as copper and silver, exhibit natural antimicrobial properties and are used in certain areas for this property. However, when it comes to antimicrobial computers, coating their surfaces and screens with antimicrobial chemicals is the standard approach.

 

The International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC) has set out a series of guidelines known as IEC60601 for medical computers to abide by. In order for a medical computer to be sold in the United States, it must meet an altered version of the standards produced by the United States called UL60601. One of the key components of these guidelines is the requirement for computers used in the medical setting to be antimicrobial computers. There are many other requirements for an antimicrobial computer to be UL60601 certified, but the antimicrobial requirement is critical to driving down patient infection rates.

antimicrobial computers
Tangent’s Medix M24T Antimicrobial Computer

So where do you find UL60601 certified medical computers? At Tangent, our entire selection of medical computers not only meet all of the UL60601 guidelines, but also EIC60601  guidelines, and are IP certified water resistant. The M24T antimicrobial computer from Tangent meets both sets of guidelines, providing professional medical staff a safe, reliable desktop computer for the exam room. For on-the-go access or for medical carts, there is the Medix T-13 antimicrobial tablet from Tangent. The Medix T-13 features the same UL/EIC60601 certifications as the M24T in a small, portable tablet perfect for medical cart usage. 

 

Everyday, hospitals see a see a stream of patients flow in, and a seperate one flow out. A perfectly healthy person could enter a hospital, and leave with a disease carrying microorganism hitching a ride on them unknowingly. Halting the growth of these microorganisms is not only a matter of hospital safety, but a matter of public health. Antimicrobial computers from Tangent help reduce the likelihood of a sick patient spreading their illness to other patients by ensuring that when a doctor or other healthcare professional is helping a patient, they don’t have to worry about their computer becoming a breeding ground for germs. 

 

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Maintain a Healthy Workforce with Tangent

Promoting clean and sanitary work areas isn’t just incredibly impactful in medical settings. Illness costs US employers $530 billion per year in lost productivity, per a 2018 report from the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI).  Thomas Parry, IBI’s President says that the cost of poor health to employers is greater than the combined revenues of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, eBay and Adobe. Although illness and sick days are inevitable in a workforce, there are measures that businesses can take to mitigate the spread of germs and infection in their offices. Tangent offers several solutions to bolster healthy habits and reduce easily preventable ailments.

The L24 24” all-in-one desktop computer is the latest offering from Tangent’s business computer series. Being an all-in-one system already cuts down on cluttered desktop space and dust gathering on components and cables. Unlike most desktop computers, the all-in-one PC is treated with an antimicrobial coating that helps prevent the spread of bacteria and the growth of mold spores. The coating has the added benefit of preventing degradation of the plastic materials, giving the computer’s enclosure a longer life and the resilience to stand regular cleaning.  Speaking of cleaning, this all-in-one PC’s enclosure is also rated at an IP65 level of protection against water and dust intrusion. The screen can be sprayed with sanitizer and wiped down without any adverse effects. The L24 comes with both touch and non-touch screen models to best suit business needs. For those requiring touchscreen, the ability to thoroughly clean the screen is monumental to healthy utilization.

Businesses that prefer a traditional mouse and keyboard setup will also need antimicrobial protection and disinfection. For those use cases, Tangent offers antimicrobial, washable keyboards and mice. Most workplaces don’t give a second thought to all the bacteria, old food, and grime on these peripheral devices, but they can be the difference between a productive day or someone calling out. These antimicrobial treated items are an excellent complement to the L24 all-in-one PC.

If a business only has a few antimicrobial protected all-in-one systems deployed but wants to apply protection to their remaining systems, Tangent also has a solution for that. SmartShield is a spray that provides an invisible antimicrobial barrier on computers and components for up to 90 days. It’s easy to apply, eco-friendly, binds safely to any surface, and sets in 3-5 minutes. It’s a wonderful temporary work around until the organization can invest in fully protected all-in-one PC solutions that don’t need to be re-sprayed every few months. It’s quite brilliant how easy it is to prevent illness in an office setting simply by providing computer equipment that will combat infection. It’s an investment that will boost business productivity and have a healthier, happier workforce.

mini pc

Ports Ports Ports!

The Tangent E2 industrial mini PC is a literal lightweight at 4.6lbs and a petite 7.28″ x 7.75″ x 2.26″ frame, so it is shocking that there are over 21 input/output ports packed into it. Not only are they plentify, some are brightly colored for ease of use in the dark. Why in the world would one need that? For the many in-vehicle applications this like mini PC can offer, of course! From news vans, to stretch limos, to mobile clinics, the E2 can provide the computing power of a PC several times larger than it with the same reliability and performance. A limousine needs to be able to run both video and audio throughout its cavernous cabin while maintaining a sleek presentation that’s free of cables. A mobile clinic needs assured uptime and application speed to enter patient data.

A big consideration for in-vehicle computers is shock and vibration. Your standard off-the-shelf PC will clatter itself to death in a shaky car. Tangent’s industrial grade mini PCs have shock and vibration protection built into the enclosure and all the internals are purpose built to reduce movement. A solid state hard drive and the unique fanless casing ensure that there is no moving parts to break apart during operation. With stability precautions secured, the industrial PC can wow with its other capabilities. Two video ports provide for dual work monitors or flip-down entertainment monitors. Internet connectivity is achieved via an optional Intel wireless and bluetooth module and 2 wired LAN ports. Four USB ports offer connectivity for most any peripheral and the mic in/line out ports cover all the audio line needs. For serial components needing a solid and reliable connection, there are four DB9 Serial RS232 COM ports.

These industrial mini computers are no lightweight in terms of capability and utility. It’s a good thing that they are so durable and low maintenance. With their diminutive size, it’s easy tuck them away in tight vehicle cabin spaces without a worry about damage or having to fish them out for regular repairs. And with the varying types of power that can be encountered in a vehicle, Tangent made sure that the E-series mini PCs can be plugged into a wide range of voltages starting as low as 9 VDC and as high as 48 VDC. It really feels like they thought about all the variables involved with in-car computer applications and challenges.

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A Tablet to Fit Industrial Tasks

The job requirements for an industrial refinery’s quality control inspector are understandably  hefty. They are required to monitor mechanical works in progress and evaluate completed work to ensure compliance with applicable codes and safety standards. In their work day, they are often on-site reviewing and comparing mechanical drawings for code compliance and for requirements on piping, pressure valves or other hardware repairs. This is a challenging enough job from behind a desk, but quality control inspectors are expected to work outdoors and in inclement weather conditions, as well as to wear fire-retardant clothing and personal protective equipment such as steel-toe shoes, ear and eye protection. The hazardous environment of a refinery requires heavy precautions and experienced workers using the right tools to complete their job. As they need proper attire, inspectors also need similarly protected industrial grade computer equipment in their role.

With a hand-held industrial grade tablet computer, an inspector can actively pull up blueprints and requirements while looking at plant infrastructure, fabricated and welded parts, worker processes, take pictures of questionable or old pipe fittings, red flag components,  complete QA reports and sign off on work. The industrial grade quality of the tablet is important to ensure that it can hold up to the harsh environment, constant movement, and perform to the degree needed.

The Tangent R10 10” industrial tablet has a rugged exterior design that is tested to handily withstand drops of up to four feet. It has PCAP multi-touch, an IP65 rating to prevent water, dust, ash or other contaminant ingress into the computer, and is fanless to also prevent harmful internal buildup. The R10 goes above and beyond other tablets with an optional combo data input accessory that offers smart card, MSR, and fingerprint reader that can be extremely useful for quick and secure access. It also has F1 & F2 programmable keys for fast, and repeatable actions which is useful for an inspector to mark items as pass or not pass on a checklist, or switch between forms, applications or drawings.industrial tablet

This industrial grade tablet’s internal components can be customized to suit the performance and storage needs of its purpose, and it has an optional desk charging stand so the tablet can be used with a full size monitor in the office and immediate be on the go again. Utility, durability, and flexibility can make all the difference in the effectiveness of a quality control inspector, and that has a huge impact on the safety and compliance record of an industrial operation.

cardiac arrest medical monitoring

Every Minute Counts with Cardiac Arrest

When cardiac incidents occur in a hospital, every minute that passes can be a factor in whether the patient survives or not. According to Heart.org, in 2016, only about 25 percent of U.S. patients survived when their hearts stopped in a hospital. With how busy medical staff are and the amount of alerts going off all the time, it often happens that a crucial one goes unnoticed for some time. For many hospital systems, the answer to this is to employ Central Monitoring Units (CMU). A CMU consists of nurses and clinicians at a remote site that watch patient vital signs on a computer and call hospital staff if they notice potential emergency situations like the onset of ventricular tachycardia. The end goal is give front-line hospital staff notice of serious cardiac events an hour or more before they happen. This is a challenging objective since the process is heavily reliant on medical technicians to identify key signals from massive data streams on hundreds of patients. However, even the short amount of notice they are able to give has been life saving in many cases already.

Fast data analysis and response from a remote clinician is possible only with fast medical computers to aid their efforts. A medical grade computer like Tangent’s E24B offers the performance, safety, and uptime required for a crucial job of this nature. Its 24” monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 allows for many monitors and applications to be displayed clearly to the medical technician, and the projected capacitive touchscreen makes working between application screens quick and efficient. The medical computer has an impressive 32GB of available memory, solid state drives, and is powered by the latest in Intel Core technology. One can be assured that many applications will  run at once without freezing or crashing. Continuous operation is paramount for staff monitoring patient cardiac activity, and so the E24B computer is designed with 3x hot-swappable batteries in case of power outages or if the station needs to be moved.

Medical Computer CMU

Advances in artificial intelligence will be the next step in improving monitoring and identifying patients in danger, but the human component will likely always be necessary in that process. A trained technician is important for providing the expertise and experience to make a judgement call. AI may certainly attain a human level of aptitude for patient monitoring, but for now medical computers best shine as a reliable support and data gathering tool. With enough ingenuity and creative use of technology, hospitals will be able to push that 25% cardiac arrest survival rate up much higher.  

EHR and patient care ready

EHR and Patient Care Ready

Epic Systems is world-renowned for their electronic health records software, but their portfolio has expanded to do much more than just maintain records in the patient care space. They understandably have specific system requirements for successful use of all their powerful features. The recommended screen resolution on a system running Epic is 1920×1080 with at 24” widescreen flat panel screen. That is a bit of a jump from the 22” monitors people normally use. Epic has so much to display on the screen that smaller monitors will require scrolling to see the entire work window. They also recommend a sixth generation Intel processor and 8GB of memory. A strong processor and ample memory is necessary to run the application at full bore without any freezing or slowness. A computer running this software will often be in a clinical setting and needs to be of a high quality and safety standard. All these requirements added up together points to a need for a medical grade PC to adequately handle the job. Let’s explore why that is.

Epic Logo

Medical grade computers like Tangent’s Medix T24B are purpose built for medical environments running memory intensive applications that must have reliable and near-constant uptime. From the performance side, the T24B guarantees fast and consistent functionality with up to 32GB of memory and an Intel Core i7 processor. From a hardware perspective, three hot-swappable batteries allows for up to 10.5 hours of uninterrupted run time in case of a power outage. This medical grade computer matches Epic’s requirements perfectly with a 24” wide multi-touch screen and 1920×1080 resolution. Being a medical grade all-in-one panel PC makes it space efficient, sleek, and professional looking. Patient data is efficiently entered as they work with their care provider and they can see that quality equipment is used at the facility.

 

Medix T24B Medical Computer

A medical grade PC also needs to promote health and safety in a medical facility. After all, computers are touched all day long by many hands, and the last thing anyone needs is for germs and bacteria to propagate and spread there. Like the T24B, Tangent’s C24 medical grade panel PC has an antimicrobial additive baked into its housing to reduce the growth and spread of contagion. The enclosure is sealed with an IP65 rating so that it may be properly wiped down and sanitized. A third, and often forgotten, safety precaution is confirmed by the device’s medical 60601 certification. This indicates that the computer is protected from electrical frequency leakage, making it safe to be used in close proximity to a patient. Running an EHR software suite with a stellar reputation on a powerful medical grade computer with built-in uptime assurance is a sure-fire path to a successful practice and satisfied, safe patients.

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Coming of Age of a Medical Computer

Coming of Age of a Medical Computer

 

In the 1990s, the term “medical computer” didn’t mean much more than a PC in a doctor’s office, or computers set up specifically for order entry, medical database access, or patient surveys. The equipment itself wasn’t anything special or purpose built for the medical field. Nowadays, a medical grade computer is expected to provide clinical resources, constant uptime, and also protect patients and staff from the spread of infection. Mobile clinical carts use medical panel PCs for in-room patient care, staff use tablets to put in patient meal orders or pharmacy orders, and even the LCD monitors are of a certified medical grade.

 

Modern CDC guidelines require that medical computers be UL/IEC60601-1 certified after in-depth testing for safe use near patients, other medical equipment, and performance compliance. Antimicrobial coatings on medical computers have the capability to kill or inhibit the growth of microbes on their surface or surrounding environment. The antimicrobial agents are formulated for low toxicity, minimal environmental problems, and prolonged lifetime of the computer components the agent is applied to. Tangent’s medical computers are not only 60601 certified and antimicrobial, they are also IP rated to prevent ingress of water or contaminants. The Medix C24 medical computer has an IP65 front panel. It’s also loaded with I/O ports and mounting options so that it can be used for carts, arms, desktops, or anywhere it’s needed.

 

In addition to being suited to safety and sanitation needs, medical grade computers have to stay at the forefront of technological advances in order to serve ever-changing clinical requirements and advances. As soon as touchscreen technology became widely available, they started being integrated into medical devices and hospital workflows. Tangent’s M24T medical computer offers PCAP multi-touch, up to 32GB of memory, Intel Core processors, advanced graphics capabilities, and a built-in webcam. Why is a webcam important?  Telemedicine or “virtual visit” doctor appointments have become a popular alternative to in-person visits. Patients can conduct live video chats with a doctor 24-7 via web meetings. The M24T medical computer also has a UPS battery backup. If a doctor is meeting with a patient and the power goes out, the meeting can still proceed uninterrupted. Tangent’s computers are also validated to work well with popular EMR software packages like Cerner or Epic.

 

Medical computers have come a long way over the decades; they are safer, sturdier, more secure, and reliable than ever. Tangent’s industrial and medical PCs have far too many features to mention in one article, but they are all built to provide the most utility, versatility and value to its users.

 

Cerner Certified

Medical Computers Explained

Medical Computers Explained

 

Medical computers are constructed and tested to go above and beyond the capabilities, usage, and expected lifespan of standard consumer grade computer systems and components. They are purpose built for use in clinical environments where infection control, patient safety, durability, and uptime are of the utmost importance. Infection control is achieved and supported in a number of ways. Depending on the specific component, the plastics of a true medical computer will either be embedded with antimicrobial additives or treated with an antimicrobial coating on the exterior. This ensures many years of use and cleaning without any degradation of the computer’s antimicrobial properties. Thorough and frequent cleaning and disinfection is required for infection control in medical facilities, so medical computers must be protected from liquid and spray ingress. For that reason they are rated in accordance with the IEC standard 60529 for IP (or “Ingress Protection”). Medical computers are usually rated IP54 or higher, indicating that the enclosure is dust tight and rated to withstand water pressure to varying degrees. Another important measure for patient safety that is a required standard for medical computers is electric shock protection. The IEC 60601-1 is an international technical standard for the safety and required performance of medical electrical equipment. A medical device with this certification indicates that it is protected from electrical frequency leakage making it safe to be used in close proximity to a patient, and it is shielded as to not interfere with other sensitive medical equipment.

 

Medical Computer Variations

 

Medical Computers tend to fall into two main categories: all-in-one panel formats that are typically used on medical carts, arms or on a desk stand, and handheld tablets for lightweight, portable computing.

All-In-One-Medical-Computer
All-in-one medical computer
Medical Tablets
Medical Computer Tablets

All-in-one medical panel PCs come in a variety of screen sizes and features to suit the needs of a medical practice. Fanless operation, PCAP multi-touch touchscreens, hot-swappable batteries, smart card readers, and VESA standard mounting are popular features on such medical computers. Hot-swap batteries allow the workstation to run on batteries uninterrupted throughout the work day, and PCAP multi-touch provides a highly responsive touchscreen experience. Smart-card readers provide a fast and secure method for user identification and login. Medical panel computers are often offered with a fanless option which means lower power consumption, no buildup of dust in the computer, no dust particles being circulated, and no moving parts within the PC.

Medical grade tablets are built with very durable, rugged exteriors to protect against drops, and they are protected from damage resulting from shock and vibration.  They can range from very compact to relatively large, but are built with being lightweight in mind. Medical tablets can be equipped with many of the same features of the larger all-in-one panel PCs like barcode scanners, hot-swap batteries, and RFID, but offer a greater mobility for tasks that involve traveling amongst several locations. Many tablets can be fitted with hand straps or set into a docking station.

 

Methods for Selecting a Medical Computer Manufacturer

 

Once the decision to invest in medical computers is made, the next task is to select a manufacturer that not only can provide an appropriately catered and certified solution package, but will also partner to provide efficient and expert support along with excellent product warranties. Tangent’s innovative products have received numerous industry awards including Network Products’ Product Innovation Award, and has had Windows Magazine recommend their products. Tangent’s medical computers are validated by Cerner and are Epic compliant.

 Cerner

The demands of patient care and strict quality assurance regulations require medical computer systems to maintain continued uptimes far over anything consumer devices can offer, and they also require a computer vendor to be equally available. Tangent has service and sales offices located throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and China to provide support when and where they are needed.

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A Firewall for Your Finger Tips

A Firewall for Your Finger Tips

We spend quite a bit of time discussing sanitation on medical computers and monitors, but we’d be remiss to not center some of the spotlight on the computer component that not only provides access to the system but also experiences most of the physical contact: the keyboard. In medical environments, the main objective of their operations is to improve patient health, but equally scrutinized is a facility’s ability to protect their patient’s private health information. Though it seems like the most expendable of peripherals, a medical grade keyboard can actually prove to be a major asset in both of those goals.

Tangent’s newest anti-microbial medical keyboard, the MEDKYB-011,  sets out to safeguard patients from infection and from data breaches.  First on the list of sanitary measures is that the keyboard is treated with an antimicrobial additive to prevent the spread of germs and contaminants. The medical keyboard also comes equipped with a cleaning switch which allows you to cut the power to the keyboard and thoroughly clean a disinfect it without causing any damage. With many hands and fingers touching the keyboard every day, it’s key to have a durable, long-lasting, and germ-free product. I’ve turned over numerous keyboards and watched in disgust as years old food crumbs and dirt came tumbling out from between the keys. This is absolutely unacceptable in a hospital environment.

Anti-microbial protection and the ability to be washed is where most medical keyboards finish in terms of special features. The Tangent MEDKYB-011 medical keyboard comes with analytical software that can provide data that most compliance officers would do backflips to be able to obtain. Hospitals will be able to know what keyboard was cleaned, who cleaned it, and when it was last cleaned. This can be achieved through monitoring logins, or to be even more compliance assured, the medical keyboard has an optional biometric fingerprint reader to log users in. There is also an option to add OneSign Secure Walk-Away software to work in conjunction with the medical keyboard and computer cameras for more effective and assured protected health information (PHI) and avoid a number if HIPAA violations.  In hectic, shared workstation settings, it can easily happen that hospital staff don’t check to see if someone else logged into their computer since they left it. This can lead to them charting under the wrong provider ID or on the wrong patients’ record. Also, if a medical care provider had to walk away from a workstation in an emergency, a patient’s personal information is left up on the screen for anyone to copy down. It’s easy to see what a disaster that could turn into.

The Secure Walk-Away application provides user tracking to identify an authenticated user in front of the computer and will automatically lock the system upon their departure, providing instant re-authentication when they return. This saves on so much time and removes the stress of having to remember to log in and out of the workstation, which is huge for any care provider with an already stressful workload. Tangent looks at a hospital processes and pain points, and targets its products to improve medical user’s experience, enhance workflows, and protect patients. The best and most reliable technology goes into each offering, even into its medical keyboards.