Invisible Threats

Invisible Threats

Hospital equipment often is advertised as being antimicrobial, but how is it possible for a LCD monitor or tablet computer to ward off pathogens in a medical setting without being wiped down with disinfectants all the time? It seems odd for a collection of plastics and wires to promote any sort of health benefits, but medical advancements and information technology have long gone hand in hand. Antimicrobial additives can now be blended into plastic surfaces during the manufacturing process to provide lasting protection from microbes, harmful bacteria, mold, fungi and viruses. This minimizes the risk of the spread of infection, staining, smells, and material degradation. When you take into account that hospital associated infections have caused more than 100,000 deaths in the United States, it’s no wonder that great efforts are made to sterilize every surface possible.

Another benefit of antimicrobial plastic is that the additives have been tested to last for the expected lifetime of the treated product, like Tangent’s Medical LCD monitors. Once infused into plastic, antimicrobial additives don’t leech from the surface, cause discoloration or affect the clarity of the plastic. This ensures that the equipment can be confidently kept in medical spaces to keep patients safe for years without degrading the quality of the device. Every Tangent Touch Screen Medical LCD monitor comes factory treated with an antimicrobial additive to battle surface contamination. The 22” Medical LCD monitor also has an IP65 rated front panel, which means it’s rated as dust tight and protected against water projected from a nozzle. One doesn’t expect a random hose to be shooting water around a hospital, but strange things are known to happen. Actually, this provides a very beneficial added layer of cleanliness to the LCD monitor. The monitor can be easily cleaned and wiped down with no chance of damaging it’s internal components or adversely affecting its touch screen capabilities.  

Microbes and bacteria are a threat that is naked to the eye, and yet another invisible and potentially hazardous peril can arise from electronics in a medical setting. Before 1977, there was no standard for safety on medical equipment and electric shocks and shorts were commonplace. Since then the EN 60601-1 family of standards was developed. Its scope covers the safety, essential performance and electromagnetic compatibility of medical electrical equipment and related systems. Tangent’s Touch Screen Medical LCD is certified EN 60601 and is compliant with CDC guidelines. Painstaking measures are taken to ensure that these LCD monitors are safe, sanitary, and effective in a medical space. It’s VESA 75 mounting capability allows for affixing the LCD monitor to an arm, point-of-care cart, or stand.

Pair this sleek LCD monitor with one of Tangent’s antimicrobial, waterproof keyboards, and a rugged, fanless PC to truly experience a long-lasting, dependable, hygienic computer system. There is enough to worry about in a hospital settings without having to consider whether your computer components are making patients unwell or spreading dust and spores.

Medical LCD Monitors

Medical LCD Monitors

The CDC largely cites government agency regulations and the Spaulding Classification Scheme when determining recommendations for maintaining a safe medical environment regarding the cleanliness of equipment involved with or in the vicinity of treatment. In the early 90’s, OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration) enacted a standard called “Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens.” The intent was to eliminate or at least minimize occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. A major component of the standard is that all equipment, environmental, and working surfaces be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated with a disinfectant after contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. Another 90’s study expanded this and the Spaulding scheme by dividing noncritical environmental surfaces into housekeeping surfaces and medical equipment surfaces. Medical equipment surfaces, which includes computer equipment like medical LCD monitors, can become contaminated with infectious agents and contribute to the spread of pathogens. For this reason, it was noted that noncritical medical equipment surfaces should be disinfected with an EPA-registered low- or intermediate-level disinfectant.

 

With so many regulations, treatises, and recommendations in place, it’s very important to utilize equipment that will both keep patients safe and maintain a compliant standing. Medical LCD monitors are no exception to these rules. Not only is the Tangent 22” Medical LCD monitor EN60601-Certified to be compliant with CDC guidelines, it is also IP65 certified against water, dirt, and dust ingress. One could shoot low pressure water jets directly at the front panel of the unit and it would continue to function normally.

 

The medical LCD monitor can be cleaned, disinfected and wiped down without any threat of damaging internal components. The monitor is a true flat capacitive multi touch screen, which makes it capability to be so thoroughly washed and sanitized all the more impressive. Tangent also took into consideration that many surfaces are naturally a microbial and pathogenic cesspool, so they ensured that the casing of their medical LCD monitor is factory treated with an antimicrobial additive to battle surface contamination.

 

And since Tangent is so keen on being in line with standards, their medical LCD monitors are VESA 75 compliant for standard mounting to a number of things like a pivoting monitor arm or point-of-care cart. Other certifications the medical LCD monitors carry are FCC Class A, which classifies them as  a product marketed for commercial or industrial use, and CE certification, which indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). Compliance with regulatory measures are one of the highest priorities for Tangent on their medical LCD monitors and all of their other quality medical grade systems.  

Consumer Grade vs. Medical Grade Displays

The importance of selecting Medical Grade Displays for your Healthcare Application

Although there is a wide availability of display solutions to meet the demands of hospital and diagnostic requirements, not every solution can provide the quality, consistency, or longevity necessary for successful operation and patient satisfaction. Hospital staff often do a double take when they see the price tag for medical grade displays, and then the obvious question rears its head: what is the difference between consumer grade and high-end medical grade displays? While medical-grade displays are recognized for providing higher quality screens compared to to consumer-grade alternatives, advances in commercial off-the-shelf display technology paired along with lower prices have understandably drawn the attention of many health care professionals. Is there really a noticeable difference between the two? Much debate has surrounded the issue, but the answer comes down to a solid confirmation that, yes, there are discernible and important differences.  

 

For one, medical grade monitors display more colors, about one billion colors compared to the consumer version that displays maybe around 16 million at best. Although the human eye is limited in how many colors it can see, providing more colors allows for greater accuracy, and doctors and surgeons use precise coloration-based assertions in medical procedures or when making a diagnosis. A minute difference is shades can make all the difference.  Another major difference between medical and consumer grade displays is the automation of the backlighting system, also known as the luminosity. Medical displays have a closed-loop control circuit to maintain stable luminance from cold start to full operational temperature. A medical display’s automated system can continuously adjust the desired peak luminance several times a second. On a consumer grade monitor, one has to use the brightness control to adjust luminosity which is manually set without any reference to a correct level of luminance.  A commercial display requires an unreasonable amount of manual calibration to provide the same consistency of a medical display. Another point of distinction is that the average certified medical display’s life span is generally rated to be four times longer than that of consumer displays.

So when considering all the factors of longevity, automated luminosity, and brilliant accuracy, a medical grade display is still miles and away more beneficial and cost effective compared to a consumer grade display. Tangent offers a 22″ Medical LCD monitor featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen display with PCAP 2-point touch screen, IP65 front panel and an antimicrobial enclosure. This medical display is certified with the EN/IEC 60601-1 standard of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99), under which monitors used within a patient care vicinity can’t exceed leakage current levels of 100 microamps or more. With VESA 75 mounting, this 22″ Medical LCD display can easily be installed in a variety of healthcare environments and still maintain the quality and performance expected of a professional medical device. It’s very easy to be attracted to good prices and promises of quality, but true professional and health-oriented clients require the assurance and certified superiority of medical grade displays.