medical computers

Mobile Phone vs Medical Tablet: What’s Best in Healthcare?

Technology you encounter at hospitals can be a tad confusing or funny at times. You see million dollar state-of-the-art scanners and treatment machines, but then you also see a doctor walk by with a 90s style pager clipped to their pocket.

 

The reason for this is that they both suit their purpose best. The most up-to-date scanners do a better job of identifying anomalies and areas of concern, and the old pagers have a longer battery life and better signal strength than cell phones can get in hospitals. You also see hospital staff roaming around with medical tablets more often than mobile phones, although one would think that mobile phones do just as much for cheaper.

 

However, there’s quite a bit of thought that goes into the tablets used by medical professionals.

Most standard mobile phones like the iPhone are created for general consumer use for normal daily activities like making calls, using the internet, or taking photos. Medical grade tablets are designed specifically for use in healthcare facilities.

 

For example, the Tangent Medix T13 has a magnesium chassis that makes it 33% lighter than aluminum and offers high impact resistance. The surface of the medical tablet is treated with an antimicrobial surface that prevents the growth and/or spread of infection and germs, and it also keeps the enclosure material from degrading over time. You’re not likely to see a feature like that on a regular mobile device. Mobile phones are also susceptible to water damage even from minor contact with it. The T13 medical tablet is rated at an IP65 level of protection from dust, water, or contaminant intrusion into the computer. Mobile phone design is meant to be sleek and aesthetically pleasing to the consumer eye, but without a good case and screen protector, they are not long for this world. Tangent’s medical tablets are constructed with a rugged design that has good grip and protected against vibration and shocks from short drops.

 

The internals of the devices also have quite a few notable differences. While a mobile device’s battery can be recharged within an hour or so, hospital staff simply can’t wait that long. Tangent’s T13 medical tablet has hot-swappable batteries that can be switched out while maintaining continuity in power. That is a huge thing for patient care, and a big reason why many still carry those old pagers to get quick notifications. If you know Apple, then you know that they don’t customize their product or allow for repairs, even replacing the battery when it’s bad.  Tangent enjoys offering accessories and options on their products that best suits the needs of their clients. On the outside, the T13 has a kickstand and a hand strap for easy mobility and visibility. Inside, they offer a barcode scanner and/or RFID for asset tracking or locating patients. The details make everything about a medical tablet, which is why medical facilities invest in what works best for them.

 

Medical tablets for sabitafions

Medical Tablets for Sanitation

Medical Tablets: Handheld and Sanitary Computer Solutions    

 

People tend to forget that public computers and touchscreens are prime breeding grounds for bacteria and infection. Just this week, a study done by a British newspaper, Metro, announced that they found gut and fecal bacteria on the touchscreen computers in all eight of the McDonald’s chain restaurants that they checked. The main bacteria found was coliform but the dangerous listeria bacteria was also found on some of the screens. The restaurant chain responded that the touchscreens are regularly cleaned, but how much stewardship and regulation goes into a restaurant’s computers cleanliness? There didn’t appear to be much foresight into how easily communicable germs and bacteria are.

It’s no small surprise that infection control is one of the top priorities within medical facilities. Any reputable hospital system has written and publicly published policies and procedures related to infection control for everything including computer equipment. An industrial panel PC from Tangent is the optimal choice for tackling the threat of infection. For example, the KW series panel PC is rated with an IP65 level of protection which precludes any sort of dust or contaminant ingress into the panel PC, and can also withstand direct water jets and cleaning solutions. The panel PC can be sprayed and wiped down an innumerable amount of times and never get damaged from it.

The industrial grade metal enclosure offers a rugged, corrosive resistant surface that is also treated with an antimicrobial coating to further protect patients and staff from the spread of infection. The inside of the panel PC also plays a large part in promoting cleanliness and durability. The computer operates entirely without fans or moving parts. Failures within a computer are often attributed to components that wear out. The Tangent panel PC requires less maintenance, has more uptime, and doesn’t blow any dust particles around.

Another feature that’s making panel PCs the new norm in medical facilities is their compact size and all-inclusiveness. Having no separate PC box or cabling drastically cuts down on the space needed. Keyboards and mice are notoriously hard to keep clean, so the option to cut them out of the equation is very possible and attractive with a Tangent panel PC. They are offered with 4-wire resistive touch or PCAP multi-touch screen to provide a range of functionality based on the client’s needs. Optional Intel Wireless AC-7260 and Bluetooth functionality also adds to the cord-cutting versatility of Tangent’s panel PC line.

Tangent took the extra step of ensuring that their medical tablets and industrial panel PCs are validated to be fully compliant with both Epic and Cerner applications, two of the biggest providers of health information technology solutions and services in the world. A lot of effort was put into creating a line of purpose built industrial panel PCs that would give medical practices powerful computing capabilities, ease-of-use, reliability, and to help avoid infection scares like with the fast food touchscreen fiasco. It’s a big enough scandal for a big name restaurant, but it would be catastrophic for a small health facility.

 

Invisible Threats

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.