Tag Archives: medical grade tablets

Understanding the Unique Requirements for Medical Computers in a Hospital Setting

Hospitals gather a large population of infected individuals in one place, so it’s difficult to keep nosocomial infections from happening. That requires different standards for hospital operation and use of equipment. One of the largest reasons for hospital beds and rooms filling up is the invisible agent—microbes and bacteria that pass on unwanted viruses and pathogens that can quickly affect a small population. Since medical computers and devices operate with patient care in mind, careful consideration of a device’s build, materials, controlling software, and other factors must pass FDA regulations and meet necessary standards. Plus, medical care is not just a “part time” task. Hospitals operate on a round-the-clock schedule—a health-related disaster can strike at a moment’s notice, especially within an intensive care unit. These specific reasons why medical computers and devices are unique to the hospital environment are examined in detail here.

Medical Computers Need Antimicrobial Housings

Medical grade computers are built with either an antimicrobial coating sprayed onto the device post production or include an antimicrobial resin mixed into the plastic housing during manufacturing. But what exactly does that mean? Antimicrobial is an umbrella term that describes a range of abilities that disinfect and ward off growth of microorganisms, often times originating from bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasitical natures. The benefit of these medical computer builds is that even with passing microbes from surface to surface, the plastic housing of these medical computers discourages microbe growth. After multiple uses from several medical professionals, a computer built with antimicrobial plastics can still help prevent the spread of germs without constant disinfection. Recent news reports detail there was a bacterial outbreak at a nationally renowned hospital that infected ten patients, thankfully none of which were fatal. The patients were infants. An online report that detailed research into an Army ICU revealed MRSA bacteria living on keyboards, a problem that could have been alleviated with antimicrobial materials. It’s clear to see why medical computers require antimicrobial housing.

Medical Grade Computers Need to Meet Standards

One might ask what kind of regulations hardware and software might need for a hospital. A lot of consumer off-the-shelf products, both hardware and software, aren’t safe for patient and medical use. Consider what the implications could be using buggy software on a medical device! For that reason there are several rules, regulations, and standards for medical devices, some set by the International Electrotechnical Commission. One of the most accepted standards is the 60601-1 electrical and radiation standard, addressing verification, design methodology, risk / safety assessment for patients and staff, and other factors. It’s not possible to determine the total number of test cases for final revisions of hardware, which is why this standard is in place. Every revision this standard goes through brings significant changes to how medical grade computers and other devices must be built, often times focusing on the medical device’s operational distance to the patient. There are three distance classifications for the standard: B, BF, and CF. Type B operates near the patient, BF makes contact with the patient, and CF makes contact with a patient’s heart. Any medical device, whether in close vicinity or making contact with the patient, must meet the standards for safety. The FDA ensures medical grade computers and devices pass these standards for the safety of patients and the professionals that use them under the 510(k) regulation, requiring that manufacturers demonstrate their product is safe. There are a number of manufacturers that claim to have medical grade products, but haven’t actually been independently tested. Be sure to do your homework before any major hardware deployment.

Hospitals Need to Operate 24/7

Hospitals need to operate on a 24/7 timeline. Fortunately, the medical grade computers in question can operate with those time demands. It’s not just a matter of having a computer that’s always on—it’s a question of the computer’s internal components and if they’re intended to be on 24/7. For instance, many medical computers have an emergency back-up battery installed in order to remain functional during a power outage. Imagine if the power went out, all medical computers shut down, and all that patient data was lost! Even though most hospitals are equipped with backup generators, the seconds between a power outage and the generators coming online could result in massive data loss. Medical computers with hot swappable batteries eliminate the need to be reliant on an AC power source completely. These computers are powered by removable batteries and can provide up to 16 hours of run time before you need to exchange the batteries.

Medical grade computers cannot operate in the same manner that consumer-grade computers do; the implications of losing data, hardware malfunction, overheating, spread of germs, and other factors are far too great to sacrifice for patients. Plus, computers with moving parts are more likely to malfunction, especially under 24/7 operation.

One Must Consider the Application as Well

Even within a hospital, different departments have different needs. Operating rooms, labs, and ICU units are often sterile environments. In these environments,  a fanless medical computer would be required. To achieve fanless operation without overheating, these computers need to be built with specialized components that commercial grade manufacturers aren’t willing to invest in. The fanless operation prevents to spread of dust and germs through the air, which could be a major contamination concern in these high specialized areas.

In a perfect world, we’d be able to stop all nosocomial infections. For the world we live in, it’s important to use the right tools for hospital use to avoid spreading infection, keep patients safe, and operate at a moment’s notice without a high risk of failure. The published studies show that these are factors required by all hospitals to operate in the best manner possible.

5 Ways To Make Your Data Unhackable

In A Digital World, No Company Is Immune

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack wrecked havoc around the globe and highlighted the problems of cyber security in many industries. No country or industry was “left behind.” State institutions, telecoms companies, health care organizations, educational institutions, oil and gas companies, manufacturing across the world seized operations. Downtime, regress to pen-and-paper operations and panic – these are the takeaways of WannaCry for the majority of affected businesses.

Several issues have come to the forefront in the aftermath of the attack:

  • the use of the long-discontinued Windows XP across organizations
  • the lax attitude to software updates and data backups
  • the lack of proper security protocols

Fortune notes that “every company is a digital company now.” Every business nowadays relies on technology and the Internet for a variety of operations. Cloud is hosting a broad range of business operations from customer service to accounting. Once a company gains a digital footprint, it has a digital landscape to protect. One is inseparable from the other. Just like you protect the safe boxes in your office, you ought to protect the digital assets of your organization.

No organization is immune to cyber attacks. Small and medium-sized businesses might think they are not the priority targets, but reality says otherwise. SMBs are among the top targets for cyber criminals because they lag in cyber security, as compared to larger organizations. Additionally, SMBs present an easy entry point for attacks targeting their bigger partners, as was the case with Target.

Why Customer Data Protection Is Important

There are many reasons, but mainly due to – 1) legal liabilities, 2) brand reputation, 3) financial damage.

In the US, EU, and Asia, there are disparate, yet increasingly strict data protection regulations. Companies dealing with customer – or patient – private data are responsible for its privacy and security. Most known data breaches end up in administrative fines, audits and even revocation or suspension of license.

Once the data breach becomes known, customers seek to indemnify the damage of having their personal data compromised. Trust is broken, loyalty is undermined.

Brand damage usually goes beyond discontent customers. Lost contracts, mergers, and compromised partnerships can be enough to push an SMB out of business and cause a significant stock drop for large companies. Combined with the expenses associated with the downtime, breach investigation, and mitigation expenses, the cost of a data breach is an average of $4 million.

Must Do’s

1. OS and Software Updates

WannaCry outbreak once again highlighted the importance of timely patches and system updates. Many state institutions and businesses worldwide were reluctant to update from the discontinued Win XP to the newer Windows versions. Despite its convenience in many aspects, there are too many risks associated with running the outdated OS.

Windows 7, 8 and 10 can be set up to receive automatic updates and security patches from Microsoft. On the contrary, if uncontrolled updates are not in line with your company policy, your admins can control the updates.

Windows tablets, medical and enterprise class, allow remote administration, including the updates and fixes. Your admins can push OS and software updates remotely, overseeing the process for the entire fleet of your devices. This eliminates the pressure on the not-so-technically-savvy end users working with these devices.

Remote administration is an essential part of cybersecurity. Your admins can sandbox applications, disable apps store, webcam, microphone, or access to public Wi-Fi. They can black- and whitelist applications and connections.

Only Windows OS allows for such flexibility and advanced control over corporate devices, so business tablets and medical grade tablets powered by Windows offer the high-end security capabilities.

2. Secure Authentication

Advanced authentication is possible when software and hardware capabilities work together to ensure only authorized personnel can access the contents of the device.

BYOD does not provide the level of sophistication, ease of use and flexibility necessary to protect your corporate and customer data from unauthorized access.

Business tablets and medical tablets, as much as business all-in-one computers, incorporate the native Windows authentication features with security of RFID SSO, Smart and CAC card reader, biometric scanners and fingerprint readers.

Security must be robust but easy-to-use. When security is too difficult and time-consuming, the employees “forget” to adhere. Advanced authentication is indispensable under the circumstances. It allows you to enforce stringent protection and grant your employees the ease of use.

3. Safe Wi-Fi and Data Encryption

Data encryption is crucial in any cyber security strategy. Windows business tablets and medical tablets come with several USB ports, and support encryption of data on external hard drives. This means your workers can encrypt data on USB dongles and external hard drives directly from the tablet – fast, secure, simple.

Configuring your corporate devices to avoid connecting automatically to insecure public Wi-Fi is equally important. When access to corporate Wi-Fi is impossible, your business tablets will ensure your field workers are online due to advanced connectivity options. Supporting 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, GSM, CDMA, business tablets are not locked to any telecoms provider, so you can set up your payment plans and bandwidth the way you need it – not the way your locked device dictates.

4. User Management, Access Restriction

Restricting access to personal information (of your employees, customers, and partners) is essential to data protection. Employees who have no need to know should have no access to confidential data.

Likewise, administrators must be able to see who accesses what data, when, from where and what they do with it. They must be able to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. Windows remote management streamlines user administration – adding, removing users and privileges, setting up accounts and passwords.

Employee Left or Fired Access Not Terminated is a severe problem that often leads to compromise of corporate data. Eliminating ELOFANTs from your networks is another must-do.

Employees with privileged access must be able to use secure connections when outside of the office (VPN, end-to-end encryption, zero-knowledge cloud provider).

Of special note is, again, advanced authentication for employees traveling with corporate devices. Lost or stolen corporate laptops and personal smartphones often lead to data breaches. That is why business tablets come with advanced authentication mechanisms on the hardware and software level enforced by the remote location, lock and wipe capabilities.

5. Data Visibility and Control

According to Veritas and Vanson Bourne, 52% of corporate data is dark data. “Dark” is the data a company knows nothing about. Some of that data is business-critical, and its compromise brings liabilities. Some of it is obsolete, redundant or trivial. It means companies are spending large sums on maintaining cloud and on-premise data storage, 50% of which is clogged with the dark data.

The loss of data visibility is a grave issue:

  • 86% of ITs believe the clog of data increases the time it takes to respond to a cyber attack.
  • The average cost of storing 1PB of data per year is $5 million.
  • You spend 52% of your data storage budget on the data you know nothing about.
  • Worse yet, 41% of that budget goes to storing the data no one in your organization has touched in 3+ years.

BYOD and unregulated use of consumer applications (cloud, email, chat) contribute volumes to the problem. Employees treat corporate storage as personal, uploading terabytes of personal photos, videos, movies, and music files.

With corporate-controlled business tablets, your admins can regulate the storage, uploads, downloads, installations and file sharing, regaining visibility of your data and identifying data that can drive value.

To prevent your IT budget from becoming bloated and ineffective, you must regain visibility of and control over your data. Corporate-owned business tablets let you do that. BYOD does not.

Why Patients Want Telehealth – And How Providers Can Benefit From It

A recent study reveals how patients feel about telehealth. More than 50 million U.S. consumers are willing to switch to a provider that offers telehealth services. Notably, patients want telehealth for a broad scope of issues ranging from minor tasks like getting prescription refills to managing chronic conditions and as an alternative to late-night ER visits.

65% of consumers want their primary care physician to offer telehealth video calls, not emails, or phone calls. Notably, most patients do not wish to switch a PCP because they trust their physician, but 20% are willing to make the switch to get the service.

According to 2017 Consumer Telehealth Index [pdf], 67% of adult patients delay visits to doctors. The reasons are obvious – high costs of care and, most importantly, long time it takes to see a doctor or nurse. For most U.S. consumers living in a city, it takes 18.4 days on average from the day they make an appointment to the day they visit a doctor. Once in the office, the visit takes 120 minutes on average – 100 to get in, 20 to talk to the doctor.

Having trouble to squeeze the visit into a busy schedule, or hoping the problem would go away on its own contribute to the list of reasons Americans are reluctant to see a doctor.

The patients delay seeking care for serious health issues, not just minor ones. A third of delayed visits accounts for serious conditions that could have cost the payer and the provider significantly less had the initial visit to the doctor been timely. Late diagnosis translates into aggravated conditions and more expensive treatment.

Delayed visits for routine checks and minor issues – preventative exams, flu shots – can lead to equally serious ramifications.

Time, Location, and Cost Benefits of Telehealth

With the waiting time and the tediousness of getting a brick and mortar appointment with the doctor, consumers value the time-saving advantages of telehealth. The survey estimates that when using telehealth video conferences with their physicians, patients spend an average of 5 minutes waiting, and 8-10 minutes “seeing” the doctor.

The great convenience of being able to have a video conference with a doctor from home, office or while traveling has significant cost savings for the payers. Increasingly more health plans now cover telehealth at a lower cost than a typical visit to the doctor.

Interestingly, the U.S. adults report their concerns were resolved completely in 64% of in-office visits to the doctor, and in 85% of telehealth video calls. A separate study found repeat visits for the same conditions within two weeks were lower for telehealth than for office visits.

Areas Where Consumers Want Telehealth

Emergency Rooms. 20% of Americans are willing to have a video call as an alternative to the late-night ER visits. The Houston Fire Department’s ETHAN program is a telling example of how telehealth averts low-acuity ER visits, ambulance rides, and makes the work of ambulance teams more productive and fast.

Traditionally, ER is a place with long waiting lines, and high costs, for both provider and payer. ERs, on the other hand, are highly overloaded, which does not help increase productivity or reduce staff burnout.

Telehealth is a lower cost alternative to an ER visit. Timely video calls help avert low-acuity ER visits, decreasing the pressure on the emergency care facilities, and the cost of care for the provider and the patient.

Follow-up visits. With preventable readmissions being a pressing financial concern for the providers, reducing the readmission rate is critical. 52% of patients want to use video conferences with their doctors for post-discharge follow-up visits.

Telehealth helps doctors achieve a greater level of control over the post-discharge care, give timely reminders and identify serious symptoms on time. Likewise, patients are less stressed physically during a video call than a visit to the office. Patients enjoy greater control over their treatment and are more likely to adhere to recommendations than with the office visits.

Chronic conditions. 60% of adult Americans want to have regular video conferences with their physicians to help them manage a chronic condition. Chronic conditions’ cost is high for the provider and the payer. So, telehealth solutions for such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension make care more accessible for the patients.

Getting a prescription refill is particularly tedious. So, most patients want their PCP to be available for a video call to get their prescription refilled. Half of female respondents are willing to have routine birth control-related visits via video calls.

79% of respondents who care for an elderly relative would like to be able to participate in the video conferences with the doctor. They expressed the need to be more informed and involved in the treatment. The group conferences doctor-patient-caregiver have a great potential to improve outcomes.

What This Means for Providers

One of the key takeaways from HIMSS17 was the urgent need for a patient-centric approach. As patients get more choices, they will inevitably switch to providers and care plans that offer more for less money. Telehealth allows patients achieve that goal – get an accessible care in a convenient format for the same or lower cost.

Doctors, on the other hand, want telehealth because it lifts the burden. ER units are more focused on acute patients, with the rest diverted via telehealth. Physicians service more patients in less time with video calls rather than office visits.

Combine that with the ability to complete EHR documentation instantly, during the video visit, sign prescriptions, view medical images, and get live updates from remote patient monitoring devices. That way, a doctor minimizes the time spent on the EHR documentation after work (2-3 hours of uncompensated time daily).

The benefits of telehealth for minimizing preventable readmissions and improving outcomes are significant. As much as in-room infotainment systems, telehealth solutions offer many user-friendly formats for educational material.

Now that providers see the wisdom in investing in telehealth, it is vital to screen solutions carefully.

Providers are responsible for electronic patient health information (ePHI) privacy and security. They need to control the flow of confidential data to and from their systems. Therefore, advanced authentication and remote administration are a must. Windows medical tablets have a biometric reader, CAC/Smart Card, and RFID Imprivata SSO. Add in the Windows native authentication mechanism, end-to-end encryption for incoming and outgoing data, and you get a compliant and secure solution.

Bring Your Own Device is not the best fit for the task. A fleet of disparate operating systems, rooted Android and jailbroken iPhone devices, poor cyber security awareness, bad browsing and downloading habits mean there is very little a provider can do to protect ePHI.

The providers need a reliable solution with minimum investment and maximum output. Windows medical tablets offer high ROI. Most programs are designed for Windows primarily, so you don’t need to cripple a desktop program to squeeze it into a mobile operating system.

Windows medical tablets have legacy ports, USB mini and regular ports, and allow encrypting data on external drives. They can run EHR. Resources of a Windows medical tablet are far superior to those of a typical BYOD device. Multitasking and viewing medical images is a breeze with Intel 5th-gen Intel processors.

Add in full-shift uptime with durable batteries, or hot-swap batteries, MIL-STD components, antimicrobial coating, barcode reader and full disk imaging, and you get a durable powerhouse that lasts for years.

Despite the seemingly low initial cost of BYOD, the total cost grows exponentially when you need to deploy mobile-dependent healthcare solutions. Only medical grade tablets are capable of powering your clinical needs, providing the security, resources, and usability required by your staff.

Creating A Streamlined System Of Work & Communication Across A Variety Of Devices

A streamlined and efficient communication provides consistently high levels of performance of the modern, mobile workforce working in the field, on the go, on the manufacturing floor, or from home. In order to guarantee a streamlined system of work and communication within an organization, your employees must be on the same page. The lack of coherence and data synchronization may affect their efficiency. Coordinated actions are only possible through applications that centralize data and distribute it across a large variety of corporate mobile and stationary devices. Organizations across industries use efficient synergies of the mobile and rugged IT solutions to streamline their communication and workflow.

Benefits

  1. Open communicative environment. When employees and managers obtain a greater visibility into the company’s strategy, they understand how their individual goals fit into it. This understanding motivates and energizes employees to be more productive.
  2. Connect teams, enhance collaboration. Collaboration and collective brainstorms that engage remote teams to accelerate teamwork. Leaders timely communicate business strategies, teams easily seek out expert opinion inside the organization, no unit is cut out from the company’s environment, irrespective of the location.
  3. Optimize employee schedules. Minimize canceled jobs, lost time and missed opportunities by bringing the right people at the right time on any project.
  4. Employee engagement. People love gadgets, and with intuitive, easy-to-handle gadgets your employees will complete their reporting on the go. With online performance evaluation tools, managers can assess employee skills, identify whether more training is needed, or if certain employees would be more productive in a different department.
  5. Monitor business continuity, productivity. Enterprise productivity software solutions enable managers to track progress at every stage, engage immediate reinforcement, necessary coaching, or support to keep the deadlines on track.
  6. Monitor employee progress. Timely communication enables managers to track progress, alert employees to potential shortcomings, motivate, reward and encourage them.
  7. Analyze performance. Advanced reporting, operations analysis, predictive diagnostics help companies gain a deep understanding of inner processes, market trends, customer preferences, planning and operational flaws. Performance metrics, analytical and forecast reports help managers in redesigning deficient strategies. The growing trend in harnessing the Big Data is contributing immensely to the way companies make their forecasts.
  8. Boost cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is often viewed as a burden, but proactive industries are seeing it as a business enabler. Modern technologies enable a great level of data security through the adoption of the cloud solutions, full disk encryption, end-to-end data encryption, easy-to-use advanced user authentication with a biometric reader, CAC, smart card or RFID readers, user access controls, remote wiping.

How Streamlined Communication Improves Workflow

Emergency Responders

  • Video conferencing with first responders in the field.
  • Timely teams coordination.
  • Secure patient data transmission in real time.
  • Timely reinforcement dispatch.
  • Instant status reports, evidence collecting.
  • Secure and constant access to department network.

These and many other benefits stem from the use of rugged, medical-grade tablets running EHR, messengers, and other emergency back-end enterprise solutions.

Health Care

  • Persistent connection to the department network.
  • Telehealth, videoconferencing.
  • Decreased: paperwork, duplicate tests, errors.
  • Efficient medication dispensing, prescription management.

The use of EHR, Help, task management system, secure communication apps by doctors and nurses, RFID and barcode scanners in asset management and tracking streamline hospitals workflow and eliminates tedious manual data input.

Transportation, Pickup, and Delivery

  • Increased delivery speed with route optimization.
  • Mobile devices with RFID, barcode scanners for fast package scanning, deliveries recording, signature capturing to ensure proof of delivery.
  • Live updates on route changes, traffic situation, new delivery destinations.
  • Automated processing of shipment data to speed delivery.

Education

  • Productivity and teaching tools available on desktops as much as on tablets are effective tools for managing students and enhancing the learning process.
  • Replacing paper with technology for tests and textbooks.
  • Extensive planning programs, note taking, student engagement software.
  • Faster results processing and scoring.
  • Streamlined collaboration on assignments with to-do and teamwork apps.

Asset Management Across A Variety of Industries

  • Track and secure equipment on the move.
  • Monitor activities of high-value assets.
  • Improve inventory accuracy.
  • Reduce inventory tracking time and cost of service.
  • Optimize maintenance schedules.
  • Manage maintenance costs through time and cost tracking apps.
  • Reduce downtime.
  • Increase technician productivity.

To streamline the enterprise-wide communication, companies need to account for the following factors:

  1. Device’s ruggedness
    The majority of U.S. office workforce relies on technology for productivity, and field workforce is quickly catching up with the adoption of rugged tablets. Choosing the environment-appropriate form factor ensures your employees’ are connected at all times.
  2. IoT and legacy equipment compatibility
    To ensure your employees can access the data from relevant IoT devices and legacy equipment alike, ensure their desktop and mobile devices offer the compatibility options. Wired and wireless connectivity, legacy ports, HMI capabilities – better compatibility means more actionable data and processes that can be controlled remotely or automated.
  3. Application-device compatibility
    One of the key aspects of streamlined communication and a work in-sync is your desktop and mobile devices’ compatibility with your communication and productivity software. With the majority of desktops used across organizations being Windows-based, the mobile tablets running Windows provide the greatest compatibility levels as compared to other mobile platforms.
  4. Data security
    Increasing your employees’ access to corporate communication channels and data storage requires proper data protection and user authentication. So, accounting for the hardware-level capabilities for data protection (RFID, CAC, smart card, biometric readers, disk encryption) is necessary prior to the device purchase.
  5. Usability
    The usability affects whether your employees use their devices eagerly or only when pressed to do so. Devices must be easy to use and carry around. They can not be bulky, heavy, or require too much attention during use. Besides a compact form factor and mounting, transporting or carrying options, your devices must offer a familiar user interface to ensure minimal learning curve for the employees. Windows proves to be the optimum choice since its desktop and mobile versions offer the same user experience.
  6. Uptime
    The cloud has made it possible to sync and deliver data to employees in any location, but the remote employees don’t have access to the cloud when their devices are down. So, battery life is important. For desktop devices, internal backup battery guarantees your staff can save their work and shut down safely. Alternatively, Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability and hot-swappable batteries with a charging station ensure uptime during power outages. For rugged tablets, opt for solutions that offer extended battery life or hot-swappable batteries with a charging station.Another factor affecting uptime is devices’ failure rates. Organizations are seeing wisdom in deploying rugged tablets with low failure rates in harsh environments since downtime and replacement costs have ruled out consumer devices from the use in rugged environments.
  7. Remote access capability
    To streamline your operations, ensure data security and devices’ performance, your ITs must be able to access the corporate devices remotely, be it to manage user access, install software or OS updates, locate or wipe a lost or stolen device, or collect analytics.

Redefining Hospitals for Efficient and Effective Patient Care

Information extracted from a report submitted by Ricoh, intimated that approximately 74 percent of hospitals wielding the power of tablets, particularly medical tablets, to accumulate information, experience higher levels of efficiency, against those who don’t. Against the traditional form of collecting and storing information, patients are more susceptible or relaxed when healthcare providers prance about with their tablets or other mobile devices. Using tablets in a hospital is advantageous for all parties involved, but what about patients? How do they benefit through the use of tablets?

1.Diagnosis/ Medication Education

Quite too often, patients find it a challenge to decipher the elaborate and flowery medical terms conveyed by medical professionals. A tablet, in some cases, has proven to be a mini medical teacher.

What does that mean?

Promoting bedside-friendliness, some doctors were able to roll out their tablets to educate their patients on diagnosis and medications. This was corroborated when an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Henry Feldman, handy with his tablet device, provided a snappy tutorial to a patient on her hip joint.

Additionally, tablets were seen as ideal exhibition tools, as patients were able to peer at test results and images, including X-ray and Ultrasound results! This act got patients involved with what was happening to their bodies and could better clarify to others the gravity of their situation.

Furthermore, tablets are better able to provide education on a patient’s anatomy, which is otherwise difficult to digest. An image does a world of good and is readily assimilated into the patient’s mind. Using these devices to teach patients about their bodies is awe-inspiring. Against merely uttering a patient’s dilemma, showing them on tablets made a world of difference. They actually understood candidly what was portrayed on that small but powerful screen. The tablet is quite the educational, illustrative and instructional tool indeed!

2.Access to Medical History in Emergency Situations

A hospital is no place for loitering. Everyone is on the go, busy and taken up with health affairs. A tablet complements the hectic nature fostered at hospitals. They provide information while mobile and are seamless to carry around. Diametrically opposed to computers and laptops in extremely boisterous hospitals, tablets are a doctor’s best friend and tool to carry around. Conventionally equipped hospitals are rarely able to attest that tablets are ideal, as they’re more accustomed to desktops on rolling carts. This is certainly not the most efficient method, particularly in buzzing hospitals. A doctor needs to have their patient’s medical history on-hand in cases of emergencies. A desktop on a rolling cart just won’t do, especially in these critical situations. Waiting for an available desktop has proven prodigal and even lethal to the patient involved.

A tablet is the ideal solution to replace this predicament. Doctors are able to pull up a patient’s medical history on fly, wherever they’re situated in a hospital. Introducing the handheld is a dandy solution to replace the robust and cumbersome nature of desktops on rolling carts.

To add to the merits patients derive when tablets are used in their care, more time is spent rendering medical treatment, as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are accessed while doctors roam the halls. Once a doctor enters the room, treatment can be meted out, against spending time scanning through a patient’s medical history. That is absolutely more attention rendered to patients.

Tablets can also be used on rounds. Once new data is entered in the system, it fully synchronizes with the hospital’s EMR. Without a qualm, using tablets for pulling up medical histories have proven effective and saves precious time.

3.Less Risk of Overcharges

Implementing Electronic Health Records (EHR) cost hospitals a pretty penny – it is very expensive. However, if $300 or less is spent on a tablet and issued around the hospital to healthcare professionals, the cost is lessened substantially. In fact, there are companies pining to offer discounts to fully furnish hospitals with tablets.

4.Vast Availability of Apps

Thousands of medical apps are at the disposal of doctors and medical professionals. To be precise, over 97,000 medical apps are available at present, and can be accessed on major tablets such as Kindles, iPads and others. Thorough research can be conducted using these apps and readily available tools to improve existing processes and tasks.

Tablet usage is redefining how hospitals operate, and changing the way patients view healthcare.  As time marches on, experts predict that they will one day become as common as thermometers and the classic stethoscope.

The iPad Versus the Healthcare Industry: Security and Biometrics

The modern tablet has countless benefits for healthcare. Among them, Internet connectivity, interactive touch displays, and easy portability are some of the first that come to mind. With Apple’s introduction, over the past few years, of a fingerprint biometric scanner into their line of iPads, it might seem that the iPad is making a place for itself in the healthcare world. And for those of you working in healthcare outside of a hospital setting, that may even be true.

For hospitals and other medical facilities, however, the iPad’s rise is somewhat of an illusion, at least for now. Though the iPad provides some useful functionality for clinicians and other healthcare workers, it lacks many useful, if not crucial, features found in medical grade tablets like those of Cybernet’s CyberMed medical grade tablet line. Of these differences in features, some of the most substantial include:

  • No Antimicrobial Housing
  • Lack of Waterproofing
  • No Integrated Barcode Scanner
  • Consumer-grade Materials
  • Lack of Dedicated Medical Tools and Applications

 

Perhaps the most significant difference of all is the level of security each type of tablet provides. For a medical professional, the security of patient data and other sensitive information is critical. To ensure security, medical grade tablets offer a slew of proven and cutting-edge options. In this sense, the iPad’s adoption of a biometric security tool is a step in the right direction in terms of healthcare usability, though it’s still many steps away from becoming an acceptable medical tool.

Why Biometrics?

The value of biometric security in healthcare is in its usability. The convenience of technology like the fingerprint scanner is undeniable, especially compared to its older alternative: manual password input.

Passwords are not only difficult to input in a medical setting, but create a variety of other problems, from sanitary issues to the logistical problem of remembering and keeping track of, in many cases, over five unique passwords. In addition, these passwords should be, ideally, not written down, but remembered. The fact that passwords must be changed frequently to preserve their integrity only adds to the confusion.

In contrast to the many problems passwords present, biometric security allows near instantaneous access, without involving the user’s memory whatsoever. When this ease of use means even a slight increase in peace of mind in an already hectic environment, or time saved in situations where time may be of the essence, the difference is striking.

Apple’s Fingerprint Scanner

From point-of-view of view an average commercial consumer, Apple’s introduction of fingerprint scanning technology is cutting-edge. For healthcare professionals, however, the bar is already set much higher, with companies such as Imprivata actively developing medical grade fingerprint scanning technology.

Naturally, there is a significant difference between the security needed for a regular phone or tablet and that needed for a device containing sensitive patient information and access to prescription capabilities. A variety of detailed and purposefully crafted legislation exists with regards to technology standards and prescription medication, which Apple’s fingerprint scanner fails to satisfy all-around.

The ability for iPad users to enroll and re-enroll fingerprints also problematizes their use in a medical space. The true identity of the person operating the device becomes impossible to verify as users are able to re-enroll others’ fingerprints as their own. The fingerprint can then, essentially, belong to anyone, an issue which, for obvious reasons, invalidates the security benefit the fingerprint scanner initially provides.

Solutions to the identity problem exist in the form of third-party validated federated identities, but this feature should not be expected from Apple soon, if ever. Medical grade tablets, on the other hand, have the capability to provide all of these security features, in line with legislation, and many more.

RFID Reader and the Smart Card Reader

In addition to fingerprint scanning biometric technology, medical grade tablets, like those offered by Cybernet, also come with added security measures. If, for whatever reason, you are not able or not willing to use fingerprint scanning, or prefer to have added layers of protection, the RFID Reader and the Smart Card Reader technologies will suit your needs.

Both of these options provide lightning fast, low contact security solutions. Like the fingerprint scanner, these options replace the impracticality of passwords, and allow additional functionality in medical contexts. When wearing gloves, for example, the RFID Reader, which does not require the use of exposed hands, can ensure that authorized personnel are able to quickly access pertinent data, without compromising safety. The Smart Card reader provides similar functionality, though the applications extend far beyond these.

Overall, the iPad’s inferiority to medical grade tablets is unsurprising. The daily tablet use of regular consumers, whether in work or entertainment, differs greatly from that of on-the-job healthcare workers. And while Apple continues to dominate the consumer tablet market, Cybernet continues to develop tablets that cater beautifully to all of medicine’s needs.

How Medical Tablets Barcode Scanners Are Reducing Errors in Healthcare

Technology is dramatically changing health care as we know it. Patient care is improving. The speed in which medical decisions are being made about a patient’s care is quicker than ever. Electronic medical record (EMR) is making it easier for doctors and nurses to collaborate. As technology continues to fuel changes in the medical field, it should come as no surprise that new devices, designed specifically to enhance patient safety and simultaneously improve record-keeping accuracy, are emerging. Medical tablets that feature barcode scanners are one such piece of technology.

Here are a few ways they are benefitting hospitals.

BENEFIT 1: Reducing Admission Errors

Medical tablets that feature barcode scanners help improve the process of hospital admissions while keeping errors at bay. When a patient is admitted, a special wristband is printed out that features a barcode unique to that particular individual for that particular visit. A nurse can then easily scan the barcode using a barcode scanner on a medical grade tablet or attached to a desktop computer and begin recording information about the patient. This ensures there are no mistakes when recording pertinent information including the reason for admission, the room in which the patient is located, insurance and billing information, and the course of treatment, including supplies used and medications administered.

BENEFIT 2: Reducing Hospital Care Errors

Patients don’t always have the same doctor or nurse caring for them. With many hands involved in the process, without a system that recognizes what medication needs to be administered and what was given previously, errors are inevitable.  Using a medical tablet with a barcode system eliminates these types of errors.

When a nurse scans the medication and the patient’s wristband, the barcode software knows the proper amount that needs to be administered. If the wrong patient is scanned, then the medication cannot be dispensed. In the past, without a safeguard in place, a patient might have received incorrect medication.

Here are other problems that medical grade tablets with barcode scanners eliminate:

  • Misinterpretations of a patient’s chart
  • Incomplete or improper transcriptions
  • Faulty dose checking
  • Communication breakdowns
  • Adverse effects between different medicines

BENEFIT 3: Reducing Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacies play a vital role in improving the health of patients. Pharmacies can’t afford to make mistakes when people’s lives hang in the balance. With a barcode scanner, the information is uploaded the patient’s EMR. The pharmacist ensures the medication has a barcode before it leaves the pharmacy and makes its way to the nurse in charge.

The doctor decides the right level of medication and the pharmacy knows the correct amount to administer. Communication between doctor, nurse and pharmacy are in sync because the system updates so that any health professional using a medical tablet can easily access the information as it’s needed, in real time.

Without a barcode scanner in place, other problems can also potentially arise, including drug- stocking problems and a lack of standardization, which is critical for ensuring incorrect dosages don’t happen.

As technology continues to improve, it’s now more important than ever to be at the forefront of the latest technological advances in the medical field.  Medical grade tablets that feature barcode scanners will continue to improve patient care as we know it, including reducing errors. This means less indecisiveness and quicker decisions will be made because information will be more readily available – and accessible. The end result will be better record-keeping and patient care.

Differences Between a Regular Tablet and a Medical Grade Tablet

Technological advancements have changed our lives in numerous ways. A cleverly invented piece of technology that is increasing in popularity by leaps and bounds is the tablet. These devices have come into our lives, improving and increasing our productivity levels in ways we never dreamed possible even 5 years ago. What’s more, they have found their way into various specialized – and highly technical – industries. Regardless of the industry a tablet is being used in, the underlying technology remains the same. It’s important to note, however, that there are a variety of options available (depending on the manufacturer) that make them more practical for a particular industry.

The medical field has embraced the power of tablets and as a result, is improving the quality of patient care while increasing efficiency in the process. Here are a few ways medical grade tablets differ from the wide variety of consumer tablets available on the market today.

The core of medical grade tablets is pretty similar to regular consumer tablets. There are, however, some key differences that make these tablets hospital friendly.

One of the most important differences is that the medical grade tablets have an antimicrobial layer of protection. This reduces the transmission of germs and other microbes that can easily spread in a medical setting.

Other hardware differences include:

  • Integrated barcode scanners, which are useful for things like organizing hospital inventory and quickly logging patient date.
  • RFID readers, which ensure data stays secure also used to scan patient armbands and medications.
  • Smart card readers, which also offer a secure way of storing and reading patient’s data.
  • An external handle makes for easy carrying and reduces the risk of accidental drops.
  • A rigid aluminum outside case adds a layer of protection to the already shockproof and waterproof tablet. Tablets can be cleaned regularly without compromising performance.
  • A fanless tablet design minimizes the dispersal of unsterile matter into a sterile environment.
  • High performance batteries ensure uninterrupted operation throughout a work shift.
  • A multi-touch display allows the end user to keep gloves on while working with a patient.
  • Even though some regular tablets are compatible with various styluses, medical tablets are always equipped with one. This is important since it allows doctors and nurses to take notes immediately, as they are examining patients.

 

Medical tablets are revolutionizing healthcare as we know it.  They are helping doctors and nurses provide a higher quality of care while improving patient safety and satisfaction along the way.  They are minimizing errors and making it easier than ever for collaboration amongst doctors in different medical departments.

The first iPad was released five years ago and in the time since, it has changed the way we access information on a mobile level. With technology always improving, the next five years will introduce a time of seamless mobile integration that benefits both patients and healthcare professionals alike.

Advancing Technology: 3 Reasons Why Your Next Medical PC Should Be Waterproof

Computers have become ubiquitous in the professional arena – and particularly in the healthcare industry. Medical grade PCs are relied upon to process EMR software and patient cases in an efficient manner. Given the demands of the hospital environment, it’s becomes imperative for administrators to purchase devices that are able to withstand the unpredictable incidents that crop up on a daily basis. The only way for you to guarantee that the device you purchase responds to the mercurial nature of the hospital environment is to purchase a waterproof medical computer

There are three reasons why these instruments are ideal as far as meeting medical needs are concerned. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Medical Grade PCs in a Sterile Environment
The nature of the hospital routine requires professionals to keep a pristine working environment at all times. Ensuring that hygiene levels are maintained at optimum levels reduces the possibility of infections and diseases from occurring. A prototypical computing device cannot withstand the frequent washes that hospital instruments go through for sanitary purposes. The CDC strongly encourages the use of liquid disinfectants for thorough cleansing of medical equipment deployed in near-patient medical settings. Waterproof computers can easily be cleaned to adhere to hospital standards without sustaining any damage to its components.

Exposure to Liquids
The hectic pace that is inherent in the medical professional’s routine means that accidents will inevitably occur. The rush to treat patients will expose the tools that a professional uses to damp, wet environments. Liquid spills are par for the course in hospitals and you cannot afford to compromise your devices in the event that this happens. A computer that shuts down in the middle of a critical operation can be disastrous for the surgeon and the entire hospital. By purchasing a waterproof, medical PC, you get to address the inevitability of accidents, using a device in damp environments, and liquid spills in one fell swoop.

Cost Efficiency and Reliability
At the end of the day, medical professionals cannot afford to have a device that gives up on them in the middle of a critical patient case. Waterproof PCs are reliable and that is exactly what doctors, nurses, and hospital staff members need to save as many lives as they can. The staying power of these devices makes them ideal for handling tasks for long stretches of time. You can expect to work on a waterproof PC for up to 11 hours on a single charge cycle. This is a great boon for nurses and doctors who are working on a single case for protracted durations daily.

Conclusion
The ability of waterproof, medical grade tablets and PC’s to adhere to the demands of a sterile environment, survive exposure to liquids, and function for long hours makes the ideal device for the hospital environments. The choice is clear. If you want to preserve your professional interests and save money, purchasing a waterproof medical PC is your best bet.

The Cybernet Advantage
Cybernet manufactures affordable, ergonomic all-in-one computers that respond to a host of requirements. Our all-in-one computers manufactured are also bundled with additional features such as antibacterial fortification for deployment in medical schools, ingress protection marking for use in mechanical engineering laboratories, internal battery provision for field experiments, and fanless design for surgical simulation environments. Learn more about how Cybernet’s all-in-one computers can help your organization combat modern-day technological challenges, and further the mission of your particular industry at www.cybernet.us.