Tag Archives: medical LCD monitor

What Makes Medical-Grade Monitors Different from Commercial Monitors?

Computer monitors have become an integral part of our lives, not only at home and work, but in every facet of society today. You see them at the grocery store checkout line when the clerks scan your food, at the gas station pumps when you fill your tank, and even at parking kiosks to scan your ticket when you go out for the evening. We’re surrounded by screens and monitors, and that saturation extends into the medical field as well.

Hospitals and similar care providers use computers as a matter of course, and that means medical-grade monitors to provide display screens for PCs. They’re ubiquitous in most healthcare facilities — one to a bed in many cases, plus additional units in operating rooms, nurse’s stations, and the like — and with the advent of electronic medical records (EMR) and similar software, they’re becoming more important than ever. Modern facilities absolutely depend on them for relaying important information to healthcare providers and coordinating efforts throughout often complex organizations.

Yet medical facilities have different needs than commercial endeavors, and a simple out-of-the box monitor won’t be able to meet them properly. There are some distinct differences that medical LCD monitors offer that set them apart, and help ensure that a given hospital or similar facility operates at maximum efficiency.

Specific Imaging Needs for a Medical Environment

Imaging information is vital to medical care. Common procedures often require detailed imaging for things like X-rays and endoscopies, allowing doctors to make an accurate assessment of the patient’s condition and offer an informed diagnosis. A commercial-grade 4K monitor can usually provide such accuracy, but hospitals and medical facilities often require more than just sharp images, and a commercial monitor simply can’t account for such needs.

For instance, operating rooms have overhead lights that can create severe glare and limit a physicians’ ability to see the information they need on the screen. That can be devastating in circumstances where time is a factor or where hands might not be free to make the needed adjustments to the screen position. A medical-grade monitor can correct that issue with anti-glare and anti-reflective properties, which allow you to perceive the screen accurately without having to deal with glare from nearby lights.

Furthermore, medical staff don’t always have the luxury of privacy when viewing on-screen records. Information and diagnoses sometimes need to be made in places where sensitive information can easily be viewed by people without the proper credentials, such as when a doctor or nurse accesses a monitor mounted near a patient’s bed. The patient — or even visiting friends and relatives — can inadvertently get a look at private files in such circumstances. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) can levy large fines for breaches in privacy, even when they are inadvertent.

Here, too, a good medical monitor can provide vital assistance. A privacy filter can be embedded directly into the device, which effectively “blacks out” the information for those looking at the screen from an angle (in other words, anyone expect the person directly using the medical computer). That allows doctors and nurses to examine whatever records they need wherever they need them, without worrying about the wrong set of eyes gaining a side glance.

Medical Monitors are Safe and Hygienic

The number-one concern for any piece of hardware in a hospital setting is whether it’s safe for use around patients. That means that it doesn’t emit radiation or similarly harmful energy, which can affect not only the patient’s health but the operation of other key pieces of equipment too. For example, X-ray machines need to be certified so that they don’t emit harmful radiation that could harm patients or staff members. Medical monitors need to be subject to the same standards. UL/IEC 60601-1 certification (or the European equivalent, EN 60601-1) means that the monitor is safe for near-patient use and won’t disrupt other medical equipment while it works.

Furthermore, germs and bacteria can spread as staff members handle the screen and adjust the controls. Nosocomial infections — those created in and spreading through medical facilities — are an important concern for any healthcare organizations. Yet cleaning monitors of any sort can be tricky, since liquid can quickly turn the unit into a large paperweight. That causes problems if you need to use a liquid cleanser to disinfect the surface. Ideally, any monitor you use will be IP65 certified, which means it’s protected against liquids and can be properly cleaned without damaging it. In addition, look for units with an anti-microbial housing, which repels germs and keeps the hardware clean in a hospital setting.

Touchscreen Technology Make LCD Monitors Easy to Use

The growing use of EMRs and similar software means that more and more more data can be summoned and cross-referenced directly on the screen. Medical professionals need to be able to access such information quickly, and touchscreen technology allows users to control the data simply by swiping their fingers across it.

More specifically, touchscreens can eliminate the need for keyboards and mouse controls, which means a less cluttered work space and a reduction in cumbersome (and sometimes even dangerous) cables. It also means fewer devices for IT to maintain as well as fewer devices that can spread germs. That can be invaluable in busy hospital settings, especially with medical cart computers and workstations on wheels, which benefit from a reduction in cable clutter. In addition, screens that use PCAP (projected capacitive) technology can be used with surgical gloves without issue. PCAP technology also allows for pinch-zooming and two-finger swiping, letting you access the information you need without a lot of awkward fumbling.

 

Cybernet Manufacturing offers dedicated medical-grade monitors to go along with their line of hospital computers. If you’re in the market, contact us today for more information!

medical grade PCs

Extending the Life of Medical Equipment with Medical Grade PCs

The IT challenges and needs for a healthcare facility are far different than those of a traditional enterprise. Mobility, EMR compatibility, 24/7 operability as well as the need to mitigate the transfer of germs and disease must all be factored in. But even within the healthcare space, needs can vary tremendously. Consider the differences between a hospital in a large metropolitan area vs. a hospital in a rural area. In a lot of rural areas, medical facilities don’t have the luxury of large budgets or the ability to upgrade medical equipment as regularly as a larger hospital in a more densely populated area might have. Extending the life of that machinery in a cost efficient manner is vital for these types of facilities in order to provide the very best in patient care without breaking the bank.

A customer of ours recently reached out to us to let us know how they have managed to extend the life of their mobile x-ray units by integrating a medical grade computer. Their solution turned out to be a stroke of genius, and allowed their facility to move from the analog age into the digital age.

Mobility Matters in Medical Grade Computing

Our customer employed mobile x-ray units in rural areas that needed medical grade computers for control. Consumer-grade computers wouldn’t have fit the bill—carrying around a heavily-wired computer and monitor would have been insufficient and cumbersome for medical staff, so they used medical-grade PCs with hot swappable battery functionality.  With a full 16 hours of uptime running on batteries, the staff didn’t need to connect to AC power while using their mobile x-ray medical devices with the medical grade computers. Plus, there’s no downtime with computers featuring hot swappable battery technology ensuring constant healthcare. Internet connectivity is also a concern. In rural areas, internet accessibility isn’t the best which calls for a different type of wireless capability. Many mobile computers are equipped with 3 and 4G wireless technology, so even in the most distant of places medical staff can send patient data to the hospital for review if need be.

Using Surgical Grade Monitors to Enter the Digital Age

Our customer was able to connect the surgical grade monitors to the mobile x-ray devices and get an instant x-ray result on the medical computer’s touch screen. Older technologies required large film emulsion plates that took hours to process within a dark room—that obviously isn’t a mobile solution. With an instant x-ray, our customer was able to zoom in on the patient’s affected area in question and diagnose patients. Instead of having to travel several miles to a distant hospital, wait for an x-ray, process the film, and then have a doctor review the x-rays, it’s done instantly on site so the hospital doesn’t need to purchase expensive and bulky film slates for x-rays. When patient mobility is reduced, it’s up to the medical staff to transport what’s needed in the most crucial times of patient healthcare. Our provided solution fit the needs for our customer and their patients.

Medical Devices in Healthcare IT Aren’t Cheap

Our customer needed a medical grade computer that interfaced with the mobile x-ray machines without a significant price tag. Older medical devices use a serial RS-232 port, which is a legacy port not often found on consumer-grade computers. The option to upgrade to a newer set of x-ray machines wasn’t available with average prices for them ranging well over 100 thousand. In acquiring the medical grade computers, they saved crucial business funds to focus on traveling to patients with hampered mobility.

Medical Computers That Also Meet Certifications

The medical grade computers our customer used weren’t just capable of interfacing with x-ray machines for medical staff use. The computers they purchased had a full spectrum of patient safety in mind, starting with an antimicrobial plastic that inhibited the spread and growth of microorganisms. These mobile computers with the hot swappable battery function were fanless and used internal solid state drives to prevent spreading dust and germs. They also met FDA standards for patient safety with a 60601-1 certification to protect patients from electrical and radiation-related hazards.

Online sources report that 80 rural hospitals have seen closures since 2010 and approximately 600 are suffering financially, numbers likely because patients and hospitals lack mobility. These computers helped the lives of people and kept hospital doors open. There are reasons beyond mobility, however, that prompted our customer to purchase these computers—they’re medically certified for hospital and patient room use. Consumer-grade PCs don’t measure up to the standard that these computers meet! Our customer was satisfied with their purchase of these computers with the hot swappable battery function, the instant x-ray feedback, and the medical certifications to protect patients.