Tag Archives: rugged tablets

Data Corruption in Hospitals

How to Avoid Data Corruption in Hospitals: Prevention Starts with Awareness

Technology in any industry is always subject to Murphy’s Law; if a problem can arise, it will. That’s the lay of the land in tech, and there’s no avoiding it. However, awareness of data corruption in hospitals and being prepared with the right hardware helps any facility combat whatever technological mishaps might come around the corner, whether it’s mishandling equipment, faulty machinery, cybersecurity threats, drive failure in medical grade computers, or even an individual accessing the wrong data. Patient information is on the rise for the black market and is considered more “valuable” than credit card numbers. Individuals can access past healthcare records and use patient information to order medicine—which can lead to a host of other problems. In order to minimize these problems, it starts with awareness. Beyond that, here’s what’s in place to ensure data corruption in hospitals and cybersecurity breaches are kept to a minimum.

RAID Array

Redundancy is one of the primary keys to keeping data alive, especially in a highly mobile environment where hardware can (and will be) mishandled. Granted solid state drives have been more reliable in the past because of fewer moving parts, but it’s important to have redundancy in medical grade computers regardless of drive condition or health. Dual solid state drives are a necessity to avoid data corruption in hospitals. If a drive fails, the secondary drive is available to copy to a replacement drive during downtime windows. Plus, solid state is a technology that doesn’t require defragmentation management—maintenance doesn’t have to run defragmentation software to pull computers out of commission. Using this technology keeps data throughput high, time on medical grade computer maintenance low, computer profiles slimmer, and patient records more secure.

Auto-Shut Down with Hot-Swappable Batteries

Mobile environment computers can’t compromise with stationary power or faulty batteries. The wrong battery-powered tablet might shut off immediately on low power instead of auto-saving work and shutting down. A computer plugged into a wall outlet can potentially turn into a tripping hazard, especially if the machine needs to be relocated around patients. And if someone actually does trip and pull the plug out of the outlet, and unexpected system shutdown can cause data corruption in hospitals and their integrated systems, unless those systems are equipped with redundancy power systems or are battery powered “hot swap” computers. These medical grade computers are designed to run on multiple Lithium-Ion batteries that can be swapped out while the computer is still running. Alerts will notify a user when battery power is below a certain threshold and can even initiate a system shutdown before complete power loss to avoid any system corruption. Over time, the efficacy of a Lithium-Ion battery will wear down as will any rechargeable battery, and eventually must be replaced. However, having extra batteries on hand will ensure power downtime will be virtually timeless.

Cybersecurity as an Utmost in Importance

The wireless data transmissions of a hospital are constant, transferring files between several computers at high speeds. That’s why a lot of systems operate with Intel-certified WiFi and Bluetooth wireless modules so data transmissions run with more secure wireless transmissions. It’s important to have the best hardware to ensure data bouncing between mobile environment computers stays intact. As before, data transmission is never perfect, but using the best technology available to healthcare professionals ensures top encryption for wireless file transmissions. If data is ever captured for use outside the medical environment, encryption ensures that it can’t be read for any purpose, whether malicious or not.

There’s Always the Human Element

Data corruption in hospitals can happen with something we’re all prone to—accidental dropping and damage. It’s important to have data storage shock-mounted in case of these slight mishaps, but, as before, mobile environment computers often have a secondary layer of protection against accidental damage using a RAID array for storage. Even if there’s significant damage to storage on a mobile environment computer, data redundancy is ensured so loss is kept at a low rate of chance. Solid state drives have improved security benefits over older platter drives—without moving parts, drive information is less prone to loss because of better manufacturing trends. To put simply: we all drop things and that causes damage. Solid state drives break less.

The good news is that Cybernet’s medical grade computers offer all of these features. These computers are built from the ground up with several real-world aspects in mind, data corruption being one of them. Take a look at what we have to customize for your medical staff needs and put us to the test. Combining higher-quality manufacturing for solid state drives, higher encryption with Intel-certified WiFi/Bluetooth modules, and never-off, hot-swappable Lithium-Ion batteries, Cybernet’s computers are prime for the medical environment, boasting a less than 2% failure rate in real world application.

Why Industrial Computers Are Perfect for Challenging Environments

Industrial computers are best equipped to work under the challenging working environments because they are built from the ground up to withstand the conditions that are not electronics-friendly. We can define such challenging working environments as anything that surpasses the norms of your typical controlled workspace such found in the office, school, library, retail store, or even hospital.

Temperature

The challenging working environments in the industrial sector vary greatly and can be characterized by higher or lower temperatures than that of an indoor installation. Notably, when we speak about temperatures and the ability of the industrial computers to withstand the higher and the lower temperature margins, we should also inquire into the possibility of the temperature fluctuations. For example, when your industrial computer or rugged tablet is exposed to colder temperatures outside in the field and significantly warmer temperatures in the engineer’s vehicle or tent. Assuming your technical workers carry a rugged tablet from the tent and into the cold, the temperature fluctuation is abrupt and causes condensation. How will your iPad or Android tablet behave if you subject it to such frequent temperature fluctuations? Rugged tablets are built with such temperature fluctuations in mind, so the condensation or cold/heat do not affect the internal electronics. Industrial computers, too, are enclosed in a rugged casing that withstands extreme temperatures and protects the discreet parts from their destructive effects.

Humidity

Temperature is not the only factor contributing to the ruggedness of the workspace. Humidity and exposure to liquid spills, splashes, liquid cleaning, or the need to function in the outdoor settings where it can rain is also a part of the normal operational needs in the industrial sector. The industrial computers, therefore, are liquid proof and have a sturdy casing that does not disintegrate if you clean it with a chemical solution.

Dust and Debris

On the contrary, if dust and other harmful particles find their way inside your computer, its lifespan shortens and its performance can be hindered. Industrial computers design takes into account the dusty, greasy and oily environments we can find in the food, beverage, restaurant industries, and other industrial settings, such as oil and gas. The fanless design and IP65 sealed, rugged casing keeps the dust, oil, grease and other harmful debris at bay.

Shock and Vibration

Vibration is, perhaps, one of the main characteristic features of the industrial workspace, be it on the construction site, on the manufacturing floor, or in the warehouse where the forklifts work. Needless to say, the off-the-shelf computers, when used in such environment, tend to fail significantly faster than if you use them in the office. The industrial computer, on the other hand, come with the solid state drive technology, and MIL-STD certified components and a rugged enclosure – all of which protect the electronics from the destructing effects of the excessive vibration and shock exposure.

Altitude, Solar Radiation

Solar radiation and altitude have a significant effect on the electronic products, and industrial computers use the different type of material and a design that stands up to a higher level of expectations than the consumer-grade computers. Unlike the MTBF of the discreet parts of the industrial computers, the MTBF of the discreet parts of the consumer PCS drops significantly when the PCs are exposed to high altitudes in the mountains, underground installations in the mining industry or excessive UV index, especially during the prolonged periods.

Location

For some reason, when most people think about rugged, industrial environments, they tend to focus on the temperature, humidity, and vibration, whereas the location or the distance from the headquarters also translates into a factor of the ruggedness. Be in underground, high in the mountain, far in the field, or out in the desert or the sea, your industrial computers need advanced connectivity and electrical and radiation safety to ensure a) your installations are connected and the data keeps syncing, b) the safety of your installations and workers, c) the safety and longevity of your industrial computer, if it is exposed to power outages and current fluctuations.

Therefore, the industrial computers possess the advanced connectivity options – wireless WAN and LAN capabilities, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. As long as the rugged tablets are concerned, they cannot be locked to a specific wireless carrier, and allow for GSM or CDMA connectivity without being dependent on a specific provider. The electrical and radiation safety is ensured with MIL-STD rated components and a variety of stringent certifications adopted internationally.

Space Constraints

Space constraints also create a challenge the industrial computers need to address. Organizations often need to mount computers in rather small areas with very limited air circulation that can cause the overheating of a regular computer. Industrial computers rely on the fanless design that uses the passive cooling system. This build has several benefits. First, there are less moving parts in the computer, so its lifespan increases. Second, no harmful particles or dust penetrate the enclosure. Third, this configuration consumes significantly less power to cool down and run. Therefore, industrial computers are also energy-efficient, saving companies significant amounts in power consumption.

More so, if you need a robust industrial computer that is smaller than your typical installations. So, industrial computers address the challenge of space constraints with a variety of sizes and customizable configurations. The latter address, aside from small form factor in mini rugged PCs, the compatibility challenges with legacy systems and interfaces.

Customization Is A Must

So, customization is another way industrial computers address the need to adapt to challenging working environments. Industrial computers come with VESA mount options, legacy ports, dual hard drive support, Windows/Linux support, and a wealth of customizable parameters from hard drive to RAM and video card, or storage capacity. The ability of rugged computers and tablets to interface with a growing variety of complex networks of software and equipment is one of their decisive advantages achieved through customization.

Worker Safety

There is more to the industrial environment than the physical parameters. Namely, the worker safety, data integrity, security, and the sustainability. The worker safety is ensured with stringent tests and certifications, such as MIL-STD rated discreet components, IP65 rating, waterproof bezels, 60601-1 electrical and radiation safety, IEEE, or EN 50155 vibration protection, and many other certifications. If a device is not built with these intrinsic safety features from the ground up, it is not apt for use in the challenging working environments.

Data Integrity and Safety

Data integrity is ensured with the protection against current fluctuations, backup batteries and dual hard drive (SSD) technology and advanced connectivity for timely sync. On the other hand, data security features of industrial computers ensure the data is accessible only to authorized personnel and applications. With industrial espionage and ransomware rates increasing in all industries, cyber security issues cannot be ignored. Therefore, advanced authentication options, such as CAC/ Smart Card reader, biometric authentication with a fingerprint scanner, RFID Imprivata SSO coupled with Windows Professional user authentication features, sandboxing, encryption and remote administration offer the high level of security for your corporate data.

Sustainability

Future-proof sustainability is another crucial advantage of robust industrial computers and rugged tablets. As your workflow evolves and you add more devices and interfaces to the system, your industrial computers need to be able to accommodate your growing needs in capacity, performance, and compatibility. The trend toward the implementation of Big Data, IoT, predictive analytics and everything AI means your industrial computers will need more processing power sometime during their realistic, expected life cycle. Will you be able to upgrade them? Will the manufacturer offer spare parts, extra ports or other upgrade options if the need should arise?

To ensure your industrial computers and tablets are capable of sustaining peak performance under the increasingly resource-hungry – or mobile – use, make sure the manufacturer offers ample flexibility for the initial customization and the subsequent upgrades.

At Cybernet, we believe each client is unique, and ensure our industrial computers address the highest bar of our clients’ expectations. Contact us today to get a quote for your customized build.

Rugged Technology's role in protecting Information during a disaster

The Role Of Rugged Technology In Protecting Information When Disaster Strikes

Natural and manmade disasters and other catastrophic events pose a serious threat to the human lives and livelihood of organizations around the world. The challenge for organizations and emergency responders today is to make themselves more resilient in the face of the unknown, and become more agile, flexible and functional when disaster strikes. Not if, but when. In the light of the recent hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes, organizations are seeking proactive strategies to protect their information technology assets.

Many organizations turn to rugged technology for a reliable and affordable solution to the challenge. Rugged computers and tablets are increasingly popular across a variety of industries, and disaster preparedness is one of the reasons the adoption of rugged technology is booming.

Rugged technology comes with several features critical during and after a disaster:

  • MIL-STD-810G certified
  • Designed for harsh, rugged environments with extreme temperatures
  • Ingress protection IP65 – water-, dust- and debris- proof
  • Optionally fanless (more efficient cooling system and power consumption, but also superior ingress protection)
  • Easy-to-deploy and integrate, advanced compatibility options, i.e. legacy ports, PoE
  • Drop, vibration and shock protection
  • High performance, superior cooling, and Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility certifications
  • Internal backup batteries or hot-swappable batteries for uninterrupted uptime
  • Advanced authentication and encryption for data security
  • Advanced connectivity options

Healthcare, military, government, education, oil, and gas, retail and logistics companies and organizations across the globe now count on rugged technology to keep their critical business data safe, accessible and functional in the event of a disaster. First responders have long been enjoying the advantages of rugged tablets in disaster response.

Disaster Preparedness

Rugged technology is cost-effective. Due to its durability and uptime reliability, long lifespan, MTBF and low fail rate, its cost of ownership is significantly lower than that of a consumer-grade PC or tablet when used in rugged environments. Accounting for military-grade, shock, vibration and waterproof rugged computers and mobile tablets during disaster preparedness planning enables companies to save more resources for disaster response, and rely on technology that will stay functional during and after a disaster.

Personnel Safety

Rugged technology on-site and in the field helps organizations maintain their personnel connected in the event of a disaster. Should WiFi or LAN connection fail, 3G, 4G or Power-over-Ethernet will keep the headquarters in the know of their personnel location, allow to maintain data sync or wrap up the operations and save data securely.

When powered by internal batteries or hot-swappable batteries, rugged devices can run uninterrupted for as long as the swappable batteries are getting charged, or up to several hours otherwise. Having an up-to-date map of personnel location and needs, as well as their special skills, certifications and experience helps decision-makers coordinate rescue or response efforts efficiently.

At the same time, the affected personnel in the field have significantly improved chances of not only survival but timely shut down of operations with all data saved. As is the case with first responders, coordinated actions, teleconferencing, ongoing data sync is critical for the successful rescue of victims.

Data Protection

Securing the integrity and protection of confidential data in the event of a disaster is paramount. Financial data, health records, human resource database, inventory, proprietary information, pending patents, mergers – your employees carry and upload gigabytes of corporate secrets to company computers and mobile devices. When a device is lost or stolen, which can happen easily during or after a disaster, a company must ensure the data on a lost device can not be accessed by unauthorized entities. Rugged technology ensures such level of advanced authorization with a fingerprint reader, smart card or CAC reader, or RFID technology.

Furthermore, if rugged devices are backed by an internal power source, the employees will be able to save the current data and shut down in an appropriate manner. The rugged technology effectively minimizes data loss or corruption during disasters.

Resource Tracking

Supply chains are especially vulnerable to disruptions caused by disasters, when an operation out of sync or disrupted can cause millions in damage. Disrupted global supply chains such as relief organizations, medicine, water and basic food suppliers, can leave millions of victims cut off from critical resources. Suppliers, in this case, suffer significant losses.

First responders, relief suppliers, and global supply chains need to know who needs the resources first and where. Keeping the on-site and in the field personnel connected helps supply chains track their resources efficiently and rationally during a disaster, preventing or minimizing downtime. Due to the high mobility of rugged technology, companies increase their situational awareness, identify damage or potential vulnerability in real time and act accordingly. This flexibility and reliability enable the companies to make their operations more resilient and agile during unexpected events.

Crisis Response – Staying Operational in Disconnected Areas

The first moments that follow a disaster are often the most critical for victims, as well as equipment and data integrity. During these moments the traditional communication infrastructure is most likely to fail.

Companies need to be able to gather, sync and share critical data, coordinate operations and communicate in disconnected environments. When high-bandwidth network connectivity is unavailable, it is critical for data to be saved locally to computers or mobile devices for further sync when connectivity is restored. Better yet, if the computers and mobile devices are equipped with alternative connectivity options for timely coordination, and rugged technology comes with advanced connectivity.

Rugged technology is indispensable for companies recovering after a disaster – they need to assess damage and submit orders immediately after the event, or during an ongoing event. Such advanced connectivity makes systems more efficient, improving overall response time.

Coordinating Response Efforts and Delivering Resources

Coordinated response and collaboration are critical for organizations recovering after a disaster. Bringing the people, resources and safeguarding IT assets from different departments, branches and locations is critical, and rugged technology helps headquarters maintain contact with employees in different locations and ensures data security and integrity.

Rugged technology ensures connectivity and uptime, providing organizations with real-time data about affected facilities, available resources and urgent needs. Decision-makers can make ad hoc analysis to decide how to deliver resources where they are needed most, which operations must be prioritized, and which can be paused, minimizing the damage. Organizations have better chances of coordinating efforts with first responders in delivering aid to affected facilities if their critical systems remain operational.

Summary

You can’t predict the future, but you can make your organization more resilient, agile and prepared in the face of the unexpected, and effectively prevent it from destroying your valuable IT assets. Not to mention the life-saving potential of rugged technologies.

The benefits of rugged technologies in ensuring business continuity and data integrity in the event of disasters:

  • Eases the strain of disaster preparedness planning.
  • Decreases downtime in the event of a disaster.
  • Keeps isolated areas/employees connected.
  • Provides a safe and secure means of saving data.
  • Keeps locally stored data secure in the case of device loss or theft.
  • Ensures business continues uninterrupted.
  • Facilitates coordination of response efforts.

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.

The Importance Of Real-Time Communication Technology In The Event Of A Disaster

Healthcare facilities are complex ecosystems with hundreds of clinical and administrative processes. Hospitals also play a central role in disaster response, and technology revolutionizes how first responders organize, automate and streamline the workflow. Natural and manmade disasters of the past have taught us the reliable, durable and resilient means of communication are vital to the disaster response.

The crucial purpose of mobile technology in disaster response is data access and communication in two aspects. The first is the emergency response when a disaster affects the hospital premises and the facility has to keep functioning. The staff and patient coordination becomes vital in mitigating the damage and protecting lives. The second is the emergency response on the site of a natural or manmade disaster.

On-Site Disaster

Hospitals need to be prepared for on-site emergencies, and an increasing number of facilities are adopting mobile technology for uses beyond patient records and clinic research. Hospitals are using real-time communication tech to protect their staff, patients, and visitors before and during emergencies. Natural disasters and active shooter attacks aside, medical buildings can be hazardous due to the large quantities of biohazard and chemical substances they store. Hospitals adopt digital emergency response plans in sync with local firefighters and police. The healthcare facilities can make live updates on the property and population so that first responders have the floor plans, a list of hazardous substances, campus maps, the location of fire hydrants, etc. This information at the fingertips of medical staff, patients, and first responders results in a smarter, more effective emergency response.

Natural and Manmade Disasters Alerts

Mobile technology has become an indispensable tool of disaster alerts. With a dozen of apps from FEMA and Red Cross, to name a few, mobile devices get real-time alerts on the upcoming natural disasters and keep the first responders up-to-date with how the disaster evolves. This effectively rules out such situations when a natural disaster takes place and local hospitals remain unaware until the flow of patients floods their premises. Disaster alert systems keep the first responders in sync with the upcoming and evolving disasters, which allows for timely preparation. The medics know where the most affected regions are, and the possible type of casualties.

Telemedicine

During a disaster, effective communication is often the difference between life and death. Rugged tablets with increasingly sophisticated wireless connectivity and backup batteries, high-definition video and audio technology are revolutionizing emergency services.

Telepresence has become a reality, where a slew of mobile applications collectively known as telemedicine is dramatically transforming disaster response. TACTEL, the Tactical Telemedicine initiative, for example, has been designed for the first responders that support law enforcement during active shooter incidents with multiple casualties. Allowing the on-site EMTs and paramedics to connect directly to local and regional trauma centers, apps such as TACTEL provide live triage support and medical cooperation in a variety of scenarios. The program was tested in trauma surgeon/medic interaction for victims with head injury, extreme bleeding, and gunshot wounds. Real-time interaction between trauma surgeons and SWAT medics facilitates a streamlined patient stabilization.

Live Data Sync

Real-time data entry on-scene provides an unprecedented value to trauma centers. Surgeons acquire facts and details of casualties in real time, which facilitates preparations for patient arrival.

On-site data acquisition also streamlines patient identification, which provides relevant data about patient allergies and health conditions. Fast data access also helps bill the insurance providers and prevent legal incidents.

TCO, Integration Into The Existing Ecosystem

Healthcare facilities often face budget limitations when introducing new equipment, and TCO is one of the top concerns. Decision-makers should know the consumer tablets show drastic failure rates when used in healthcare. Popular non-rugged consumer devices (when used in healthcare or business) have a failure rate of 15.2%, and up to 40%. On the other hand, rugged medical tablets by Cybernet have an Overall Failure Rate of less than 2%.

How the new mobile tech gets integrated into the existing ecosystem of a facility is one of the constituents of the Total Cost of Ownership since it encompasses deployment, maintenance and compatibility with the slew of existing apps and equipment. Windows- or Linux-based tablets are perfect to incorporate into the complex medical ecosystem, where EMR software such as EPIC and other back-end applications (databases, image, and video viewing) require powerful hardware.

Disaster responders need mobile devices that adhere to the following requirements:

  • Ruggedness to withstand harsh environments common in disaster response situations. They can withstand drops, are dust and waterproof.
  • Uptime Reliability to ensure minimum downtime. Ideally, such medical tablets should come with hot-swappable batteries that allow for battery swap without powering down the device.
  • Reliable wired and wireless connectivity, which is critical in disaster response, with 3G and 4G LTE support,  GPS navigation, and Bluetooth and IP connectivity to support peripherals, including legacy.
  • Safe for near-patient use and in compliance with industry safety standards against electrocution, and radiation.
  • Antimicrobial, easy to disinfect to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Capacitive touchscreen to recognize input from a gloved finger or a stylus.
  • Integrated peripherals such as barcode scanner, smart card or IRS scanners.
  • Secure to protect confidential medical data.
  • Flexible mounting and docking options.
  • Long-term software compatibility to support contextual apps used for EMR, reporting, insurance lookups, etc.
  • Easy to carry, with a handle and straps – first responders should not worry about their devices, but focus on their patients.

Summary

It takes a medical-grade rugged device to transform an emergency vehicle into an operational mobile office capable of harnessing all the benefits of mobile technology, such as:

  • Improved electronic Patient Care Reporting
  • Automatic inventory management
  • Timely alert on patient allergies and existing health conditions
  • HIPAA-compliant data collection
  • Sync of patient injuries and stabilization procedures with trauma centers
  • Video conferencing with a remote team support for incident assessment, decision-making
  • Elimination of paperwork, delays in data entry, and the need for duplicate data entry

The use of real-time, mobile communication technologies can create a powerful platform that captures data from tablets, EHRs, clinical information systems on the go, and syncs it across disparate locations. That big data gives the healthcare worker a holistic, real-time view of the disaster situation, patients triage, identification, health records and insurance information on any device in the system. Such smart ecosystem provides more efficient care, saves more lives, and makes the work of emergency responders safer. Finally, with rugged tablets built from the ground up for medical use, a hospital’s digital workflow meets critical security regulations.

How Barcode Reading Helps Food and Beverage Industry to Improve Product Quality, Traceability, and Brand Reputation

Delivering a safe and quality product to consumers is a challenge food and beverage manufacturers and retailers tackle every day. Every day that challenge increases due to a number of factors. The production rates grow, so does the level of automation in the industry. Hence, the demand of packaging inspection and assembly verification arises. Where smart technology has replaced human error, it is up to the human to ensure the technology is error-free. The combination of both, human inspection and state-of-the-art smart technology, ensures the best results and minimizes the risks.

The problem of food traceability is even greater with the growing expansion of the industry. As food and beverage manufacturers cater to an increasing number of regional and niche markets, the number of different labels they need to affix often escalates to hundreds.

The Regulations Tighten the Grip, Mandating Efficient Prevention and Timely Mitigation

The domestic and international regulations are urging the manufacturers to update their food supply chains with modern technologies and techniques to gain complete traceability.

The US FDA Food Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping food safety reform within the last 70 years. It shifts the focus of the regulations to the prevention of contamination, rather than response. It strengthens accountability of all supply chain participants – domestically and internationally. Some of its provisions affect the industry in a way that will inevitably increase the demand for automated technology and machine vision. According to FSMA, the FDA may obtain the tracking records when the need arises, be it to verify the proceedings or prevent a potential public health risk.

The International Standards Organization (ISO) mandates labeling and tracking. The laws in Japan mandate documenting every single detail from field chemicals to cattle food. The U.S. Bioterrorism Act, the E.U. Food Law, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points regulations leave no chance for manufacturers to avoid that qualitative transition to a new stage. A stage, where smart technologies eliminate the human error, and the human becomes more efficient.

This, in turn, ensures better compliance with the regulations, as well as product safety and the entire business reputation in the long run.

The Incentives of Smart Technology Deployment

Momentum is growing for the food and beverage manufacturers to harness the power of the smart technology to ensure the whole food supply chain traceability. The incentives of implementing smart devices with integrated barcode scanners in food and beverage industry are generous.

The industry is plagued by expensive recalls and packaging or delivery errors. In an industry where a minor temperature deviation during transportation or storage can lead to multimillion recalls, the state-of-the-art technologies help prevent and mitigate the risks.

The automation of produce tracking facilitates the documenting of the entire production chain. This gives better insight and faster data processing for the management in real time. Manual inspection alone cannot ensure the results of the manual inspection coupled with the greater accuracy of barcode scanning and automated data processing.

The problem of a mislabeled allergen alone is enough of a concern to urge manufacturers to deploy the latest technology to avoid expensive recalls. Matching the package to product and verifying its accuracy with the help of 2D barcode scanners minimizes the risk of error.

Food traceability regulations mandate that the produce is easily traceable throughout the supply chain. Regulators and manufacturers must be able to quickly locate any item in their chain, and trace it back and forward. A task that is easily achievable with the help of automated technology, vision systems, and barcode scanners.

In 2010, a salmonella outbreak in the U.S. had over 10,000 people getting sick. Over 550 million eggs were recalled. The poultry industry reputation experienced a blow that resulted in the decrease of consumer trust and confidence. In this and similar, quite typical cases, barcodes, RFID and the collaboration of the entire supply chain minimize the loss and liability expenses. The food traceability provides quick and actionable data about the goods movement through the supply chain.

The traceability allows all the actors of the supply chain to identify at which stage the contamination took place. The grower, the distributor, or during the transportation? Who might be affected? The amounts of produce that need to be recalled, and who exactly received the contaminated goods? Who needs to be warned to seize the sales as soon as possible?

Food and beverage supply chain visibility saves lives when a contamination outbreak occurs. The timely response in recalling contaminated goods also saves industry reputation, minimizes the liability costs and saves business time.

A food-borne illness outbreak isn’t the only scenario barcodes can help prevent losses. The technology also helps tap the sale of products in unauthorized points, counterfeiting and diversion through item-level serialization.

Summary

  • The full supply chain visibility lets companies:
  • Comply with the regulations, domestic and international
  • Meet consumer expectations
  • Instill consumer trust and brand confidence
  • Minimize the time and cost of product recalls
  • Provide the regulators, retailers and food service customers with a timely access to quality, location and safety data of their products
  • Improve the cost and speed of operations
  • Minimize the risk of errors and mitigate the damage faster, potentially save lives in case of a contamination
  • Receive direct quality feedback from each actor of the food supply chain
  • Prevent or minimize counterfeiting, unauthorized sale, and diversion of goods

In fact, food and beverage industry is one of the leaders in deploying the cutting-edge smart technology to ensure the product safety. With the growing complexity of the regulations and the expanding production rates, companies are also seeking a technological solution that is easy to use, reliable, cost- and energy-efficient, and durable, such as the rugged tablets with integrated barcode scanners.

Utilizing Rugged Tablets for Order Automation

Regardless of the products that a company produces and distributes, the process of completing orders is always very similar. Orders come in, often in a variety of formats, including email, fax, phone, and online forms. Then, a staff member must sift through each order and format in order to extract the order information needed to fulfill the purchase. Finally, once that information is extracted, it is passed on the next staff member who will fulfill the order and get it sent to the customer.

Though this system has been in use for years by many companies, it is far from effective. It is time consuming and requires many employees working to translate and complete orders as they come in. It also relies too heavily on the work of staff members who spend long hours staring at order figures, which leads to the risk of human error.

Streamlining the Ordering Process

A variety of new technologies offer options for manufacturers looking to streamline the ordering process. But many of these technologies require orders arriving in just one format. For manufacturers who have been servicing customers for many years or even just a few months, asking a client to change the way that they place orders is definitely a mistake, especially when the client is another company with its own internal system for placing orders.

But a new technology is overcoming these restraints and allowing manufacturers to streamline their order processing without changing how clients place orders. Order automation is a system that is able to process orders as they come in in any format, including emails, fax, online forms, and more. This technology sifts through the order to extract the necessary details, and delivers them via a simplified, compiled order form. The process is seamless, with 100 percent accuracy, eliminating the potential for error that comes with manual entry.

While this system revolutionizes the ordering process for the company, it doesn’t change the way that consumers place their orders. This means no confusion or loss of sales during the transition period to this new system. Loyal customers can continue to place orders as they have in the past, likely without even knowing that a change has occurred. It also requires less staff members to complete the ordering process. Rather than having someone processing orders as they come in, the orders can go straight from the client to the manufacturer.

The Need for Rugged Tablets for Use with Order Automation

But delivering order information directly to the manufacturer means that this technology is now in use in production areas and warehouses, where conditions may be dusty, dirty, humid, or otherwise less than ideal. A standard laptop or computer isn’t up to the challenge of working in this environment, and even a rugged laptop means that staff must be seated in order to fulfill orders as they come in. Tablets offer portability that can speed up the order fulfillment process, but consumer-grade versions are not built to withstand the conditions manufacturers face. Luckily, there’s a solution.

Rugged tablets offer a product that can withstand any conditions, while still offering the high level of processing power that is needed to run order automation software and receive large numbers of orders. With rugged industrial tablets in use on the factory floors, manufacturers can receive orders straight from the client, allowing them to process and fulfill orders in record time, and with fewer errors.

Cybernet offers a variety of rugged tablet options that deliver the power and durability that manufacturers need to implement order automation in the field. The Rugged X10 10.1” Industrial Tablet is built with military grade components, making it waterproof and shockproof, with drop protection up to five feet. It runs on the energy-efficient Intel i5/i7 CPU with vPro, allowing it to process an ever growing number of orders. It also comes equipped with dual hot swappable batteries, which eliminates the need to stop working in order to charge it up. Plus, cellular 3G/4G LTE options makes this tablet great for communicating in real time with all members of the manufacturing team.

By implementing rugged tablets equipped with order automation software, manufacturers are able to process higher number of orders much more quickly, with a reduced risk of error. These systems offer increased flexibility, as more orders can be processed without the need to hire additional staff members. It can also be integrated into a manufacturers system without the need for lots of training, as the staff members working from the manufacturer’s factory floor receive orders just as they always have, though now in a streamlined, simplified process.

Cybersecurity in the Construction Industry

Businesses in the construction industry, just like every other industry, are at an increasingly growing risk of a cyberattack. Even though the number of such attacks is lower in construction compared to other industries such as health care or defense, there is always a possibility that a hacker will gain access to confidential information pertaining to a business’ customers, employees or construction projects.  Once this happens, the hacker can do whatever he pleases with the information, including blackmailing the company under the threat of destroying the data.  What’s more, a hacker can also blackmail individual employees and customers by threatening to spread sensitive information if monetary demands are not met.

For this reason, it is advisable for contractors and design professionals to prepare themselves accordingly. Thanks to proper preparation, an attack, which would otherwise be a piece of cake for the hacker, may be foiled. Below are a few measures you can take to protect your business against the possibility of a cyberattack.

Employee Training

Unfortunately, many business owners underestimate the threat of cyberattacks because they think their businesses would never be a target due to their small size. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, a report prepared by Verizon in 2013 found that 85% of cyberattacked companies are small businesses. For this reason, employee training should now be mandatory.

Employee training should include education of your staff about terms such as email phishing, Trojan horses, malware, antivirus and backups. The vast majority of your employees, if not all of them, use the Internet in one way or another for work. Hackers and spammers may send email to your staff that appears to be sent by a colleague, a family member or a customer. It is crucial that your employees understand how to distinguish a spam or phishing email from a legitimate email. They should also be taught how to perform regular antivirus updates and scans. Antivirus programs are only capable of detecting a virus if the virus is recognized in the database. Regular antivirus database updates are therefore necessary. Furthermore, malware may be present on an employee’s computer without that person or the installed antivirus program noticing until after the computer has been scanned for viruses.  If scans are only being done every few months, this can present a major problem.  So doing regular scans is also a good idea.

Incident Response Plan

Research performed by QBE Insurance Group in 2013 found that only 44% of companies in the construction industry claimed to have some sort of cybersecurity plan in place. This is in stark comparison to the financial services industry, where 94% of all businesses surveyed claimed to have an incident response plan in tact.  Regardless of your business’s size, you need to have some sort of plan in place so that you’re prepared if the unthinkable happens.

A proper cyber incident response plan should decrease suffered damage, increase the confidence stakeholders have in the company, and reduce recovery costs and time. It should outline exactly what needs to be done in the event of an attack and make decision making easier by outlining who will have the decision-making power if or when things go awry. This ensures responses can be made quickly. The plan should also facilitate internal, as well as external coordination.  Internal coordination should consist of communication between individual departments, whereas external coordination should make communication with third parties – including cybersecurity consultancy firms, forensic firms and attorneys – easier.

Using Secure Equipment

Last but not least, your construction company may benefit greatly by using secure industrial computers and tablets to safeguard confidential data. Using devices with CAC card readers or biometric scanners will help to protect your sensitive data because only authorized individuals will be able to access it.

Often times in the construction industry, tablets and other devices wind up on construction jobsites. Sensitive data is often stored on such devices. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a device to be lost or stolen while on-site, which puts your business at an increased risk of sensitive data winding up in the wrong hands. Using hardware that can make accessing this type of data extremely difficult helps protect your business from things like this happening.

Conclusion

There is no concrete or definitive method of dealing with the risk of cyberattacks. Although the probability of a cyberattack on a construction business is lower than in the other industries, it can – and does – happen. By following the advice outlined in this article, you’ll help to minimize the chances of it happening to your business.

Trimming Construction Time And Costs With Tablets

Tablet computers have made their way into many businesses, but one place where their adoption has been slow is in the construction industry. Some feel that the handheld computers don’t have a place in the middle of the heavy and dirty work that is construction.

In reality though, the new technologies offered by rugged tablets can make construction work safer, help to streamline workflow and increase efficiency in many areas of the business. With more rugged tablets on the market designed specifically for industrial use, any construction business that is not taking advantage of them will soon find themselves falling behind.

Here are just a few of the benefits that tablet computing has to offer…

Weather Tracking

Bad weather is the bane of outdoor construction jobs. Unexpected storms and periods of rain or snow will not only cause delays, but can be dangerous to crews out in the field and cause damage to unfinished work.

With tablets on site, managers and crews can keep themselves apprised of weather conditions right up to the minute. Workers can be proactive towards incoming bad weather rather than waiting to be surprised and trying to react when it might already be too late. Unfinished work can be covered and secured with time to spare and crews in dangerous locations can get themselves out of harm’s way.

Distribution of Documents

One of the most costly and time consuming aspects of construction has always been the distribution of the immense amounts of plans and documents needed by virtually every member of the team. Strategic use of tablet computers can not only get things like blueprints, permits and other documents on site and into the right hands faster, it will cut costs associated with paper, printing and distribution through mail or shipping companies.

By combining the mobility of tablet computers with cloud storage options such as Google Docs or DropBox, documents can be stored in one place and made available instantly to everyone who needs them no matter where they are. Teams can even collaborate between office and build site with everyone receiving updates in real time.

Face-to-Face Meetings

Teams can talk to each other face to face even when they are in different locations. By utilizing apps like FaceTime or Google Hangouts, time wasted traveling to make it to a meeting room is completely eliminated. A supervisor on site can update project management about current situations, receive new instructions or updates and communicate them to his team immediately without the need for anyone to leave their location to make a meeting.

Supply Management

Workers on site can update inventory of supplies as they work in real time, with no extra effort. Ordering and shipping can be virtually automated, eliminating extra costs and saving time. Supply levels can be constantly maintained at optimal levels and delays caused by shortages made nonexistent.

Workers will be able to focus on the actual construction work rather than counting supplies and filling out order requests. At the same time, project management will have real time information showing them exactly what is on site at all times, allowing them to make decisions faster and plan more efficiently.

Awareness of Problems or Delays

On site workers can communicate problems or delays to supervisors and project managers instantly, even providing video or photographic information if needed. All parties who need to know can be made aware at the same time without the need for chains of phone calls or tracking down mobile team members.

Imaginative Integration

Tablet computers are still relatively new as far as computing in general is concerned. They are already proving themselves very useful in many current tasks, but will undoubtedly be used in even more ways as the future approaches and technology continues to develop. With a little bit of imagination you will be able to find unique ways that you can use these handheld wonders to improve many facets of your business so that you’re constantly staying one step ahead of your competition.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that in order to take advantage of these types of benefits, you need to be using hardware that’s been specifically designed to handle the rugged nature of the business. Consumer grade tablets aren’t built to withstand dirt and dust, water, extreme hot and cold temperatures, and drops. Rugged tablets, like Cybernet’s Rugged X10 industrial tablet, are built using military grade components and engineered to work in environments where consumer electronics typically fail.

How Rugged Tablets Are Used In Healthcare

The introduction of rugged tablets into the marketplace has helped to improve the services provided by a variety of industries, but these devices have added significant value to the healthcare field. Tablets have eliminated the need for hand entered data, which can be life saving for some patients. Tablets have been incorporated into hospitals as well as other types of medical facilities, because they save time, money and energy. Some of the of the uses of tablets in healthcare include:

Mobile Imaging

The use of rugged tablets in doctors offices, hospitals and other medical facilities allow medical staff to access copies of medical images, such as ultrasounds and x-rays. This type of technology provides quicker access to images for comparisons, so two or more images can viewed side by side, allowing for appropriate treatment. There are also additional tools available for use with medical tablets that allow medical professionals to connect the tablet to an ultrasound probe, allowing for quicker ultrasound imagining.

Medical Documentation

One of the biggest advantages of using tablets in the healthcare field is the improved accuracy of patient data. Using a tablet helps an entire healthcare system remain organized and consistent in different facilities. This is extremely beneficial to patients who receive treatment through different healthcare facilities, because all of their medical information can be quickly accessed, allowing for quicker treatment to the patient.

Practice Management

Tablets provide medical organizations easier access to in-house scheduling and planning. Staff can be scheduled, surgeries can be planned and meetings can be arranged, all without having to stop what you are doing in order to access the staff computer system. This type of management system makes it extremely convenient for medical professionals who need to schedule patient visits and/or procedures with other facilities. Medical billing is also streamlined, timely and accurate with the use of a tablet.

Patient Education

Educating patients on their injuries or illness as well as the type of medications and/or treatments they need, is critical for their recovery. Tablets make educating patients easy, because the medical staff can use resources, such as online videos, diagrams and animations, to provide their patients with detailed information about their illness. Patient education helps them understand what is happening to them and with instant access to education, the patient will have a better opportunity to ask questions and/or voice their concerns as information is being shared with them.

Medication Orders

The use of a tablet provides medical professional with an instant view of current medications their patients are taking as well as allergies. This can be detrimental in providing medical treatments in an emergency situation, especially when medications you are going to give may interact with the patients current medications. If a patient is severely injured in an automobile accident and unable to speak, medical professionals can quickly search the patients medical history for medication allergies before providing treatment. Tablets also help to significantly reduce errors that are often found in hand-written orders.

Tablets and similar technology will continue to progress and change the way the healthcare industry operates, providing better experiences for everyone at every phase of the treatment process.