TechOn reported that Panasonic will release on March 10, 2009, a tablet-shaped mobile PC intended for doctors and nurses who use medical charts and medical applications software at healthcare facilities. The PC is resistant to chemicals, dust, water and shock, and it has a unique shape that makes it easy to carry. More info and a few videos after the jump.
With information technologies, such as electronic charts, becoming more and more common in medical facilities, an increasing number of doctors and nurses are using PCs and PDAs on site. However, they are using general PCs because there are very few PCs designed exclusively for medical use. And they are demanding PCs with chemical and impact resistance as well as usability such as battery life and portability, Panasonic said.
“The medical PC market is expected to grow rapidly because information technologies will be introduced in medical facilities at a faster pace because of the shortage of nurses and demands for cost reduction,” Panasonic said. “We can apply the technology that we have developed for the ‘TOUGHBOOK’ series to medical PCs.”
To enhance the chemical resistance, the company prevented corrosion caused by sterilizing alcohol and hypochlorite. This resistance, which was confirmed by tens of thousands of wiping tests, was attained by using a new surface material developed by the company.
The impact resistance complies with the “MIL-STD-810F 516.5″ standard. The substrate is protected by using a magnesium chassis inside the PC. The chassis is made of high-rigidity resin.
For dust/drip resistance, the air inlet and outlet were eliminated by employing a fanless design. In addition, intrusion of water and dust was prevented by using a waterproof sheet integrated with buttons.
The PC has some other features for medical staff. The top and bottom surfaces of the PC, for example, are designed flat so as to make it easier to wipe the PC for cleaning.
Panasonic claims that the battery life was extended to eight hours not to interrupt medical activities. It is equipped with two 2900mAh battery packs and the “ATOM,” a low-power microprocessor manufactured by Intel Corp.
The PC platform is based on the “MCA (mobile clinical assistant),” which is advocated by Intel for use in medical PCs. The MCA is a combination of hardware and applications such as a screen larger than 10 inches, pen input functionality, wireless communication via WiFi/Bluetooth, RF-ID/barcode reading functionality, a fingerprint authentication sensor and so forth.
Those functions will be supported by the PC to be released by Panasonic. It will come with a 10.4-inch screen.
There is no suggested retail price, but the expected street price is Yen 2,60,000 (Rs 1,25,679 appox). The company plans to produce 3,70,000 units per year.