Driving development--- looking outside our industry can be valuable

Today I got a press release from Advantech--- not the industrial automation group, but the other part of the company. In this case, it was about an MCA- Mobile Clinical Assistant.

This is a tablet PC, fanless, based on Intel's Atom processor...but, well, let's allow Ellis Luk's press release to speak for itself:

Advantech Launches 10.4” Fanless Mobile Clinical Assistant Irvine, California – February 23, 2009 – Today Advantech launches the MICA-101, a 10.4” fanless mobile clinical assistant (MCA) that allows clinicians to do their jobs while on the move and better enhance the quality of patient care. The MICA-101, based on the Intelâ MCA reference architecture, is Advantech’s first product to support this new category of mobile computing solutions for healthcare that has earned support from clinicians and nursing staff around the world. The MICA-101 will be showcased at HIMSS AsiaPac in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 24th – 27th.

“Advantech has gained a foothold in the medical market over the last 7 years. We are glad to cooperate with Intel® to create this new MCA solution which will help further advance the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the world. It is a significant milestone for Advantech to step into the forefront of mobile IT at the point-of-care,” said David Lin, Director of Advantech Corporation Medical Computing Division.

“Intel® is pleased to see further innovation based on MCA reference architecture, designed with extensive feedback from clinicians to help improve workflow and provide them with the tools they need to have the right information at the point of decision,” said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Intel® Digital Health Group.

“Advantech’s new MCA product, incorporating an optional webcam, offers greater collaboration between patients and clinicians, a need that has been reinforced throughout our ethnographic research. MCA products, now available from several companies in markets around the world, continue to generate positive feedback from the marketplace.”

“MICA-101 with an ergonomic handle is easy to carry around. Its long battery life of up to 6 hours helps nursing staff to provide continuous and quality patient care during their shifts. The docking station provides an easy way to charge the battery when MICA-101 is not in use,” commented YC Fong, the principal manager of MIS for Mount Alvernia Hospital, Singapore.

Integrated features of MICA-101 designed to help improve clinician productivity

The MICA-101 brings the value of the ethnographic research, hospital workflow studies and extensive consultation with healthcare professionals done by Intel® that led to MCA’s purpose-built reference platform. To streamline medication administration and charting, the MCA reference design integrates technologies that support “five rights” of patient care: right patient, right time, right medication, right dosage, and right route. The MICA-101 has a built-in 2.0 megapixel camera that allows easy photo taking and video capturing of patient wounds. The MICA-101 functions are further extended to wireless connectivity, Bluetooth, 3.5G and 802.11A/G/N support, allowing nurses to access up-to-date patient information from their electronic medical records at the point of care, enhancing clinical workflow while reducing the staff’s administrative workload. Using the integrated radio frequency identification (RFID) scanner in the MICA-101 device, nurses can identify patients and verify themselves as authorized caregivers via a fingerprint reader. With a built-in barcode scanner, the MICA-101 helps to reduce transcription errors and delivers faster and safer healthcare. Via the optional webcam, healthcare professionals can optimize their workflow by having real-time visibility, convenient access to their patient’s electronic record, either from their office or from patient’s home, and direct communication with their patients over the webcam. The MICA-101 is a fanless system with a 1.1/1.6 GHz Intel® Atom™ processor (Z510/Z530), providing an optimal balance between high performance and very low noise – perfect for bedside care and clinical environments. The Intel® Atom™ processor, with ultra low power consumption, extends battery operating time to 6 hours.

The MICA-101 will be available in April. For more information about Advantech MCA, please visit the website at www.advantech.com.

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