Health care providers can’t take a magic pill to increase productivity, but a tablet might do the trick.

 

Half of physicians today use tablet computers for professional duties, and for good reason: these intuitive mobile devices offer wireless touch-based capabilities that can improve patient care through streamlined workflow and other efficiency enhancements. Tablets are also helping address the difficulties of using current electronic health records, including disruption to the doctor/patient relationship, by providing cloud connectivity that enables instant communication between doctor and patient as well as medical monitoring when and where the patient needs it.

 

To consistently deliver these advantages, tablets used by medical professionals must be able to withstand an intensely mobile lifestyle, as they are transported between and implemented within patient rooms, administrative offices, remote environments such as ambulatory care, and physicians’ homes.

 

“Clinicians and other health care professionals are often on the go for hours at a time. They don’t have time to hassle with plugging in their device to charge it during their shift,” says Andrew Litt, MD, chief medical officer at Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences. “Having a lightweight, portable device with long battery life is important to productivity.”

 

The latest-generation Intel® Atom™ processor (formerly codenamed Bay Trail) can equip the mobile health workforce with the energy-efficient computing performance needed to power tablets through long clinical work shifts and thus maintain seamless health workflows. Intel Atom processor-based tablets provide up to 10 hours of battery life, enabling mobile health providers to make the most of their office hours – whether their “office” is located in a crowded urban setting, remote village clinic, or private home.

 

In addition to supplying long battery life and fast processing using minimal power consumption, the Bay Trail platform fulfills other mobile health demands by enabling tablets and other intelligent devices to securely receive and transmit data via the Internet of Things, granting anytime/anywhere access to Electronic Medical Records/Electronic Health Records (EMR/EHR) applications. The latest Intel Atom processor family also offers 5x greater GPU performance than the previous generation and improved graphics capabilities such as faster HD and other media conversions, allowing health care professionals to view complex medical images and patient data on their tablets or via a connected monitor, TV, or projector.

 

Intel Atom processor-based tablets support Windows 8, offering seamless compatibility between various medical programs and devices, and come equipped with hardware-assisted security capabilities including Intel® Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) to help protect patient data.

 

“Health care organizations must comply with an array of privacy and security regulations,” Litt says. “Medical professionals need tablets they can deploy with confidence as part of an overall mobility strategy.”

 

Health care providers can rely on Intel Atom processor-powered Dell tablets to provide quad-core processing performance and up to 10 hours of battery life in a flexible, 2-in-1 design optimized for on-the-go and desk uses. In particular, the Dell Venue 8 Pro (based on the Intel® Atom™ processor Z3740, see Figure 1) and Dell Venue 11 Pro (based on the Intel® Atom™ processor Z3770, see Figure 2) tablets offer desktop-like functionality and energy-efficient portability for medical applications supporting Windows 8.1. For further energy savings, the Venue 11 Pro provides a user-swappable battery enabling users to replace a dead battery on the fly, as well as an optional detachable travel keyboard with an internal battery allowing the tablet to run for roughly 18 hours between charges.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 1.20.10 PM.pngFigure 1. Dell Venue 8 Pro

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 1.21.54 PM.pngFigure 2. Dell Venue 11 Pro

 

These Miracast- and Wi-Fi-enabled tablets provide wide-angle viewing of graphics content via an 8-inch HD 800p display (Venue 8 Pro) and 10.8-inch full HD IPS 1080p display (Venue 11 Pro), as well as supply full stylus support for handwriting capture and note taking, while still offering traditional finger touch scrolling, tapping, and pinch-to-zoom functionality – all time-saving features that can help physicians focus on patient interactions and improve clinical workflow. The Venue 11 Pro also can connect to two external displays via the optional desktop dock, which offers HDMI, DisplayPort, three USB 3.0 ports, and a network port for additional flexibility.

 

Furnished with an optional Targus Rugged Max Pro case featuring a hard exterior shell, shock-absorbing silicone, and a built-in screen protector, both the Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro offer advanced security and manageability with DDP|E and TPM support. The Venue 11 Pro Security edition is optimized for environments requiring more sophisticated authentication, with a built-in fingerprint reader/smart card reader. Implementing a comprehensive approach to data security, Dell offers protection at every level of the computing infrastructure – on the device, across networks, within data centers, and embedded in solutions – with robust assessment and managed security services, and covers repair or replacement of devices damaged in accidents, safeguarding tablets used in rugged mobile health environments.

 

Further replicating the desktop experience, the Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro run on Windows 8.1, facilitating a smooth transition from using traditional PCs to mobile devices. The full-size USB 3.0 port on the Venue 11 Pro allows users to connect any USB peripherals that they would normally plug into laptops or desktops.

 

“The Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro tablets can be secured and managed in a professional environment using the tools an organization already has in place,” Litt says.

 

Also running Windows 8.1 in a flexible design well-suited for professional and heavy-use environments, the Companion AVA tablet (Figure 3) from M&A Technology addresses several requirements for mobile health systems, including reliable Wi-Fi connectivity, removable battery, and four-year life-cycle support, which allows for multiple deployments using the same device and thus helps reduce total cost of ownership, says Jihad Jubran, SVP of business development at M&A Technology.

inari_hires_04.jpgFigure 3. M&A Technology Companion AVA

 

Powered by the Intel Atom processor Z3745, the Companion AVA offers a fanless, rugged design with spill/dust-proof ports and drop resistance up to 3.3 feet (5.9 feet with MIL protective case). With an 8.3-inch 1920x1200p display, the tablet provides multi-touch functionality supporting use with pen and gloves, as well as enhanced graphics resolution and video capabilities provided by the onboard Intel® HD graphics with DirectX 11 support.

 

The Companion AVA offers a variety of uses in medical environments: as a client to connect to a secure virtual desktop using VMware or Citrix, as a stand-alone tablet on the network for mobile applications, and for bedside entertainment, self-check-in kiosks, or wall-mounted informational kiosks, Jubran says. In particular, EMR applications can benefit from the power efficiencies provided by the Intel Atom processor as health professionals carry the tablet throughout the day to access and update patients’ profiles, Jubran says.

 

In addition to helping increase access to patient information, the Intel Atom processor family is enabling health care providers to boost productivity in several ways, including eliminating paperwork, improving decision making, and reducing the possibility of mistakes caused by human error. Read this success brief to learn how Intel Atom-based Dell tablets helped create a digital hospital, and check out this white paper to explore how next-generation tools using Intel technologies are facilitating collaborative clinical workflows for coordinated care.

 

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Dell OEM is a Premier member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance. M&A Technology is an Associate member of the Alliance.

 

Jennifer Hesse

Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance