Three examples of the wide range of clinical-grade tablets

22 April 2014 | Gareth Hall, Windows 8 lead, Microsoft Worldwide Health

In our visits with customers, we always ask: What constitutes a clinical-grade tablet? And we’re learning that clinical grade means different things to different people in terms of specific hardware use cases. This, of course, makes sense given the wide range of situations that health professionals work in. The requirements for a family doctor who sees patients in a clinic are different from those of an than an EMT or traveling nurse in the field.

So I’m excited to see the wide range of Windows tablet options out there today. Here are three examples of tablets that meet the varying needs of health professionals:

  • Surface Pro 2: It has the body of a tablet, but the heart of a laptop. Powered by the Intel® Core™ i5 processor, clinicians can speedily pull up patient records and work in clinical applications. It can run full versions of virtually all Windows apps. And the coated touchscreen can be sanitized with many types of alcohol wipes. It comes standard with the Surface Pro Pen so clinicians can quickly capture electronic signatures, jot down notes, or complete forms. Plus, it can handle inevitable drops with solid magnesium casing and impact-resistant glass. Customers love that rather than having to turn away from a patient to use a workstation in the exam room, they can use the Surface Pro 2 to stay face to face with a patient while entering notes, or looking up information. For example, Seattle Children’s Hospital is using Surface Pro 2 tablets along with VitalHub to provide clinicians with a touch interface for an electronic medical record system (EMR), which is improving both clinician and patient experiences.
  • FUJITSU STYLISTIC Q584: This thin, light, semi-ruggedized 10.1-inch tablet is a great option for the clinician who wants a device that can be taken into most any medical setting. It’s waterproof, dustproof, and resistant to alcohol-based wipes, and it has a durable, chemically strengthened glass display. The tablet also has the Quad-Core Intel® Atom™ Processor Z3770, and its high-resolution display (2560x1600) is one of the brightest I’ve seen. In addition, the USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth, and optional embedded 4G/LTE come in handy for highly mobile clinicians.
  • Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1: Whenever I meet with customers in our executive briefing room at our headquarters, I always throw one of these Panasonic Toughpads on the table in front of them. I’m not just trying to make a dramatic entrance (well, maybe a little), I’m showing them how durable these things are. They are the most rugged of the three tablets I’m covering today. So for ER doctors, EMTs, or other health professionals working in environments where their tablet is likely to be dropped, exposed to the elements, or otherwise beat up, the Toughpad is a good choice.

Not only do these devices provide clinical-grade hardware characteristics, they also provide a clinical-grade operating system with enterprise-class functionality and no-compromise security since they’re all Windows 8 devices. And they can integrate seamlessly with most organizations’ existing IT infrastructure.

In other words, there are now lots of options for truly clinical-grade devices so health professionals can have instant and highly secure mobile access to patient information in the many, varying situations they work in.

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Gareth Hall
Windows 8 lead, Microsoft Worldwide Health