February 21, 2007
Intel and Motion Computing on Tuesday unveiled a jointly developed tablet computer designed to help health care workers update medical records as they care for patients, Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times reports (Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times, 2/21).
The $2,200 Motion C5 computer is a book-sized device that includes:
- A built-in bar code scanner to track patients and medications;
- A video and still camera for documenting patient problems; and
- Radio frequency identification tracking technology (Keefe, Austin American-Statesman, 2/21).
RFID can be used to identify tablet users and automatically retrieve patients’ medical charts when a nurse arrives at their rooms. In addition, the device is able to record information — such as temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs — directly from a patient’s bedside by using wireless technology like Bluetooth, according to Motion CEO Scott Eckert (Clark, Wall Street Journal, 2/21).
Physicians and nurses can use the device to store, access and update patient records wirelessly from any location within a hospital. The device also is spill-resistant and easy to disinfect.
Executives say the device will help nurses reduce paperwork, which will enable them to spend more time with patients, and is designed to reduce medical errors and improve efficiency in hospitals (Austin American-Statesman, 2/21). It also is a smaller, less cumbersome alternative to the computers on wheels that some hospitals use (Wall Street Journal, 2/21). Allscripts, Cardinal Health and McKesson have been working on the clinical software with Intel and Motion Computing (Poletti, San Jose Mercury News, 2/21).
Louis Burns, vice president of Intel’s digital health group, said that prior to developing the device, the two companies studied nurses’ work habits, consulted with nurses and tested tablets at three hospitals (Wall Street Journal, 2/21). Officials at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, which has been testing the device, said the tablet has reduced transcription and medications errors and has improved nurse productivity (Austin American-Statesman, 2/21).