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The Best of Health

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

A cleaner disinfecting hospital rooms
Disinfecting Rooms
  • Element’s antimicrobial and washable designs are easier to disinfect

  • A medical setting calls for unique features that benefit both workers and patients

  • COVID has made medical-grade hardware attractive to other verticals besides healthcare

When it comes to deploying technology, what’s the most demanding environment you can think of? Outer space will possibly come to mind, but back on planet Earth, medical settings typically stipulate stringent criteria for certification. Input devices must be tough enough to withstand the physical rigours of intensive use, but also, infection control is paramount for healthcare applications.

Our commitment to design, quality and purpose motivates us to ensure the best possible customer experience where our POS terminals are concerned. In the same way, our understanding of the unique requirements of medical settings allows us to deliver outstanding solutions, particularly when it comes to eMR (electronic medical records).

Germ warfare

In the medical environment, a constant battle is being fought against infection. On a scale invisible to the naked eye, human ingenuity is pitted against bacteria -- one of the most ancient forms of life to have evolved -- as well as other microbes such as viruses.

The antimicrobial properties of silver nanoparticles are well-established, and their use in medicine has proven benefits for infection control. So it follows that Element’s medical-grade devices use embedded silver nanotechnology, as well as structural shapes that minimise areas where bacteria can accumulate.

Besides being assembled using antimicrobial plastics, Element hardware is designed for easy and effective disinfection. For example, when we describe the ECT-105 keyboard as ‘washable’, we mean it can literally be immersed in a disinfecting solution. Similarly, the design of the ECT-409 medical-grade mouse includes an actively sealed battery canister, giving it an IP68 ingress protection rating which allows it to be cleaned in a dishwasher.

Benefits for carers and patients: give them the WOW factor

At Element, we are always striving to understand the best-case scenarios associated with the environments where our technology will be used. In a hospital setting, resources are notoriously limited and staff are chronically overstretched -- so improved efficiency for regular processes can make a major difference. One example of purpose-driven, feature-rich design that can streamline a wide range of tasks, such as record-keeping, is the K959 all-in-one touchscreen panel PC.

The Element K959 device
Element K959

Equally suitable for either a powered or unpowered WOW (workstation on wheels), it features side-mounted hot-swappable batteries that can be easily replaced by caregivers, regardless of how tall an individual staff member is. The fanless unit facilitates near-silent bedside work at night, with an integrated light in its lower edge for tightly focused illumination of the keyboard or work area.

But the K959 is not limited to a WOW application, powered or unpowered. Its integrated PSU (power supply unit) means it can be plugged straight into a wall socket anywhere a medical-grade touchscreen PC is needed, whether that’s an operating theatre or dentist’s surgery. It even includes a built-in camera for video consults.

Duty of care

While infection control has been a central tenet of healthcare since the discovery of microorganisms, the COVID-19 pandemic has put an awareness of transmissibility in the forefront of everyone’s mind. This means that a keyboard which is inherently designed to be easily disinfected may be an attractive option in other verticals.

If a keyboard (for example, in a commercial setting) is made available to multiple users, there is a risk that a contagious illness can be transmitted from one person to a subsequent user or affect your health. For an organisation concerned about its duty of care -- whether this is in retail, hospitality, or even a library or school -- the solution may be to provide medical-grade keyboards and mice.

In this instance, the purpose for which one class of product is designed can be just as valuable in an altogether different industry. Besides validating the versatility of the design, and the overarching power of its purpose, the ability of a product to traverse different verticals is a testament to its quality. It is also a reminder of why Element is so committed to its three core values -- they are equally relevant in all the industries where our products are used.

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