HIMSS Day 2—cool technologies from Panasonic, Philips and Microsoft

IMG_1395 OK.  The cat is out of the bag.  I can finally tell you about one of the meetings I had while I was in Japan last week.  The meeting was with Panasonic, and I was among a handful of people to get a sneak peek at Panasonic’s new convertible Tablet PC, the C1.  Today at HIMSS, Panasonic announced the device and now I can tell you about it.

The C1 is billed as the world’s lightest convertible Tablet PC.image   Although it wasn’t built specifically for healthcare, I can see this device being popular in the industry.  The C1 boasts up to 10 hours of battery life with both the main and accessory energy packs on board.  The battery packs are also hot-swappable.  The screen is 12.1 inches.  It pivots on a central post but also locks with hinges on both sides of the screen.  According to Panasonic, the extra hinges add significant durability, and durability is something that Panasonic is known for in its appropriately named Toughbook series.



The unit I saw last week was a pre-production model.  The C1 won’t ship until June, but Panasonic wanted to get the device in front of decision-makers during this year’s HIMSS event.  I must say that I was immediately impressed by the light weight of the unit I saw during my meeting.  I also like the fact that this is a very powerful machine with an Intel® Core™ i5 processor, Gobi2000™ mobile broadband, and multiple data input options including touch (you can even order an option for a screen that will work when your hands are gloved).  It also comes with a hand-friendly strap on the back to keep it secure as you scurry from one patient to another.

Running Windows 7, the C1 should be a rocket.  As someone who travels the world giving presentations, I need a machine with robust AV capability, graphics and processing horsepower.  I don’t think there’s currently a faster Tablet on the market.  You can learn more here.  You can watch a video here.

Also announced today at HIMSS is a collaboration between Microsoft and Philips to build advanced clinical decision support offerings that drive efficiency and effectiveness at the point of care. Working together, the companies aim to integrate technologies, such as SharePont and Microsoft Silverlight, that will yield faster delivery of meaningful health information, further improve healthcare efficiency and productivity, and reduce development and infrastructure costs.  One example is an eICU Program/SharePoint solution that seeks to aggregate critical patient information in a way that can be easily accessed, seamlessly shared and simply utilized. By combining users' familiarity with Microsoft interfaces and SharePoint's strengths, the solution aims to create a standardized front-end analytics portal to display information from the Philips VISICU eICU Program database and enables executives to view, share and analyze ICU data relating to their health system's operations.

Philips and Microsoft are also demonstrating technology interoperability with a look at the first of Philips' patient monitoring connectivity products, currently being adapted to run on Windows 7.  Philips IntelliVue XDS Clinical Workstation provides fast, convenient access to patient-focused clinical information from hospital IT systems on Philips IntelliVue monitors. XDS creates a flexible, customizable clinical workspace, combining patient monitoring views and IT applications, with the ability to interact freely among them to optimize patient care. By leveraging the user-friendly capabilities of Microsoft Windows 7, IntelliVue XDS will allows users the ability to launch multiple third-party IT applications within the familiar Windows environment.

I’m a huge fan of anything that will help clinicians decipher large amounts of information and zero in on what’s important through the use of contemporary, fluid and highly intuitive graphical user interfaces.  So for lots of reasons including patient safety, this is a step in the right direction.

Bill Crounse, MD  Senior Director, Worldwide Health   Microsoft

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