The same characteristics that make e-readers popular for reading books at home or at the beach—readability and long battery life—can also make them viable clipboard replacements for medical applications. Add security features that support HIPAA and other medical reporting requirements, and e-readers with displays based on e-paper technologies offer some enticing advantages over LCD-based readers.
In addition, recent advances in electronic paper display (EPD) software and hardware, including high-speed display controllers, are enabling thin, lightweight e-paper readers that display crisp images at double the resolution of popular e-book readers, and that accelerate navigation and transitions between pages.
The most prevalent e-paper technology operates using electrophoresis. Tiny microcapsules, about the diameter of a human hair, contain either positively charged white or negatively charged black pigment chips. The microcapsules are suspended in a clear fluid with electrodes below and above. Applying electric fields causes the white and black pigment chips to move up or down according to the pattern of the applied fields, creating letters and other shapes.
E-readers based on e-paper technologies offer advantages for medical environments that include:
EPDs and e-paper technologies enable easy-to-read, responsive, mobile, and flexible devices that can be used in a physician’s office or hospital to communicate securely with cloud-based applications to access patient records, receive lab test results, schedule appointments, automatically generate insurance billing codes, and submit insurance claims—all with a secure audit trail.
Continuing advancements in EPD technology combine high-resolution e-paper technology with a high-speed controller platform to enable a new generation of EPDs expected to find a useful home in medical environments worldwide.
David Lamar is general manager of Epson Electronics America