Deciding on the right touch technology can be challenging for even the seasoned technology guru. With over 1200 touch-related patents in existence, it is easy to become confused about which touch technology to choose to integrate into a new product. Whether it is the credit card terminal at the grocery store, the ticket kiosk at the local movie theater or the mobile phone in your pocket, the use...
EMDT editor Norbert Sparrow says the medical electronics industry has a lot to look forward to, based on a report from InMedica. (The report, "12 Predictions for 2012 in the Medical Electronics Industry" is available for download after free registration.) Among the key observations: Point-of-care ultrasound should see 44% growth from 2011 to 2015. In fact, InMedica says almost all...
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-...
Another day, another tablet. Touch-screen devices seem to be coming out of the woodwork. Back in March, Tim Gee of MedicalConnectivity.com asked, Which tablet will win in healthcare? As MED previously reported, Doctors have thrown their weight behind the iPad, and the device got another vote today. Gadget site Gizmodo picked up on a comparison of the display of three tablets—Apple’s...
Microchip Technology recently announced an expansion of its 8-bit segmented LCD microcontroller (MCU) family with five new devices—the PIC16LF1902/3/4/6/7 MCUs. The PIC16LF190X family supports many general-purpose applications and enables the implementation of LCD into low-power and cost-sensitive designs, including medical devices. Featuring eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology for sleep...
Ever wanted to manipulate the magnified image of a microscope sample on an oversized touch screen? Well, now you can. Researchers have developed just such a system, which uses "Web-based virtual microscopy" and a touch screen to make it possible to see 1000-fold magnifications on an "in your face" scale.  From the press release: Biological samples are digitized using a...
High-power light-emitting diodes (LEDs) first became commercially available in the beginning of this century. As their efficiency and light yield improved, LEDs began to be used in applications that previously were restricted to conventional filament, halogen or discharge lamps.   In medical as well as industrial applications, cold-light sources are often used for illumination. Microscopy...
DesignMED is only five weeks away. Co-located with MD&M West, DesignMED is a technical conference aimed at designers of medical electronics systems. So if you’re designing the hardware or software or all aspects of a medical system, this is the place for you. It’s being held in Anaheim, Calif., from February 8-10. If you can’t make it to DesignMED, fear not. We’ll be...
Kontron recently introduced its fanless Medi Client IIA, a compact and long-term available Medical Panel PC with a 10.4- or 15-in. touch screen. It’s designed as a human machine interface (HMI) for medial appliances or as an all-in-one workstation equipped with medical device interfaces. The cost-efficient, 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor N270 enables the PC to achieve high performance and low...
One of the most interesting conversations I had at Renesas DevCon was about bringing 3-D to the medical sector. Representatives from the company's display business discussed it with me briefly as one of their emerging technologies. Specifically, they are looking to combine 2-D and 3-D visualization. For example, a menu or list of options would remain 2-D while the option the user selected would...
A family of color alphanumeric LCD displays is suitable for display applications that include medical radiology equipment, monitors, defibrillators, infusion pumps, and ventilators. The InfoVue FSC LCDs have integrated RGB LED backlights that allow for a wide range of color display options. The chips-on-glass technology provides color programming with high-color saturation performance. A...
An expanded line of LED light tubes are available with 5- and 10-mm diameter options. The M-tube LED light system provides lighting options for electronics and is designed for applications including medical products. The light guides are rugged with a strong plastic light bar tube that stays cool even when brightly lit. The tubes provide reliability in adverse conditions and are resistant to...
Yesterday was the first day of Renesas Electronics' DevCon, which is a fascinating event for those in the electronics space. For those who haven't been in the loop, Renesas and NEC merged earlier this year, but it appears that the integration has been fairly simple in the Americas region (there's still work to be done in Japan, apparently).   While I was there, I had an informative...
We have just released the call for abstracts for the 2011 DesignMED Conference. DesignMED is aimed at designers and developers of medical electronics systems and subsystems. The conference is broken down into roughly seven tracks, each of which will contain a series of one-hour classes. The tracks are likely to cover: Imaging Diagnostics and Monitoring Implantable Devices Personal and Home...
GM Nameplate (Seattle) has licensed DuPont’s Vertak bonding technology to provide customers with display enhancement technology. When applied to front panels during manufacturing, the Vertak optical bonding technology significantly increases LCD readability in bright sunlight and also improves scratch resistance, impact resistance, and overall durability. Vertak has attributes of silicone...
    Cirque Corp. (Salt Lake City) has announced a strategic partnership with Ocular Inc. (Richardson, TX) to develop advanced touch display screens. To start, Ocular has incorporated Cirque’s capacitive touch controller into its Crystal TouchT line of capacitive touch screens. Ocular says that the alliance strengthens its market position. And as the company tries to aggressively...
  SPECIAL SECTION   (click to enlarge) As medical devices become smaller and more portable, end-users require displays to be legible in many conditions. Identifying the right display for the application can be challenging. In this guide, four experts explore the demands being placed on medical electronic displays and discuss the advances in technology that enable product...
  GUIDE TO DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES     The basic characteristics of vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) technology continue to make it an attractive display for many applications in the medical field. Characteristics include high brightness, wide viewing angle, wide temperature range, long life, and relatively low cost (see Table I). The high brightness and wide viewing angle produce...
  GUIDE TO DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES     Sensors serve a variety of functions in medical equipment, such as monitoring patient vital signs like blood pressure and the oxygen content of blood, regulating the flow of drugs to a patient, measuring a patient's body temperature, or noninvasively creating images of internal organs. Medical equipment would be useless if the information from...
  GUIDE TO DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES     Medical devices are continuing to increase in sophistication and are being used in more varying conditions. Such conditions range from the clinical environment to outdoor use, day or night. Designing a device for diverse conditions makes the display selection more challenging. However, if successful, the device will result in a more-compelling...
  GUIDE TO DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES     Touch screens are a great interface for many medical devices. They can simplify complex systems, reduce the chance of mistakes, and provide more-efficient data entry than other input devices. They are much easier to keep clean than keyboards, and they have fewer moving parts, which typically translates into good reliability ratings. Moreover,...
  Originally Published MEM Fall 2004 DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY   New technologies continue to raise the bar on flat-panel display performance in medical diagnostic devices. Dale H. Maunu Information conveyed by a medical diagnostic device display is critical. It must be clear and legible at all times, and screens are being called upon to display increasingly sophisticated information. In the...
  Originally Published MEM Fall 2004 DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY   Durable new displays that can be read in any light are built for easy integration. Dave Hagan Sidebar: System-on-Chip Devices: Finding a Brain for a Portable Medical Device For virtually every medical equipment application, the healthcare industry wants displays that are bright, crisp, and easy to read....
  Originally Published MEM Fall 2004 DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY   Christophe Chene Return to Article: Display Technology for New Portable Medical Instruments From the user's perspective, the display is usually the most important component of a medical instrument. But inside the box is the real brain of the device—the microprocessor. As medical equipment...
  Originally Published MEM Fall 2003 GUI TECHNOLOGY   New technology makes GUIs a fast and cost-effective way to add features and improve on existing designs. Jim Todd Graphical user interface (center) provided courtesy of Amulet Technologies (Santa Clara, CA). Other products shown courtesy of Welch Allyn (Skaneateles Falls, NY); Cadex Electronics (Richmond, BC, Canada); SBS/VI...