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Capacitive screen improves hospital PC’s bedside manner

Nov 4, 2011 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Advantech announced an “infotainment terminal” for hospital patients that includes a capacitive multitouch screen and a dual-core Intel Atom processor. The PIT-1503W offers a 15.6-inch display with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, CompactFlash or hard disk storage, plus a wealth of options that includes a TV tuner, a two megapixel webcam, Wi-Fi, RFID, and a smart card reader, according to the company.

Advantech has offered "infotainment terminals" for hospitals since 2009, as we review later in this story. The new PIT-1503W, however, seems to be the company's first such device to include capacitive multitouch capabilities. (Last year's Poindus VariCura, another bedside system for patients, also has a capacitive screen.)

We write "seems to be" above because Advantech's Oct. 25 press release touted the PIT-1503W as having a capacitive screen. But the PIT-1503W product page and PDF-formatted data sheet both claim the screen is resistive.


Advantech's PIT-1503W

For once, we're putting our money on a press release, since the PIT-1503W (above) obviously has a glass screen, plus a flush bezel that will remind users of a giant iPad. Two-finger multitouch is available with either Linux or Windows 7, and the scratch-resistant surface can be kept clean with hospital-grade anti-bacterial cleaning solutions, the company says.

The PIT-1503W employs Intel's ICH8M chipset and the dual-core Atom D510. According to Advantech's data sheet, the device has a 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and a 300-nit brightness rating. Separately, the company's release claims the switch to capacitive technology has increased light transmission from 80 to 90 percent.

Advantech suggests patients can entertain themselves via the device's optional TV tuner (ATSC or DVB-T), get updates on their condition via a hospital's intranet, or keep in touch with relatives via the Internet. When equipped with an extra-cost wired remote controller and handset, the PIT-1503W is suitable for VoIP phone calling, the company adds.

Other hospital-specific features are said to include a nurse call button and an LED indicator that goes with it. And, there are additional options in the form of a smart card reader, an RFID reader, a barcode scanner, and a two-megapixel webcam, says Advantech.

According to Advantech, the PIT-1503W accepts up to 2GB of RAM, while fixed storage is provided via either CompactFlash or an SATA hard disk drive. A Mini PCI Express slot accepts an optional 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN adapter, the company adds.

Wired connectivity on the PIT-1503W includes three USB 2.0 ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, a microphone input, a line output, and an isolated serial port, Advantech says. The PC also includes stereo speakers, according to the company.

Specifications listed by Advantech for the PIT-1503W include the following:

  • Processor — Intel Atom D510 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — ICH8M
  • Memory — up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM
  • Storage — CompactFlash or optional SATA interface for hard disk drive
  • Expansion — Mini PCI slot (intended for WLAN card)
  • Display — 15.6-inch capacitive touchscreen with 1366 x 768 resolution and 300-nit brightness rating
  • Keys — nurse call button, plus optional six-button wired controller and handset
  • Camera — 2 megapixel webcam (optional)
  • Networking:
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g/n (optional)
  • Other wireless capabilities:
    • TV tuner (ATSC or DVB-T; optional)
    • RFID (optional)
    • barcode reader (optional)
    • smart card reader (optional)
  • Other I/O:
    • 3 x USB
    • 1 x serial (isolated)
    • audio — microphone in and line out
  • Power requirements — 100 to 240 VAC
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 104 deg. F (0 to 40 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 16.38 x 12.13 x 2.56 inches (416 x 308 x 65mm)
  • Weight — 10.58 pounds (4.8kg)

Earlier models

Advantech first released a PC designed especially for hospital patients in 2009: Its Windows-based PIT-1702 had a 17-inch touchscreen display, a front panel that met IP65 standards for resistance to liquids and dust, and a choice of 1.6GHz Celeron or Core 2 Duo CPUs. A 2010 followup known as the PIT-1501W had similar attributes, but with a 15.6-inch display and a 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor.

The Linux-ready PIT-1502W (pictured), released last March, is a refresh that switched to Intel's ICH8M chipset and offered a choice of either the single-core Atom D410 or dual-core Atom D510. Still with a 15.6-inch resistive touchscreen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, the device got an improved contrast ratio (300:1), and the optional webcam was bumped up to two megapixels from 1.3, according to Advantech.

Further information

The PIT-1503W runs Windows 7 or the Fedora or Ubuntu versions of Linux, according to the company. Pricing was not detailed, but the device is said to be available now, and a 17-inch PIT-1073W version will be "available soon."

More information can be found on Advantech's PIT-1503W product page.

Jonathan Angel can be followed at www.twitter.com/gadgetsense.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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