Tablet PC is designed for medical workers

Device from Intel, Motion Computing would cut down on paperwork for hospital staffers

Promising to save doctors and nurses from as much as 60 minutes of paperwork per day, Motion Computing Inc. announced a tablet PC for hospital workers.

The C5 is a mobile clinical assistant (MCA) computer based on Intel Corp.'s Centrino wireless notebook and Core Solo processor. The three-pound computer runs Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP or Vista operating system and has built-in 802.11 wireless connectivity. It has five features added specifically for the medical market: it is rugged, can be disinfected, has a bar code scanner, a digital camera and a radio frequency identification reader for user log-on.

Motion Computing Inc. announced a tablet PC for hospital workers.

Motion Computing Inc. announced a tablet PC for hospital workers.

Together, those functions will allow doctors, nurses and clinicians to do less paperwork, see more patients and make fewer errors, said Scott Eckert, CEO of Austin-based Motion Computing.

"The basic thing they're looking for is more time spent with patients and less time spent with charts," Eckert said in a webcast today.

Researchers from Motion Computing and Intel spent 18 months interviewing hospital workers as they tested prototypes of the tablet ranging from a wooden block to an early version code-named "Oak City," said Louis Burns, general manager of Intel's digital health group.

Compared with the clipboard, scanner and cart-mounted computer on wheels often used in hospitals today, the MCA is more compact, portable and lightweight, allowing medical workers to match the bar code on each bottle of drugs to a patient's wristband, Eckert said.

Motion's other products include the LE1600 and LS800 tablet PCs, used in fields like health care, life sciences, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, education and government. The company plans to launch an improved slate tablet called the LE1700 in late March.

Intel contributed its Centrino mobility platform to the project, as well as market research and technology ties with software providers. Intel sees the health care industry as a rich vein for future chip demand.

Motion Computing will launch the C5 in 25 countries by May, selling it for $2,199. The basic unit has three to four hours of battery life at full usage, and users can choose to buy designs with better batteries, faster processors or larger hard drives.

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