Motion Computing C5: the first Mobile Clinical Assistant

Motion Computing’s C5 is a Tablet PC designed specifically with clinicians in mind. We made an appointment with it at CeBIT 2007.

Tablet PC specialist Motion Computing showed off its new C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) at CeBIT 2007. The MCA platform, developed jointly by Intel and Motion Computing, is designed to deliver patient records and other relevant data to clinicians in a convenient, portable form factor.

A tablet for doctors and nurses: the Motion Computing C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant.

Clad in a durable white casing with a built-in handle and a splash-proof seal around the LCD screen, the C5 has an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of 54, which means that it can withstand a light liquid spray and wipe clean — ideal for a device that will require regular disinfection.

Other important features for the healthcare market include a fingerprint scanner and an RFID reader for user identification. The C5 also has a barcode reader for logging medicines or other clinical supplies plus a camera for on-the-spot image capture to complement text input via the touch-screen and stylus. An on-board Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip allows IT managers to ensure that confidential data on the tablet doesn’t reach the wrong hands.

The C5 measures 25.6cm square and 2.43cm thick, and weighs a handy 1.4kg. It has a 10.4in. XGA (1,024 by 768) touch-screen, which is driven by the integrated graphics module within Intel’s 945GM chipset. The CPU is a Core Solo U1400 running at 1.2GHz, supported by 512MB as standard (upgradeable to a maximum of 1.5GB). For an OS, you can choose between Windows XP Tablet PC Edition or Windows Vista Business.

The C5 comes with either a 30GB or a 60GB hard disk, while wireless communications are catered for by an Intel 802.11b/g Wi-Fi module and Bluetooth. If 802.11a wireless is required as well, an Atheros Wi-Fi card is available as an option. The system’s 40WHr Li-ion battery can be recharged in the included docking station, which can also accommodate and charge a spare battery.

According to Motion Computing, the C5 is currently being tested in a pilot study conducted by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. Results from that study will be published later this year. The Motion Computing C5 starts at £1,180 and will ship worldwide in May.

IT and the NHS may be controversial subjects at present, but the MCA platform and its first representative, the Motion Computing C5, may well have something valuable to offer. We will publish a full review of the system as soon as possible.

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