How Rugged Medical Tablets are Leading to Ambulances of the Future

How Rugged Medical Tablets are Revolutionizing Emergency Medical Service...The innovative, portable design of rugged medical tablets makes them the perfect fit for use by emergency medical professionals both in and out of ambulance settings. A mobile medical tablet can allow emergency response teams to quickly and efficiently access the information they need, determine best courses of action, and administer life-saving care while en route. An added bonus with the security and connectivity afforded by medical tablets and their massive processing power is the ability to communicate in real time and share vital patient information to better patient care.

Hospitals and private companies have moved digital record-keeping, and tablets have facilitated that shift, increasing their compatibility with electronic health records (EHR) systems and providing ways for patient data to be safely, securely and swiftly shared between medical professionals in the field and at the hospital.

Across Europe, ambulances are run by the Red Cross to keep communication constant and consistent between the first responders and the hospital, so when they are bringing a patient in they can quickly access information on the patient. This means digital paperwork can be done on the fly, as the team can get ready to transfer the patient into the hospital with ease, hand off the necessary information, and get on to the next emergency.

In the US, with privacy concerns at the forefront of medical professionals’ minds just behind saving lives, secure medical data devices such as rugged medical tablets allow them to do their job with ease while preserving patient privacy. Mobile devices can go from hand-held to ambulance mounted, providing responders with the vital information they need to treat patients safely.

As more and more medical service providers digitize and make patient information readily available to authorized health professionals, patient outcomes increase positively as well, with lives saved in the field and en route thanks to up to date information that can help relieve the lack of a medical bracelet or knowledge of a patient’s medical history, medication regimen or any possible allergies or counter indications for care.

Mobile devices with cameras, and larger mounted screens in the vehicles can allow first responders to pull up data on patients, update existing files, record new information, view images and video, and communicate important real time information on a patient to doctors waiting at the hospital. Being able to send an image of a specific wound site can help experienced professionals and specialists assist emergency teams in keeping patients alive until they reach the facility for further treatment.

These mobile and mountable device options have revolutionized how EMS/EMT professionals do their jobs and are revolutionizing how ambulances themselves are part of patient care. Real time connectivity, mobility, and access to data as well as visual transmission can benefit ambulance workers and outcomes in both urban and rural areas, and rugged tablets are definitely a driving force in the journey towards the future of personalized patient care and medical mobility.


3 Groundbreaking Ways Medical Tablets are Helping Mobile Medical Staff


Healthcare has been, and always will be, the most fluid and ever-changing industry on Earth. While people and their ailments remain the same, the environment and treatment plan is always changing. Doctors, nurses, and other caregivers need the tools to keep up, and the same goes for their mobile devices.

Tablet computers are the most versatile, multi-functional tool a medical professional could have, and mobile medical staff need them more than anyone. Patients aren’t always able to reach hospitals and other treatment centers, so the doctors and nurses have to come to them. Rugged tablets can go with them, minus the hassle of a laptop or smartphone.

Here are three ways that medical tablets are providing extra value for mobile medical staff.

Mobile Blood Banks

The critical blood shortage is a real issue, one that can quickly become disastrous. The Red Cross is always looking for donations, and mobile blood banks have become popular. Drives can be organized in high-traffic areas, and tablets can be used to monitor, track, and record the blood gathered. The lengthy battery life and reliability of rugged tablets are a major asset, ensuring that wherever the drive goes, the tablet comes with.

While blood drives may only seem tangentially related to medical work, they’re actually the source of much of the blood used during emergencies or surgery. It’s important to make sure these mobile blood banks are properly equipped.

Medical Tablets in Use Against the Opioid Crisis

Opioid addiction and overdose is a real issue in the U.S, and many people cannot get the necessary treatment on-time. On-site assistance is vital to these patients, and medical tablets can help them get it. In the event of an emergency visit, first responders can use medical tablets to identify the issue and administer the proper medication.

Tablets can also be used to monitor their condition and send patient information to the hospital before arrival. In an overdose situation, every second is a deciding moment for the patient. Medical tablets can save time, something both first responders and patients can benefit from.

Hitting the Streets with Medical Tablets

Bedridden, disabled, or mentally ill patients may have a hard time making it to a healthcare facility to receive treatment. In these cases, the medical help has to come to them. Tablets can go with medical staff to help them diagnose patients, access patient files, and administer necessary help. Scheduling, data collection, and prescriptions can be handled via tablet, reducing the need for a hospital trip.

Unlike laptops and other cumbersome medical equipment, tablets can be mounted within vehicles, carried in one hand, or carried in a case with keyboard to use on any flat surface. The future of mobile health technology lies in the advancement of tablet computers, and medical tablets are tailored to that purpose.

How NextGen Computers-on-Wheels (COWS) Enhance Patient Care

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems are digitizing healthcare. Facilities are racing to find and purchase the best equipment that will both safeguard their patients’ data according to the requirements set out by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) act, and give health care professionals better flexibility and functionality to deliver patient care.  

IT vs. Caregiver Perspectives

IT departments can be blind to the realities of what their professionals on the floor really need. Many facilities turned to wall or desk mounted PCs in as many rooms as possible, tethering each device to a static location. However, caregivers found mobility to be their biggest advantage, thus PCs mounted on medical carts were considered as an option.

Although these first generation options (often referred to as Computers-on-Wheels (COWS) and Workstations-on-Wheels (WOWS)) promised mobility, the laptop computers often ran out of battery charge mid-shift, causing delays in patient care due to power issues.

In addition, using an off-the-shelf laptop computer on top of a medical cart was found to be problematic, as the practice quickly spread bacteria from room to room within a hospital, due to the computer fan blowing air around. The concept of a consumer grade PC simply mounted on a standard medical cart was discarded, and a new concept was implemented – the all-in-one medical-cart computer.

DT Research’s next generation medical-cart computers have addressed the previous power issues with a hot swappable battery that can be switched on the spot without losing connectivity, and the bacteria spreading issues were also resolved, leading to a cutting edge solution that offers true medical computing at the point-of-care.

The Triangle of Patient Care

There are three points to the triangle of patient care; the patient themselves, the data, and the caregiver. Having an all-in-one medical-cart computer available at the point-of-care allows medical professionals to complete electronic based charting while at the side of the patient. Advantages include:

  • Real time, on location methodology of data collection and entry. This ensures rapid input of information in a timely manner as well as the ability to double check with the patient when it comes to items like medical histories and allergies.

  • Optimal layout of the facility thanks to the unit not being tethered permanently to a wall or desk. This allows for greater mobility for staff and physicians who don’t have to work around the cart when it’s not in use.

  • Suitability for use in conjunction with wall mounts. The all-in-one medical-cart computer can be wheeled in and used as a comparison with data available on a wall mount when time is short and data transfer is minutes that are not to be wasted.

  • Access across floors and specialties for complex cases. A mobile, integrated medical-cart computer assigned to a complex case can be taken from floor to floor, parked by the patient’s bed, and charts updated seamlessly when sending information electronically for every move and change isn’t time effective or productive.

Efficiency + Productivity + Accuracy = Better Patient Care

NexGen Medical-Cart Computers take the uncertainty and delays out of patient data collection, entry, and sharing. The ability to work on a patient and then enter data without interrupting workflow to find a wall mount or go to a centralized data entry station means that patient care is handled quickly and efficiently and the care is improved by better accuracy and less human error.

NextGen Medical-Cart Computers by DT Research will help facilitate broad adoption of EMR systems, which will significantly improve medical outcomes.