Medical devices with displays
The medical field is increasingly using devices with screens. A room filled with monitors is no longer the vision of futurists – patients’ vital signs are tracked using various types of equipment, including cardiac monitors, for example. To the list of such devices with screens can be added more equipment known from offices, among others. ECG and ultrasound machines, spirometers or audiometers, as well as those we use at home, among others. glucometers.
In this review of medical applications, you will find almost all data visualization technologies. The choice of the appropriate matrix will depend on the intended use of the device, with each time taking into account the factors that prevail in the immediate environment of the designed equipment – three selected examples are discussed below.
These are devices on which basic data – such as the result and the unit of measurement, for example – are presented, so monochrome LCM displays can be successfully used in them. In addition to standard models, customized solutions are created on request, where it is the designer who decides what elements will be displayed on the screen. LCM displays are resistant to shock and vibration and can operate for many years without failure. In some applications, it will be possible to use matrices of the reflective type, i.e. without a backlight (the content presented on them is backlit by ambient light, reflected using, for example, a mirror placed behind the screen), which makes them energy-efficient solutions, perfect for battery-powered devices.
Images presented on screens in ultrasound machines are usually dominated by white and black with shades of gray, possibly with an admixture of other colors such as blue or red. In this type of equipment, it would be optimal to use OLED displays (these are solutions that would not require “fine-tuning” -. in OLEDs, the OLEDs that make up the matrices are the source of light, which makes the content presented on the screen perfectly readable, regardless of, for example, the intensity of the light), but it is still an expensive technology (which would further raise the price of an already expensive device). An economical alternative may be LCD-TFT displays with appropriately tuned parameters. Optimum content readability can be achieved by using matrices with the highest possible resolution, as well as high brightness (approx. 1000 cd/m2) and high contrast ratio (about 1000:1). Full viewing angles will be an added advantage.
Devices used in telemedicine, such as heart rate monitors
Telemedicine has been growing rapidly in recent years, generating demand for “wearables” solutions, i.e. wearable devices that will alert the appropriate services if a patient’s vital signs are detected. Users, accustomed to the capabilities provided by various wearables representing consumer electronics, will expect not only the most accurate measurements, but also the best access to data. OLED displays are best suited for this type of application. These are solutions that – thanks to high contrast and wide viewing angles – provide excellent readability of content, regardless of the conditions in the environment, as well as the viewing plane. The fact that these are matrices that do not require backlighting promotes a reduction in size and weight, as well as reducing power consumption, making it easier to implement such modules in compact and battery-powered wearables. What’s more, OLED displays are designed to withstand extreme temperatures (ranges from -40 to 80°C are standard), so they will work properly both when used indoors and outdoors.
Information and advertising screens in medical facilities
Increasingly, various types of screens are appearing in selected locations within medical facilities, such as in waiting rooms. Such media usually display informational content (e.g., about the order in which patients are admitted) and advertising content (e.g., about available packages), as well as educational content (e.g., campaigns encouraging flu vaccinations during the fall and winter seasons).
Typically, LCD-TFT displays are used in this type of application. They are best served by models with the highest possible resolution and appropriately adjusted brightness and contrast to suit the environment; full viewing angles are also desirable, allowing content to be viewed from any plane. Some of this type of equipment operates around the clock, so when choosing the final model, it is worth paying attention to the parameter known as LED lifetime. There are solutions on the market for which it is specified at 100,000 hours, which – under the right conditions – should ensure trouble-free operation for up to 10 years.
Learn more about information and advertising displays used in digital signage systems.
Medical touch screens
Touch-enabled solutions are increasingly being used in medical applications – and this includes devices used by personnel, such as equipment used to monitor a patient’s condition.
Developing technologies for calibrating touch-enabled modules – with the right choice of touch sensor and protective glass – make it possible to adjust their sensitivity to the specific “medical” conditions in which they will be used, including but not limited to the following. handling with latex or nitrile gloves, as well as when the surface is dirty, for example. ultrasound gels.
Requirements for medical displays
When embarking on the development of devices for medical use, it is also important to pay attention to a number of guidelines that such equipment must meet. In addition to the need to bring the equipment into compliance with, for example, the EU’s Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMI) directive, the provisions contained in the In PN-EN 60601 standard. Conducting proper certification is a labor-intensive process that can affect not only the time but also the cost of the project; these are factors that should be considered before embarking on such a project.