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Displays for medical and healthcare applications

“First, do no harm.” – this phrase traditionally attributed to Hippocrates is one of the guiding ethical principles in medicine. Although it is mainly associated with antiquity and was ultimately not even part of the oaths taken by doctors at the time, it also fits the display technology used in the medical industry. What is important is not only the durability and resistance of the LCD modules used, but above all the guarantee of safety during their use, high functionality and exceptionally clear access to the information displayed on them.

In the case of displays used in medical applications, the support of an experienced team of industry specialists is very important. Their knowledge, understanding of a given project and the guidance they provide will help in selecting the best solution for the customer. The key factor affecting the selection of the right LCD module is whether it will meet the requirements of the medical market – these types of screens must have certain parameters.

Not just resolution

Any diagnostic device with a screen should also conform to certain standards when it comes to readability of information. High resolution, very good contrast and full viewing angles, as well as increased brightness (in certain cases) are the basic parameters that a display should have in order to be used in medical applications – especially in endoscopes, CT scanners and devices supporting surgical procedures. An extended operating temperature range and high mean time between failures (MTBF) are also added advantages. Such are the features of the G133HAN01.0 model from AUO (1980x1080p, 800:1, 400cd/m2, 50,000 hours of operation, temp. Operation (°C): -20~60). Another interesting product for the medical industry could be the G101EVN03.1 module from the same supplier, which is distinguished by even higher brightness (1000 cd/m2) and very high contrast ratio (1300:1), making it suitable for ultrasound machine deployments.

Safe surfaces

The safety of both medical facility staff and the patients themselves is crucial. Therefore, in the solutions implemented in this industry, it is worth considering the use of additional screen protection in the form of coatings, such as anti-bacterial and anti-shatter. The latter prevents the spread of glass shards in case of mechanical damage to the display. Solutions of various hardnesses are available, and their light transmittance is about 90%, which does not adversely affect the operation of the device.

In turn, the anti-microbial coating reduces the amount of microorganisms left on the screen surface by each user. The medical sector’s demand for such applications was high even before the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic. Their use has become crucial to the operation of devices that are used daily by hundreds or even thousands of users – not only in healthcare facilities.

The most popular antibacterial coatings use silver nanoparticles. An alternative has been proposed by Kastus, which, after several years of research, has patented its solution using other materials. The undeniable advantage of the coating they have created is exceptional durability – to protect the screen you only need to apply it once, the process does not need to be repeated. It is completely transparent and does not affect the display’s usable functions in any way. Antimicrobial reduction efficacy for both described antimicrobial coatings has been determined to be at least 99.9%.

Not only stationary

More compact and mobile medical devices, such as ECG or KTG (cardiotocograph) machines, dialysis machines or ventilators, use smaller but still highly functional screens. An example of a solution suitable for this type of application is the WF50DTYA3MNG10# module with MIPI interface from Winstar (720x1280p, 800:1, 250cd/m2, temp. Operation (°C): -20~70). It offers high performance with low power consumption. Full viewing angles ensure readable images in any position and without distortion. The module is also equipped with a capacitive touch panel with multitouch function, and the glass surface not only makes it easy to keep clean, but also increases its mechanical resistance.

E-paper in healthcare

In the context of medicine and healthcare, interesting applications are those using e-paper modules. They can act as small displays in drug dispensers (such as the ET011TT2 model produced by E Ink) or improve the work of medical personnel by using them as electronic equivalents of information cards. It is worth noting that the e-paper does not emit blue light – in the case of medical applications, the lack of backlighting may be the biggest advantage of this technology, since in many cases it is enough to use a discrete light source in the form of LEDs. Such solutions, which are more accessible to the human eye than LCD screens, have a positive impact on the well-being of people who stay longer in rooms with constantly operating medical equipment. In addition, they consume a small amount of electricity and provide full viewing angles, so they do not limit the availability of the information presented.

A future without mistakes

The progressive development of medicine, and consequently the amount and variety of information necessary for medical personnel and patients, is constantly increasing. This implies the need not only for continuous research and development, but also for selecting the right technology at the very beginning of the project. The better the LCD modules are tailored to the specific needs of doctors, the greater will be the functionality of the equipment – the high quality of the solution, in turn, will guarantee its long life. It is worth trusting specialists in their fields, both in terms of display selection and concern for human life and health. Contact us , for support in implementing your project.


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