According to the WHO (World Health Organization), heart disease has been the leading cause of death at the global level for the last 20 years. In 2019, there were nearly 9 million deaths, up from 2 million in 2000. This accounts for roughly ⅓ of all deaths globally. With these increasing numbers, heart health is a growing area of focus in the medical industry.
Estone Technology, a leader in mHealth solutions, has partnered with a medical company from California to develop the mH-150 medical tablet PC. With a bright 15.6” touch LCD, the mH-150 is designed to collect data, update device firmware, and assist in medical procedures. The mH-150 has connection capabilities designed to communicate with ICDs and ECGs to mobilize mHealth solutions.
What is an ICD and How Does It Work?
An ICD is an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. There are two types of ICDs; transvenous which has leads that are run through the arteries and into the heart, and Subcutaneous where the leads are run to the other side of the heart and not into it. These devices are designed to administer an electric pulse to the heart when an abnormality is sensed.
These small devices are battery powered. The battery lasts for a finite amount of time based on settings and usage. Since the battery is sealed, once the battery is depleted, the entire unit must be changed. With the finite supply of power, it is important to keep the device running at its most optimal capabilities. The mH-150 is designed for this objective with the ability to update the device for the most optimal specifications.
The Need for Medically Certified Devices for ICD Communications
ICDs are able to communicate to devices outside of the patient’s body wirelessly through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). All current mobile operating system platforms natively support BLE. Many ICD manufacturers even support mobile device applications for patients to be able to communicate with their ICD from their personal cell phone.
Cardiologists at Henry Ford have discovered that the iPhone 12 can deactivate the life saving ICDs by being in close proximity. A medically certified device like the mH-150 can interact with the ICD while at an office or during home visits without causing unintentional harm to the device or patient. ICDs can communicate with other devices through BLE, which could make them susceptible to attack with the right combination of hardware and software. Manufacturers have shown this risk by patching security vulnerabilities in ICDs with firmware updates. It is important to keep the ICD updated with a device like the mH-150 in order to secure the ICD from vulnerabilities.
Filling the Need with the Estone Technology mH-150
The mH-150 is designed for connectivity with ICDs, ECGs, and other medical devices requiring proprietary connections. It will have an anti-microbial housing that is IP-65 rated which will allow it to be used in surgical rooms, medical offices and patient bedsides and sterilized regularly to prevent contamination. Its medical certification will ensure that it will not pose any safety risks to patients or medical devices.
The hardware of the device combined with processing power for software applications will allow safe communication with ICDs and other connected devices. Medical professionals will be able to collect, send and receive data without the risk of device interference.
mH-150 Hardware for Mobile Healthcare
The backbone of the mH-150 is a powerful Intel Core-M processor with a bright 15.6” LCD. The power of Intel allows this tablet to handle the most difficult computing tasks as the power required for medical software gets more demanding. The integration of AI technology in medical software requires the most powerful hardware.
Packed with a wide range of connectivity options for mHealth, the mH-150 bridges the gap between mobility and connectivity among medical devices. A proprietary connector provides the communication capabilities for ECG leads to display feedback to software loaded on the tablet.
An additional proprietary connector for the ICD programmable head is included. The mH-150 platform allows for different proprietary connections by customizing the ports for ODM solutions. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) allows the device to connect to ICDs and other BLE enabled devices before, during and after implantation.
Device Support Through Every Stage
The mH-150 is designed to assist in the support of medical devices through every stage of their use. Every design element of the tablet has given consideration to these stages, including connectivity options, auto-sensing technology on the touch screen that can be configured for wet screens or gloves, and computing power.
Device Preparation (Pre-Op)
Prior to a medical device being installed in a patient, the mH-150 can be used to configure and test the medical device unit to ensure there are no complications and the unit is not defective during the surgical procedure. During this process, devices can be preconfigured for the patient based on previously collected data. Once configured, the device can be ready for implantation.
Support During Surgery and Implantation
The mH-150’s advantage over the traditional medical monitor or pc is its mobility. The tablet PC platform allows the tablet to be mobilized anywhere at any time for any view angle. During surgical procedures, the same medically certified device that did the initial programming of the medical device can be taken into the operating room and continued to be used to monitor vital information to the surgical procedure.
Before finishing the procedure, the device can also confirm the connectivity capabilities of the implant. This allows the team to check for normal operation of the device to make sure it is working as intended and to confirm the success of the procedure.
Since the mH-150’s touch screen can be configured to recognize wet and glove touches, surgeons can be confident in using the device without having to change gloves or wipe the screen. After the surgery, the tablet can be disinfected and mobilized to assist in other medical duties.
Post-Op Device Support
After the device is successfully implanted in the patient, there will still be a need to communicate with the device. BLE allows for communication with the medical devices while using a considerably lower amount of energy than traditional bluetooth, which is important in the case of ICDs which have enclosed and finite power sources. Medical professionals can leverage this connection to update firmware to the device and monitor activity to check the health of the patient while updating algorithms to better support the device functions.
The tablet can be used in medical offices, patient bedsides or for in-home follow up appointments. The mobility of the tablet and its antimicrobial chassis allows medical professionals to take the mH-150 to any environment to support the medical task without risking contamination.
The mH-150 as a Platform for ODM Options
Since the mh-150 is an ODM platform, it has the potential to be customized with additional capabilities to expand its use within the mHealth industry. Changing the proprietary connections or adding additional connection options allows the platform to be designed for specific use case solutions. Complete and total integration among any other medical device that has communication capabilities allows for the potential consolidation of the amount of devices necessary to support medical services.
Estone is a leading mHealth provider developing multiple tablets pcs and handheld computer hardware platforms for the healthcare industry. You can find our other medical focused ODM platforms on our Medical Tablet PC page and Medical Panel PC page.