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VR Interfaces: Philips MCA


Overview of Philips MCA
One of the first mobile clinical assistants to hit the market, was the Philips MCA in 2006. Created as a partnership between Philips and Intel, this relatively primitive wireless data input unit, was designed to be held in one hand, and interacted with by a stylus in the other.

Designed with a then-easy to read 10.4 inch XGA touch-screen, the device had every manner of wireless connectivity it was possible for it to have: RFID and barcode scanning, Bluetooth, wireless LAN connectivity and a digital camera. The hope was to create a platform which would connect to every conceivable wireless network a hospital might possess, and to supplement note taking with actual images on-file.

The idea worked, as this little device spawned an industry.

As with all such devices since, the Philips MCA, was designed as a fully sealed device without any I/O ports. This meant it could take spillage of cleaning compounds, or even urine, and still keep ticking; just wiped clean with disinfectant. It could be dropped to the ground, kicked, stood on, kicked again, and run over with a wheelchair, and still be both intact and perfectly useable.

Its medical grade compliance allowed usage in many clinical areas, including intensive care units and surgery theatres.In addition, it served to positively identify medical personnel as records could be called up to show the patient.

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