The Motion C5: Mobile Computing for Health Care

February 21st, 2007 |
Image for FaceBook
Download Audio FileRight click here to download audio | Share The Connected Social Media Player

 

In San Francisco, Intel, with Motion Computing and the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, announced the launch of the Motion C5 mobile clinical assistant, a lightweight tablet computer specifically designed for use in hospitals, for nurse patient care. It features a camera, barcode scanner, interoperability with medical devices like blood pressure monitors and EKG machines, bluetooth and 8.211 wireless connectivity.

This is an Intel podcast.

Related Stories: IntelDigitalHealth

Transcript:

Host: Michael Johnson – PodTech

Guest: Scott Eckert – Motion Computing

Guest: Dr. Michael Blum – UCSF

Dr. Michael Blum – UCSF

It’s one of the first times I’ve seen an information technology be put into the environment and the nurses are smiling about it and they’re saying, “This is helping me do my job”.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

This is Michael Johnson. In San Francisco, Intel along with Motion Computing and the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, announced the launch of the Motion C5, a lightweight tablet computer designed specifically for use in hospital, for nurse patient care. It features a camera, barcode scanner, interoperability with medical devices like blood pressure monitors and EKG machines, Bluetooth and 802.11 wireless connectivity and it replaces what’s sometimes referred to as the COW (computer on wheels) basically a laptop on a cart. After the initial announcement by Intel’s Paul Otellini, I spoke with Motion Computing CEO, Scott Eckert. Motion Computing designs computers for health care use and I asked Eckert, how the C5 project began?

Scott Eckert – Motion Computing

We first talked with Intel at IDF for about a year-and-a-half ago and heard the initial idea. I think they might have had the wooden model at that point probably not much else, but a vision to actually make this a reality and we engaged very quickly as health care has been Motion’s primary market from the outset. Here is an opportunity to take a market we were already serving and try to do something very different and unique with Intel and their breath of vision and willingness to start from scratch with end user input was a terrific way to get started in this industry and we were interested in engaging with them. So it was a pretty short conversation about how quickly we would start working with Intel.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

What is it about this particular form that has been working for people that are working with it?

Scott Eckert – Motion Computing

The slate form factor is intuitive for the end user because it feels like a clipboard, a piece for paper that they would have carried, maybe a scratch pad, and navigating the computer with a pen, also feels very natural. So, what we’re trying to do is make a computer that mimics the way that the end user — inclination in health care environment for instance — it mimics the way they actually work and so they can almost forget the fact that they’re using a piece of technology because its just like they’re using pen and paper. That’s the market we’re going after and if the software works really well with the hardware device, that’s the type of experience they have and they see enormous increases in productivity because they’ve replaced pen and paper with a computer for the very first time in most of our applications.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Now, I know that this sort of looks like I think some of the model of where computing is going in general, not just for health care. Where people are working with thin clients not much resident on the device itself but it’s sort of in the cloud, in the background. Tell me a little bit about what some of the challenges would be for security with this particular device because I know it operates on XP and also on Vista as well, the two platforms, but then tell me a little bit about security concerns.

Scott Eckert – Motion Computing

For clarity and whether it’s implemented in a thin client or a thick client it’s often at the end customer’s request. They can do it either way and we have examples of both. What we focused on from a security standpoint is authentication, having multiple levels of authentication. So, finger print log on or RFID badge log on and having that authentication tied to a TPM module. So, you can have inscription within the device and then we also have a technology called Computrace that is often known as Low Jack for laptops that allows you to track if the device actually leaves the premises, you can scramble the hard disk.

So, there are a bunch of different safeguards around capturing the data on the device and making sure that the device doesn’t carry the data outside of the building. Then how you implement security for the data in the cloud or in the backend becomes the feature of how that software or that backend architecture is implemented.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Now where do you see this going in as far as deployment within the next few years, I know the question was asked earlier about why has all this sort of converged now and where do you see it in five years?

Scott Eckert – Motion Computing

Part of the reason, it’s converged now; if you think back in the last five years, we’ve now got the ability to do thin and light mobile computing platforms. We’ve got an operating system from Microsoft that enables tablets, we’ve got high performance wireless that even a few years ago 80211 was just getting started and we’ve got a push from Intel into the health care industry to embrace the software vendors that are making clinical information systems.

So, there is a number of different technology factors that point to why now, for this class of product in this particular market, the health care market. If I look forward over the next five years, we’re just getting started on getting these devices into the hands of clinicians and health care. We now have the right device, we’ve just now got the software that works with this device, so now it’s a matter of taking examples like UCSF Medical Center where we are right now and doing similar sorts of deployments in a number of different health care institutions across the US. Today, as it stands, we have 40 customers lined up to do trials and usability studies just like what we’ve seen at UCSF and that’s just the beginning of how big the opportunity could be.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

Are any of those trials happening in other places other than the United States?

Scott Eckert – Motion Computing

Yes, there are trials in the UK, there are trials in Singapore. We have some trials in Canada and over time I would expect many, many more. Our focus is US, Canada, all major European markets, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand. So, all those markets are areas where the Motion C5 product will be launched effectively now and we’ll be shipping in a couple of months into 25 different countries.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

That was Motion Computing CEO, Scott Eckert. I also spoke with UCSF’s Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Michael Blum, about the development of the C5 from a medical practitioner and administrator’s point of view.

Dr. Michael Blum – UCSF

We’d worked with motion on some of their previous products and got together with a group of clinicians in an advisory capacity to really review the functionality and the features that they were talking about including and really work together to say how would this work in a clinical environment? Where were they on the mark? Where were they missing the mark? And what they really needed to do to introduce the concept of infection control and how important that is in the environment today. And really that’s some of their early beliefs about infection control. For example, the original thought was that the thing had to be — the device actually, had to be completely submersible to be disinfective which turns out not to be true. It actually needs to be wipable and that led to a lot of further modifications in the design. Things such as reducing any of the cracks and crevices came out of those sessions.

We also worked a lot with them around the importance of the software vendors, the applications really being customized to take advantage of the mobility and a lot of the team members brought their particular software providers, the GEs, the McKessons, the Cerners and the Siemens to really work with Motion and really developing their application specifically for it and that took the better part of the year, year-and-a-half until we ended up but today where the launch happened.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

It’s a pretty massive structure in which to deploy this, I mean, this is a world known campus here. Many people come here from all over the world to study medicine and also to get treated as well. What were the challenges, some of the main challenges you had in deploying such a device in such a large infrastructure as UCSF?

Dr. Michael Blum – UCSF

So one of our goals in designing the device was actually to make it so that it was as lightweight as possible from the infrastructure’s perspective, from the organization’s perspective that you didn’t have to go back and do a major change. So, it runs on common wireless infrastructure which we have deployed here and it runs on typical Windows platform.

So there is not a tremendous amount of re-work and learning. Having said that, it is a culture change and a technology change to move from a typical Notebook computer that people know how to work and so on, to bring them to using hand writing recognition, to using a bio metric sign on requires some training of the nurses and we’ve gone through that process and found that the nurses readily adopted this technology because it’s easier to use as opposed to when you try to do that kind of culture change and something that’s a challenge and you train and you train, and you train.

This is a pretty quick training cycle and the nurses adopted pretty well. Some of the other challenges are building the images, which way the software’s loaded onto the tablet so that you don’t have to touch each tablet individually, it requires a little bit of a specific build for the tablet, so we went through that hurdle. It was not nearly as bad as everyone had feared and it adopted a pretty standard image pretty well and the connectivity with the wireless has turned out to be excellent as well. The next step will be how are we going to plan to acquire and deploy them throughout the facility as we get some more experience up here.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

I know that we’ve been reading a lot of newspapers writing about security concerns with their laptops being stolen from the VA, the FBI and then you know hundreds of thousands of documents and records being on the individual laptop. What’s the situation with the motion C5 as far as it being for I guess to develop thick client or thin client? How much information is resident on the C5 as you walk around with it?

Dr. Michael Blum – UCSF

So, that’s an excellent point and tremendous concern of ours is the protection of the patient information and the patient privacy and it’s a focus of everything we do. The way it’s been designed is that no patient information is resident on the device itself. The entire client application and all the other applications are running off backend servers so that if this device was taken out of the environment, or broken, none of the information would be lost or would be taken out of the environment. In those situations, where you do have thefts of the devices, if there is patient information there, it’s a huge problem and as you point out the VA and several of the Universities of California have run into issues, so we’ve designed it and that was another part of the measure feedback from the clinician design team was that no information should need to be resident on the device in the environment.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

So, we’re not going to see a C5 on eBay any time soon?

Dr. Michael Blum – UCSF

Well, I’m sure you will, someone will steal one of these as soon as they can. As it was pointed out earlier today, a couple of things were built into it, the RFID locationability so we can see where they’re tracking through the environment. There is also platform features that are built in. So, should it be taken out of the environment? It can become disabled. There is essentially low jack for computers that you can’t employ things like that but people are going to steal anything that they can. Our goal was to make sure that if they do steal it, they don’t get any patient information with it.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

So, what’s the most exciting thing about this implementation for you?

Dr. Michael Blum – UCSF

I think it’s really the nursing satisfaction, the nursing adoption and the fact that we’re actually making it easier for the nurses to care for the patients. It’s one of the first times I’ve seen an information technology either a software application or a device, we put in the environment and the nurses are smiling about it and they’re saying, “This is helping me, do my job.” That’s a tremendous sense of satisfaction.

Michael Johnson – PodTech

That was Dr. Michael Blum, Chief Medical Information Officer for The University of California at San Francisco. We also heard from Motion Computing CEO, Scott Eckert. They spoke at the launch of the Motion C5 Tablet Computer for nurse patient care developed with Intel and UCSF. In San Francisco, this is Michael Johnson.

Share

Posted in: Connected Social Media, Corporate, Healthcare, Intel, Technology
Tags: , , , ,