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6 Ways Rugged Products Support the Postpandemic Digitalization of Ambulance Services

Winmate Marketing team>June 24, 2022

The pandemic of COVID-19 highlighted the critical role that health and care organizations play in people's daily lives. It also emphasized digital transformation's crucial role in speeding up workflows and saving precious minutes and seconds.

A male and female EMS team is helping a man with ventilator and Winmate rugged products M101Q8-ME

Nearly everyone became increasingly reliant on technology due to the pandemic, especially in the health sector. Such as, for the emergency medical service team, users may streamline the care processes with digital transformation, putting more information at responders' fingertips sooner and reducing the chance of errors. But, using consumer-grade gadgets in challenging emergencies puts ambulance staff in danger. Hence, the need for rugged products has risen significantly since the outbreak began. Here are a few crucial points to keep in mind.

1. Purpose-built for the ambulance

Paramedics work under extreme strain and in all types of weather, necessitating device reliability. They must endure strong on-road vibrations, hits, and drops and be splashed with water, mud, dust, and other contaminants that would render standard equipment and personnel useless.

Consumer-grade equipment is not designed to endure the harsh daily circumstances that ambulance crews face. Military Standards (MIL-STD) and Ingress Protection (IP) are used to test the endurance of rugged equipment. These devices are tested for strict toughness criteria, preventing device damage such as screen cracking, water damage, and drop damage. As a result, ambulance workers now have a device they can rely on in an emergency.

Easy disinfection and cleaning have become one of the basic requirements for rugged products used by first aid services. According to research, COVID-19 can survive for days on various surfaces, including laptops and tablets, necessitating a more significant need among health care providers for devices that can be cleaned quickly and properly. Winmate healthcare grade tablet PCs are created with these specifications in mind and come with antimicrobial housing, suitable for ambulance uses.

2. Improved connectivity for emergency response

In the post-pandemic era, remote servicing and assistance have become essential too. Hence, technology that enables remote collaboration and support has become critical because of the increasing complexity of patient encounters and the data requirements for optimum patient care. Such as the development of IoMT, telemedicine, etc., have become popular.

Consumer-grade devices rely on the public cellular network for connectivity. As a result, first responders may experience call dropouts, long wait times for huge files, and other issues. WLAN, WWAN, built-in GPS, and many other networking options are available on rugged products. Emergency responders can use the device to relay real-time patient and incident information. This way, the patient's data and history can be acquired and transferred to the hospital before arrival, saving valuable time and resources.

3. Long-lasting and hot-swappable battery

The heavy use required in an ambulance means consumer-grade devices can run out of battery before their users have finished their shift. This, in turn, creates inconvenience and wasted time. Paramedics either wait for the device to recharge or get a replacement device for the rest of their shift.

Rugged products increase battery life with a high-capacity battery to ensure they stay up and running even during long hospital handovers. For example, Winmate Healthcare Tablet PCs includes hot-swappable batteries that allow for a more extended, uninterrupted period of operation.

4. Secure sensitive data

Consumer electronics have minimal security that is easily hacked. Due to this, ambulance crews working with sensitive patient data may face security risks.

Winmate Healthcare Rugged products provide enhanced security features to safeguard the sensitive and confidential data they collect and transmit. Including:

Rugged devices can be configured with fingerprint scanning, smart card, 1D/2D barcode, and RFID readers for additional security systems. So the device remains secure, even if it gets into the wrong hands.

5. Better, brighter, stronger touchscreens

Because they are not built for first responders, consumer-grade tablets' touchscreens may not respond to damp fingers, gloves, or styluses. Furthermore, the glare makes it difficult to see information on screens. These can jeopardize patient care in the incident area, making it more difficult for ambulance workers to provide the best possible care.

Winmate understands the challenges and creates tough equipment for usage in harsh environments. Our rugged products have advanced optical bonding to increase touch accuracy, sunlight readability, support touch with or without gloves, a pen or stylus, and even damp fingers.

The M101P-ME impresses with a sharp, bright, and vibrant display that offers 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, a virtually perfect viewing angle from all directions, and no color shifts. The display is bright enough to be used outdoors.

-- Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, Editor-in-Chief RuggedPCReview

6. Long-term advantages and lower total cost of ownership (TCO)

Generally, the purchase price of rugged computers is higher than non-rugged alternatives. However, the failure rates for non-rugged systems are higher, thus resulting in increased user downtime and higher TCO. Rugged systems provide a long service life and platform stability. It means accessories and supporting software infrastructures can be leveraged for years.

Other long-term benefits are highlighted as emergency services work with mobile solutions. For example, the valuable data collected can be used to make predictions, create maps showing where and when road accidents are most likely to occur and place ambulance teams nearby. Finally, many more patients can be treated on the spot, with the possibility of two-way communication between paramedics and hospital specialists at the scene of the accident, ultimately reducing the need to transport patients to the hospital.

Winmate Rugged Solutions for First Response Teams

While the development of effective vaccines means the COVID-19 threat is starting to subside, many valuable lessons learned about the importance of digital transformation over the last two years remain. Now more than ever, ambulance crews and emergency health care professionals need digital solutions that can be relied on in all situations to provide the critical information they need. Successful digital transformation can deliver this and much more, helping optimize patient care for many years to come.

Winmate understands that paramedics work in high-pressure situations, where every second counts. Likewise, we develop Healthcare solutions to help first responders save lives, so they become more productive and work more efficiently than ever before.

Learn more about how Winmate rugged products are deployed in public safety settings at www.winmate.com