A tablet PC for healthworkers, from Intel and Motion Computing, has been tested by nurses in the UK.

Among other health organisations, the National Health Service (NHS) tested the Mobile Clinical Assistant tablet PC in hospital departments before its launch. Nurses at the Salford Royal hospital in Manchester used it for wireless bedside access, removing onerous and error-prone paper-based prone procedures when reviewing and updating patient information. The device also features a barcode scanner, wireless stethoscope, Bluetooth and a two megapixel digital camera, all designed to offer the latest in tracking and auditing facilities to boost patient safety.

Security is controlled using an ID card and PIN access code. The MCA itself also holds minimal data, as information is regularly uploaded to central servers.

The MCA also contains a 30 to 60 Gbyte hard drive, 1.5 Gbyte RAM. It has a three-hour battery life, with docking stations available for charging the PCs on the fly. It will cost £1,199 when it becomes available in a couple of months’ time.

Mike Bainbridge, senior clinical architect for the NHS £6-billion IT modernisation project, Connecting for Health said the tool would make a significant difference to how medicine is practiced in the next two to five year at the launch event.