A surefire big hit at HIMSS this year will be Motion Computing's new C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant. Billed as the first ultra mobile wireless computer made specifically to address the workflow needs of doctors, nurses and other clinicians, the C5 is truly unique. The C5 is the first highly sealed, fully “disinfectable” computer to integrate into one durable device all of the relevant technologies important to clinician workflow and productivity. The C5 combines multiple devices into one -- including a built-in barcode and RFID reader for patient identification and supply, specimen and medication administration verification; a built-in camera; and a fingerprint reader to improve security and simplify clinician authentication. This baby is unlike anything you've seen; from its unique design that may remind some of the "Speak and Spell" toy our kids used to play with, to all the bells and whistles that make it the ideal clinical companion.
I've been a fan of Motion Computing from the start. I think they build some of the coolest pure slate tablet computers on the market today. I've used the LE1400 and LE1600 models as well as their smaller cousin, the LS800. Until recently, I used Motion tablets almost exclusively. With the launch of Windows Vista, I have had to temporarily migrate to a machine that will run Vista in Aero glass mode. Mind you, Vista runs very nicely on both the LE1600 and LS800 models, but not in glass mode. To their credit, Motion also provides the drivers you'll need on their web site should you want to upgrade to Vista on one of their older machines. But I've got to admit that I can't wait to get my hands on the new Motion LE1700 model. And like many of you, I look forward to seeing the C5 in the flesh. I've seen photos and mock ups, but there's nothing like seeing the real thing and putting it through its paces.
In the C5 press release, Motion mentions something I've also addressed in my writings; the fact that "EMR implementations have been only moderately successful in the past because independent vendors of hardware, software and infrastructure did not collaborate early enough. Healthcare organizations and clinician users were then left to integrate isolated point technologies within their workflow and facility constraints." What I so admire about Motion Computing is their commitment to understanding clinical work-flow and the requirements of clinicians. The C5 has been designed using input from hundreds of practicing clinicians in private practices and academic medical centers. And, it continues to undergo extensive testing in a variety of clinical environments around the world. While it may not be the perfect device for everyone working in healthcare, it certainly is a welcome addition to the desktop, laptop, notebook, and tablet computers currently on the market. It gives me all the more reason to believe that the age of the computer as an essential tool in clinical practice has finally arrived.
See you at HIMSS!
Bill Crounse, MD Worldwide Health Director Microsoft