A report on medical trackpad (or medical touchpad) performance in clinical environments and considerations for sourcing a trackpad used within this setting. This report highlights how to choose an appropriate trackpad to enable your equipment to perform at the highest level far into the future.
Precision Trackpads for the Medical Environment
Any trackpad used in a medical setting needs to have the same precision and reliability expected of the medical equipment it is placed within. Trackpads offer strict cursor control, and combined with gesture shortcuts, provide an intuitive way to interact with sonograms, bed controls, diagnostic machines and any electronic medical product.
Easy to Sterilize and Keep Clean
A medical trackpad should be able to handle the frequent cleanings that any equipment in a hospital or clinic will inherently undergo. Cleanings with a liquid or gel can have multiple complications for a trackpad.
Because water and other liquids can have conductive properties, moisture on the sensor may eliminate a trackpad's ability to recognize a finger's conductivity. This disruption can escalate to a point where it continues even after the cleaning substance is completely dry. Trackpads can be engineered to avoid these complications. For more information about Cirque's GlidePoint® trackpad's ability to deal moisture, please visit the GlidePoint product page.
Trackpads may also need to be sealed in order to have the sensor completely separate from cleaning and other substances, eliminating and difficult to sterilize seams.
Configurations for Display and Functionality
It is important to consider the use cases for the trackpad and features that will make it easier to use. Is cursor control all that is needed? Would gestures help a machine be more interactive for users? For example, a pinch-zoom gesture could allow for quicker viewing of details in X-rays or a custom gesture could activate functionality on an ultrasound.
Often, different product models need slightly different controllers for similar feature sets. Trackpads, instead of offering non-configurable buttons, allow for configurable touch zones. Similar products that need different display layouts can be customized with a printed overlay and software defined button-zones, which allows for easier manufacturing and product updates.
Designing medical equipment is not a trivial, easy, or quick task. Medical equipment is designed to operate and be manufactured for years to come. The last thing you want is a new trackpad that requires you to seek FDA or other agency recertification for a device. It is important that any medical trackpad and all components have long-term availability. Please contact us at Cirque to learn more about our favorable end-of-life policies.
Cirque GlidePoint trackpads are used in medical environments all over the world. Our trackpads operate in a temperature range of -40 to 85 degrees Celsius and continue to perform even after years of being covered in sterilization solution, wiped off, and covered again.
For your products, you want to minimize design changes. GlidePoint trackpads have long production lives and long term availability specifically with the medical engineering community in mind. You can learn more about GlidePoint trackpads on the product page or by contacting Cirque.
Because quality and longevity is vital in medical environments, GlidePoint trackpads are manufactured to ISO 9001 standards and the Touch ASIC is manufactured on an auto-qualified production line.
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