Penta, Schiller, Kontron Enable Emergency and Critical Care Management

3/15/2006 - In emergency medicine and the rescue services, every second counts. Getting the right information at the right time is vital. For the first time, UMTS technology offers digital data exchange options with performance high enough that the technology can be used by the emergency medical services. Penta's Hercules Mobile Medical system platform implements a patient monitoring application from the medical technology provider SCHILLER using UMTS and based on ETX Computer-On-Modules from Kontron.

The first UMTS products are available and pilot projects are running in emergency medical care. In September 2006, SCHILLER will launch its UMTS enabled intensive monitoring system for emergency patients - the ARGUS PRO. All of the patient data collected by the monitoring system can be viewed locally on the display, or made available anywhere in the world in real-time via UMTS. This broadband mobile telemetry data transfer from rescue helicopters and ambulances is particularly useful for relocation transports to special hospitals, where the clinic specialists can accompany the transport with tele-ARGUS eyes.

The current solution creates a diagnostic-quality resting ECG with automatic interpretation and sends the ECG from the monitoring application via FAX to a specified hospital for evaluation (a second opinion) or to a web server which can be accessed from anywhere in the world via Internet ExplorerTM by authorized persons using two-factor authentification. Following the secure transmission, the web server automatically notifies the appropriate doctor via pager, SMS, or e-mail. Since only the raw ECG data and the vital parameter data - i.e. no statistical images - are sent, special analysis software is available to the user on the web server, allowing for limitless evaluation. A tele-application with individual vital functions, such as 12-channel ECG, is now possible. Remote monitoring of all vital functions including live video-stream sequences will be possible with UMTS in the full configuration (2 Mb/sec).

In addition to these time-critical data transfer features, the ARGUS PRO system has many other useful functions; for example, the emergency physician assignment form can be filled out (in accordance with the DIVI protocol) directly on the monitoring display. All the relevant monitoring data is automatically transferred. Once the protocol is finished, it is ready for remote transmission, currently by modem, GPRS, or UMTS.

The solution is based on a UMTS Vodafone Mobile Connect card and the drop, shock, and water-resistant Hercules Mobile Medical outdoor Tablet-PC from Penta with ETX modules as a scalable processor platform.

ETX, the market-leading Computer-On-Module standard
In order to be scalable, ETX modules - which are classified by independent analysts VDC as by far the market leader in the COM field - have a standardized, extremely compact form factor (95 cm x 114 cm) that offers the user identical mechanical dimensions, the same placement of mounting holes, and a uniform thermal interface to the system housing; also, most importantly, all electrical signals are guided to the carrier board using the same socket layout and voltage levels.

Another advantage by choosing COMs is the ability easily to adapt the base circuit board of the Tablet PC to suit any new requirements without having to commission a completely new board design. Thus, the system can be adapted for the latest requirements with minimal expense.

COMs reduce the pressure for electronics developers
Technologies are becoming more complex and demand more and more resources in the development and maintenance of hardware and software. It takes more time and manpower to release products to the market. The use of COMs allows users to employ proven systems with higher functionality as building blocks, and so concentrate fully on their core competences. COMs simplify product maintenance by reducing parts lists from several hundred individual components to just one item. The cancellation of nonessential components does not entail a redesign on the module, because Kontron guarantees a minimum of five years form-fit function on its COMs.

Shorter time-to-market, a lower design risk, always the most up-to-date computer technology, no additional expenses for hardware and software maintenance; more and more manufacturers of devices and systems are using these advantages for a wide variety of applications and industries, because the outsourcing advantage is instantly obvious with COMs.

About Schiller
SCHILLER AG is a leading international manufacturer and supplier of electrocardiographs, aeroplethysmographs, patient monitors, and external defibrillators. SCHILLER AG was founded in 1974 by the physicist Alfred E. Schiller. The company's leading position in the market is based on the strengths of its clearly defined core areas and its ability to combine them successfully. The resulting technical potential is implemented directly, which allows SCHILLER to achieve innovative and first-class customer solutions faster than average. With the acquisition of Bruker Médical SA in 2000, SCHILLER AG was able to enter the cardiotherapy market sector with the manufacture of defibrillators.

About Penta
PENTA GmbH is headquartered in Puchheim, Germany and has subsidiaries in Haan near Duesseldorf, Deggendorf (both Germany), and Eschenbach (Switzerland), as well as numerous foreign sales offices and representatives. The company is a leading manufacturer of fanless PC systems for industry (metal, chemistry, food,...) , logistics, and medical technology. The mid-sized company was founded in 1995 and its customers include MAN, Volkswagen, Nordex, Continental, Perrot, Magna-Decoma, Johnson Controls, and numerous regionally known companies.

About Kontron
A global leader in embedded computer technology and mobile rugged solutions, Kontron supplies a diversified customer base of OEMs, system integrators and application providers in the automation, test and measurement, communications, medical, gaming and entertainment, military, aerospace, public safety, transportation, and energy markets. The company helps its customers to considerably reduce their time-to-market and to gain a competitive advantage with products including high-performance open computer platforms and systems, single board computers, human-machine interfaces and mobile rugged computers. Kontron employs more than 2,300 people worldwide and has manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. The company is listed on the German TecDAX 30 stock exchange under the symbol "KBC". Kontron is a Premier member in the Intel® Communications Alliance which means earliest access to leading-edge Intel technologies and privileged engineering support.

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