The Role of the Custom Medical Device in Interoperability


While the pursuit of true interoperability in healthcare continues to accelerate, data security concerns still loom large. Data standards, security and privacy requirements, and advanced health IT systems are critical to achieve full healthcare interoperability, according to a report from the Hospital Agenda for Interoperability. In truth, full and unfettered interoperability is not always the goal if it comes at the expense of data security or patient safety. That’s one reason why a custom medical device can be both the nexus point for interoperability and a model showing how limited interoperability may be the answer to some safety and security...

Read More

Intrinsically Safe Product Design Part 4: Role of the Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory (NRTL)


Part 1 of this series introduced the concept of intrinsically safe design for explosive environments. Part 2 described considerations for the definition of explosive environments and how geographic regions for device use can impact both explosive atmosphere characterization and product implementation. Part 3 describes regulatory and quality requirements for ongoing production and sale of an intrinsically safe electronic device. This blog, the last in this series, describes the role of the Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory (NRTL) in the successful completion and certification of an intrinsically safe electronic product. Integral to intrinsically safe design is review by a competent NRTL for compliance and identification...

Read More

Intrinsically Safe Product Design Part 3: Production Quality Requirements


Part 1 of this series introduced the concept of intrinsically safe design for explosive environments. Part 2 described considerations for the definition of explosive environments and how geographic regions for device use can impact both explosive atmosphere characterization and product implementation. This blog describes regulatory and quality requirements for ongoing production and sale of an intrinsically safe electronic device. An intrinsically safe device is designed and certified to accommodate specifically defined explosive atmospheres as defined by the governing standards in the geographic locations where the resulting product is to be sold and used. Given the risk of injury, death, and...

Read More

Intrinsically Safe Product Design, Part 2: Defining the Hazardous Location Environment


Part 1 of this blog series introduced the concept of intrinsic safety. Part 2 describes the characterization of hazardous environments with respect to intrinsically safe electronic devices. Internationally, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is considered to be a benchmark in the definition of explosive atmospheres and certification of electrical equipment for explosive atmospheres via its IECEx standards. Additionally, various countries impose their own standards and requirements in defining explosive atmospheres. The ATEX (ATmosphere EXplosibles) standard is applicable to thirteen countries within the European Union. In the US, regulatory bodies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Electrical...

Read More

Intrinsically Safe Product Design, Part 1: Introduction to Intrinsic Safety


InHand Electronics designs and manufactures portable and handheld electronic devices that must have inherently low-power operation and high computational performance. One application area for which InHand designs and delivers electronic devices is intrinsic safety. Intrinsically safe (IS) product is designed to operate in hazardous areas, such as explosive environments, by limiting the energy available for ignition. An intrinsically safe product simplifies deployment and reduces installation costs for devices used in explosive atmospheres as compared with other protection methods. Since intrinsically safe devices are certified to be used in areas with dangerous concentrations of flammable gases or dust (such as petrochemical...

Read More

Embedded Board Designs, Rugged Tablets, and Human Machine Interface Possibilities


In many ways, today’s embedded board designs are driven by the need for agile, portable, and powerful access to human machine interface (HMI) information in the age of Industry 4.0 and IIoT. This is primarily because advances in single board computers have made it possible to move beyond the narrow and fixed information scope of HMI/SCADA tools. The growth of IIoT is on the verge of defining the modern manufacturing environment across all sectors. That growth can be seen in the recent Forbes prediction that the IIoT market will be worth $123B by 2021, which translates to a CAGR of...

Read More

How Custom Tablets Will Drive Industry 4.0 and IIoT


The convergence of automation, big data, data exchange, next generation human machine interfaces (HMI) and a host of other technologies like augmented reality (AR) and digital twins are just a few technology forces propelling Industry 4.0 and the industrial internet of things (IIoT). But companies need a means of putting agile, powerful, and mobile control of those converged forces into the hands of operations managers, which is where custom tablets come in. In the new IIoT world, networks of sensor-equipped smart devices and machines can collect data for analysis and interpretation to reduce costs and waste while increasing efficiency and...

Read More

Mobile Device Management and Rugged Android Tablets for Applications in the Field


Managing mobile devices in the field can be a complex challenge with numerous sector-dependent needs and challenges. Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are proliferating in the age of the mobile workforce, which presents many business and operational benefits. However BYOD presents numerous challenges, including inability to withstand operation in the field, user pushback to subjecting administration of personal devices to an employer’s information technology (IT) department and policies, and complexity that administrators face managing a wide variety of personal devices. Many BYOD devices include consumer grade Android tablets widely available at mass retailers. These off-the-shelf tablets may not optimally...

Read More

Navigating GPS Alternatives for Custom Tablets and Handheld Devices


Custom tablets and other handheld devices, whether used for consumer, military, commercial, or medical purposes, frequently include GPS (Global Positioning System) to assist in determining current location and time. Specifically, GPS refers to the US owned and Air Force operated network of 24+ middle-earth orbit satellites. This global system has reliably been supplying location and clock synchronization services to both the military and civilian sectors since it became fully operational in 1995; however, it is not the only satellite system in use for freely providing location services. What you say? Isn’t the venerable GPS system the only satellite-based game in...

Read More

Best Practices for Regulatory Compliance and Security with Rugged Tablets


The term “industrial tablet” has become a generic term for a wide variety of rugged tablets with many shared and disparate attributes to meet needs for healthcare, military, industrial, manufacturing and transportation among others. One thing they all share in common is their need to meet industry-specific regulatory compliance measures. The use of Android tablets for industrial applications is growing, in large part because of the open nature of the Android OS and ability to quickly develop application software. Underlying ARM processors provide a power efficient electronic platform. To choose the right industrial tablet, the tablet itself must meet specific...

Read More