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Zytronic Touch Sensors Play Role in Progression of e-Medicine

Widely deployed patient self-appointment system benefits from use of PCT™

Zytronic’s highly robust touch sensing solutions, based on its proprietary Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™), have been incorporated into public-use and self-service touchscreens around the world. Now, through the efforts of the company’s Russian sales partner Elatec, it has been able to supply systems integrator Infomatika with touch sensors for large scale deployment of information terminals within the Moscow healthcare system.

The Infomatika terminals are designed to allow patients to carry out various tasks themselves, such as visit registration, updating personal data or booking appointments at doctors' surgeries and hospitals. Each unit has a large, portrait-mounted 23.6-inch touch-enabled display, which has been designed to provide users with clear, easily accessible information. As a result of using the PCT screens, it was possible for Informatika to design the kiosks with smooth fronted fascias, free of bezels or frames. This not only accentuates the appearance of the terminals, but it also means that the screens are easy to regularly wipe clean, with no areas where dirt can be trapped – a crucial factor given the location of the kiosks in clinical environments. To date, 1500 terminals have been installed in healthcare locations within Moscow’s metropolitan area, and further 700 terminals already installed for several other projects.

A custom ZYBRID touch sensor was developed for the patient kiosk. Infomatika was able to benefit from the high level of tuneable touch sensitivity offered by Zytronic’s technology to mount the screens to operate through a 6mm thick tempered overlay, thus creating the edge-to-edge flat fronted design as well as guarding against wear and tear. This helps to extend these kiosks’ operational lifespan and minimises the likelihood of costly display replacement.

Zytronic’s touch sensors, thanks to the patented projected capacitive technology and manufacturing process, differentiate themselves from other touchscreen types in terms of their durability and form/factor flexibility. The basic PCT sensor structure consists of a matrix of micro-fine copper capacitors. The diameter of these capacitors is just 10µm, making them virtually invisible to the naked eye when viewed in a powered display. The sensor matrix is embedded into a laminated glass substrate of customer specified thickness, which (as in the case of the Informatika kiosk) can in turn be placed behind an additional glass or plastic overlay (>10mm thick if necessary) to protect the sensor from all manner of physical harm, such as scratches, shocks, vibrations and extremes of temperature. As well as its high degree of robustness, PCT touch sensors can be designed to negate the need for a bezel surrounding the display. This means that attractive, flush-mounted, easy to clean touchscreen designs can be realised.

As Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director at Zytronic, explains: “Infomatika had very specific requirements for the touch sensors that would be incorporated into these terminals. They needed to have a large format, be mechanically tough and support a bezel-free design. Also, due to the application and the unique styling, the company wanted a touch sensor solution that could be operated through a thick, tempered overlay.  The performance benchmarks set by PCT, along with its high level of design flexibility made it the best candidate.”

“This is a great demonstration of the value of Zytronic’s touch sensors in a demanding public use application,” Anatoly Leonov, Regional Sales Manager at Elatec, confirms. “The characteristics exhibited by PCT have enabled Infomatika to create a very tough yet visually attractive terminal. This will allow the Moscow healthcare services to consult with and treat patients in a faster and more efficient manner.”