Utilizing Mini PCs in Healthcare and Medical Fields

November 2021

At Simply NUC, we’re proud to provide mini PCs to many companies in various industries that deliver important societal benefits. Within the medical field, we’ve seen healthcare organizations use our mini PCs to power medical equipment and analytical workstations, and enhance communication between healthcare professionals and patients. From customizable mini PCs to mini PC kits and accessories, Simply NUC is a one-stop shop for medical and healthcare computing needs. 

Due to a combination of their size, portability, and performance, mini PCs have become an essential part of many hospital and medical office operations. How do these powerful yet small PCs help drive value in healthcare, and what should medical professionals be considering when looking into utilizing mini PCs for their needs? Let’s go over everything you need to know.

Patient Information

One of the single most common and important daily needs for medical professionals is to access secure patient information. This information may include a variety of visualizations on their health status, medical reports, billing data, or other patient knowledge. A basic dashboard of information is something doctors and nurses will constantly be referencing for nearly every patient. 

Because they are so small and don’t get in the way of other medical equipment, offer security features such as encryption, and also provide surprisingly capable computing power, mini PCs are ideal for healthcare operations. Furthermore, some mini PCs come in a fanless and rugged format, meaning they won’t move dust or other debris around in areas that need to be sanitary. For instance, these fanless mini PCs will commonly be found in operating rooms or other areas where surgical site infections (SSIs) are possible, as they diminish these risks significantly.

Medical Carts and Mini PCs

Another major asset that healthcare professionals rely on throughout their daily operations is a medical cart. These carts include mobile power supplies, equipment codes, and – at least in today’s modern age – monitor displays containing patient information and other resources. However, if medical professionals depend on laptops or tablets to power their carts, they run the risk of the computer running out of battery power which would require time to charge the device or swap it out with a different one.

With mini PCs, however, this entire process is streamlined since they can be powered by hot-swappable batteries that healthcare professionals can change without powering down their medical cart. Doctors and nurses won’t need access to a single outlet to ensure proper charging – they’ll be able to work through an entire shift, even those that are 12 hours or longer, without worrying about charging needs or losing power to their devices.

Video Conferencing and Telehealth 

Society has increased reliance on video conferencing since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the medical field is no exception. A large number of medical facilities have realized the need to increase their video conferencing and telehealth capabilities over the last 18 months  – and mini PCs have become a popular way of doing so without breaking the bank.

In many cases, mini PCs can be attached to existing monitors, or even to the back of TVs that are already present in patient rooms. This removes the need to purchase expensive all-encompassing systems that will also take significant time to install. By utilizing NUCs loaded with basic telehealth software, doctors and nurses can easily communicate with patients who might be contagious without risking anyone’s health or safety.

What to Prioritize in a Mini PC Vendor

If you’ve made the choice to transition your medical operations to include mini PCs, you should look to partner with an established computer hardware vendor. Below are some basic qualities we strongly recommend prioritizing when selecting a vendor:

  • All your needs in one place: Not only should your vendor be able to provide you with various mini PC options, but also all the accessories and additional services you may also require. This may include things like image management, customer service, solutions management,and more.
  • Demo capabilities: Ideally, your mini PC partner will allow you to sample units before committing to an entire order.
  • Customization: Mini PCs need to be customizable for medical professionals in several ways, from operating systems, to processors, memory, and storage, to security and port requirements, your vendor should be able to work with you on specific medical and healthcare needs that pertain to your operations.
  • Long-term support: First and foremost, you want to partner with a reputable organization you’re confident will still be around in several years. You’ll need support for your products for years into the future, including eventual upgrades and changes to technology, so a partner who might not be in business in half a decade isn’t the way to go. 

In addition,  it’s vital to ensure quality support services for your devices, including technical support for up to five  years after purchase. The vendor should also have qualified staff on-hand to assist you with all your technical needs, including setup. 

  • Warranty and return policy: Your mini PCs should all come with a comprehensive warranty, usually of three years or more. There should also be a flexible, reasonable return policy in place. 
  • Wide-ranging support: Ideally, you want a partner who has offices worldwide so that they can support you—no matter where you or your deployments are located.

For more information on how mini PCs can provide immense value in  healthcare and medical fields, or to learn about any of our mini PCs or NUC products, speak to the staff at Simply NUC today.

Simply NUC, Inc. is a systems integrator specializing in mini computers. Simply NUC provides fully configured, warranted, and supported mini PC systems to businesses and consumers, as well as end-to-end NUC project development, custom operating system installations, and NUC accessories.

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