Health Care IT: 11 Rugged Mobile Devices Designed for Extreme Work Environments

By Brian T. Horowitz  |  Posted 2012-01-03 Print this article Print
Motorola Admiral Android Smartphone

Motorola Admiral Android Smartphone

This Motorola Android 2.3 phone on Sprint's network features push-to-talk features for first responders, along with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass. The phone can withstand dust, shock and solar radiation.
Mobile users in health care, the military, construction and shipping often work in harsh work environments, and they need devices that can survive extreme heat, a splash in a puddle or a fall to concrete. Whether it's a smartphone, tablet or laptop, mobile devices with rugged or semi-rugged capabilities such as rubberized edges or a screen that can handle sunlight are suitable for workers navigating these conditions. These products often conform to military specifications for durability in extreme conditions such as dust, water, salt, fog and temperature. When looking back at 2011, the Xplore Xtreme Tablet is a good example of a device that can survive high drops or be submerged in a fish tank. Rugged models are built for the bumps that military vehicles, ambulances and delivery trucks endure. Others such as Motion Computing's CL900 feature bar-code readers to scan patient bracelets and shipping IDs. Several models also offer push-to-talk capabilities, which are essential for first responders at the scene of a natural disaster or accident. Industrial models such as the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR have extra security features so that forensics investigators can collect their data with confidence. Here, eWEEK highlights some mobile devices with extra durability that made a big impact in 2011.
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company,, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents,, USA Weekend and, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.

Follow him on Twitter: @bthorowitz


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