Panasonic Combines Toughbook Features, Intel Atom Processor for Health Care PC
The Panasonic Toughbook H1 is a health care-specific notebook that will feature the same rugged features found in other Panasonic notebooks and include an Intel Atom processor. With the Toughbook H1, Panasonic is looking to compete against Motion Computing, which also uses Intel processors for its line of notebooks and tablets for the health care industry. In the past few months, Panasonic has turned to the Intel Atom chip for a number of unique notebook designs for vertical markets, such as the Toughbook CF-U1.Panasonic is combining the technology it uses for its line of Toughbook notebooks with Intel's Atom processor to offer a new type of notebook specifically designed for hospitals and health care workers. On Nov. 4, Panasonic debuted Toughbook H1, a rugged notebook for the health care industry. The Toughbook H1 is based on a reference design that Intel first brought to the health care market in 2006 called the MCA (mobile clinical assistant).
Right now, the only other PC vendor that makes this type of MCA notebook is Motion Computing, with its C5, which hit the market in 2007. For now, many hospitals and health care workers simply use standard laptops or tablets with wireless capabilities to help them with their jobs, such as checking patient records or checking inventories.
While the health care industry remains a highly specialized vertical market, it is becoming one where companies like Panasonic and Intel are looking to make additional investments. According to Health Industry Insights, U.S. health care providers will spend about $411 million on PCs and other hardware in 2008, and that number will increase to $605 million by 2011.