Datalogic Joya Touch A6|
Handy Android-based data collection and management device for bedside care, admittance, nursing activities, pharmacy, data collection and sharing
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Datalogic introduced the Android-based Joya Touch A6 Healthcare device on September 29, 2017 as a multi-purpose device ideally suited for use in bedside care, medical staff real-time communication, medication administration, and other data collection activity in healthcare applications.
With a footprint of 5.7 x 3.0 inches, the Datalogic Joya Touch A6 is the size of a modern smartphone. It's considerably thicker though (1.3 inches), as you'd expect from a ruggedized mobile computer with industrial-grade scanner and a replaceable battery. Weight is 9.7 ounces for the standard version, and an ounce more for the version with integrated pistol-grip.
The 4.3-inch display of the Joya Touch A6 is like that of a small smartphone. Its 854 x 480 resolution means 228 pixels per inch, which is in the "retina" territory and very sharp. Interface is via capacitive multi-touch, and it's a variety that can also be used with medical gloves. The display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Whereas older handhelds almost invariably used Windows Mobile, the Joya Touch A6 runs Android 6.0 "Marshmallow" (which has a 32% share among all Android versions as of October 2017) and can be field-upgraded to Android 7.1 "Nougat." The device is powered by an unspecified quad-core Qualcomm SnapDragon chip running at 1GHz, has 2GB of RAM, and a 16GB Flash disk. It has WiFi including voice-over-internet (so it can be used as a phone), Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, and NFC.
Note that the Joya Touch A6 platform is available in different versions. The one discussed here is specifically designed for healthcare applications where infection control is a major issue. That's why the healthcare version has a special chemical-resistant housing that can be cleaned and disinfected with isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Clorox bleach, and similar.
A major thing that sets professional tools such as the Datalogic Joya Touch A6 apart from consumer technology is their scanning capability. The Axist has an advanced integrated industrial-grade 1D/2D imager for quick and easy data capture from high density codes at standard range distances, with Datalogic's patented "Green Spot" technology offering good-read feedback. And there's also Datalogic's SoftSpot technology with a user-definable screen-based 'floating soft trigger.'
The Joya Touch A6 has a full complement of onboard sensors, as we'd expect from a modern handheld. Power is provided by an 11.1 watt-hour Li-Ion battery good for 12 hours. The device is charged using what Datalogic says is the healthcare industry's first wireless charging technology, eliminating the need to clean contacts on the unit and cradle. There are six different charging profiles, allowing users to choose the profile that best suits their needs. A full charge from empty takes just 2 hours and a "Boost Recharge" feature yields 80 minutes of use after a quick 15 minute charge.
On the ruggedness side, in addition to immunity to cleaning agents, the Joya Touch has a wide operating temperature range of 14 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, can be dropped from five feet to concrete if in on optional protective rubber boot, and still four feet without. The spec sheet doesn't list any other ruggedness data, something some prospective customers might well be interested in.
It's quite clear that a device such as the Datalogic Touch A6 has numerous potential applications in healthcare settings. Examples are patient bedside care (electronic medical records, medication, administration, specimen collection), laboratory use (specimen and other tracking, diagnosis and tests, traceability), pharmacy (medication dispensing, replenishing and inventory, management), as well as admittance, accounting and billing.
One thing we would have liked to see more of in the device literature is security. This is a major concern in any healthcare setting, and while recent versions of Android have stepped up security, it's still a work in progress. Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, October 2017
Datalogic, founded in 1972, is a producer of bar code readers, data collection mobile computers, RFID systems and photoelectric devices for detection with corporate headquarters in Bologna, Italy. The company has about 2,700 employees in 30 countries, over 1,000 partners worldwide, eight research and development labs with 300 engineers, and offers outstanding solutions for many industrial sectors, from manufacturing to transportation & logistics and retail.