Interlink Electronics launches VersaPad Plus resistive touchpad for medical environments
Interlink Electronics (Camarillo, California), a global provider of HMI sensors and IoT solutions, announced the availability of its VersaPad Plus resistive touchpad. The newest member of the VersaPad family of touchpads for rugged environments, the VersaPad Plus can be operated with gloved fingers and withstands exposure to liquids and extreme temperatures, making it ideal for use in medical devices such as laptops. This property is especially important in medical environments where frontline workers are caring for patients battling COVID-19 or other highly infectious conditions.
"The Covid-19 outbreak is unlike anything we have seen in generations and demands a response of the same magnitude," said Steven N. Bronson, CEO and president of Interlink Electronics. "The VersaPad Plus builds on the innovation of our VersaPad portfolio, but with the specific needs of the healthcare community in mind. We will continue to work with our in-house engineering and product teams, as well as our technology partners, to drive Force Sensing Resistor (FSR) technology in applications and products where it matters most."
Once transferred to certain types of surfaces, COVID-19 can remain infectious for up to three days; other infectious agents like the norovirus can survive on surfaces for weeks. In hospital environments, bedside equipment and devices can quickly become major sources for the spread of disease. Healthcare workers in hospitals depend on disposable latex gloves to keep them safe from infected surfaces; however, latex and other glove materials can disrupt the performance of most capacitive touchpads found in everything from laptops to smartphones. Because the VersaPad Plus is designed using piezoresistive technology, it uses the physical pressure exerted by the user's finger to detect position, making it glove-compatible.
Touch is not the only way a medical device can become tainted by the coronavirus. Airborne contagions, bodily fluids, and cross-contamination are all crucial concerns for medical professionals and first responders who need to use their devices in the field. VersaPad Plus, when integrated properly into a rugged laptop, can be subjected to deep cleanings—even sprayed directly with water and cleaning agents—without damaging or affecting the touchpad. For medical environments in which bedside equipment must be wiped down multiple times a day, this is an important feature.
Additionally, the VersaPad Plus is able to withstand extreme weather and electromagnetic interference. The ultralow-power device also has the largest active surface area of any rugged touchpad on the market.
"Interlink Electronics is increasing the production of medical-grade components to ensure that all of our manufacturing partners around the globe can build the devices that help the medical community conduct research, test and treat patients, record results, and communicate data globally," said Dr Albert Lu, CTO of Interlink Electronics. "This equipment needs to be quickly and easily disinfected while at the same time able to withstand harsh environments. Our commitment to expanding our patented technology through research and development has delivered at a time when it's needed most."
Caption: The VersaPad Plus can be operated with gloved fingers and withstands exposure to liquids and extreme temperatures (photo: @whitesession – pixabay.com)