Why Hygienic Hardware Matters in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Across the globe, we are increasingly adopting protective measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, including avoiding busy places, cancelling social gatherings and carrying out self-isolation. All these measures aim to prevent the spread of the virus from person to person through close contact and respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes.

Although person to person is the primary way that the virus is spreading, it’s possible that a person can contract the virus by touching a contaminated surface or object, then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This blog explores the importance of hygienic hardware and the role it will play in ensuring that healthcare environments and critical production lines can continue to operate and meet the increased supply and demand pressure during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Coronavirus and surface spread

Scientists are still in the process of gathering data about the novel COVID-19 virus including how long it can survive on surfaces. A recent study by The New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus can remain viable on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours.

Another study in The Journal of Hospital Infection analysed several previously published papers on human coronaviruses (other than the new coronavirus) to get a better idea of how long they can survive outside of the body. It concluded that if the new coronavirus resembles other human coronaviruses, such as those that cause SARS and MERS, it could stay on surfaces — such as metal, glass or plastic — for as long as nine days.

The impact on critical industries

These findings have a big impact on the importance of hardware hygiene in two vital areas: the production line and the healthcare setting. In order to meet the increased demand for essential items such as pharmaceutical products and household cleaning products, production lines must remain open and continue to operate at the maximum efficiency.

Unless manufacturers comply with strict hygiene standards in all aspects, from the production line to shipment, the continuity of production and subsequently the supply of essential items could be jeopardised. Similarly, in healthcare environments, the hygiene of hardware such as touch screen monitors and interactive check-in kiosks is vital to prevent putting healthcare workers and patients at risk of contracting the virus.

Product implications

The need for enhanced hardware hygiene raises questions regarding product suitability. In order for hardware to remain safe and sterile, it must be able to withstand increased sterilisation and the use of cleaning chemicals that are effective in preventing the spread of the virus. Distec offers a range of products from our partners that are built to perform in these challenging environments.

Products from Elo Touch Solutions, who provide a variety of healthcare applications ranging from nurse stations to patient check-in and pharmacy check out, ensure that the strictest hygiene standards can be met within the healthcare environment.

Elo 03-series medical grade touch monitors include an enhanced power supply that is IEC60601 compliant. Additionally, the touch monitor is IP54 certified and sealed against dirt, dust and liquids.

In the production setting, Distec offers a comprehensive range of high performing Industrial Computers and Industrial Panel PCs from leading manufacturers across the globe. From rugged Panel PCs, Embedded PCs, Stainless Steel Panel PCs, Rackmount Computers to rugged Tablet PCs, all our computers are ideal for use in harsh industrial environments and can withstand increased sterilisation and the use of harsh cleaning chemicals.

We also offer medical and industrial computers from our partner Wincomm, a leading manufacturer of medical and industrial computers.  All Wincomm models in the stainless-steel series are sealed to at least IP65 standards, and the Stainless Steel IP69K Panel PC is sealed to IP69K, offering the best solution for environments with hygienic considerations. The IP69K Stainless Steel Panel PC works well in the pharmaceutical industry.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our range of certified medical solutions contact us here.


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