Pioneering new medical imaging solutions

insights from industryAllen LeeCEOAmerican Portwell Technology

In this interview, News-Medical talks to Allen Lee from American Portwell Technology, about his work for the company and how they have become a leading provider of medical equipment and medical imaging equipment in particular.

What innovative computing technologies does American Portwell Technology provide for advanced medical imaging applications?

At Portwell, we provide three different categories of technology for medical imaging applications.

  1. Medical grade embedded systems designed by the implementation of the latest CPU and GPU technologies on either PICMG 1.3 Single Board Computers (SBC), Embedded Computer Boards or Computer-on-module (COM) boards based on over 22 years of experience in medical equipment applications to provide optimized computing and image processing power as well as custom-tailored solutions to meet customer requirement.
  2. A series of medical all-in-one touch computers sizes from 10.1” to 23.8” embedded with the latest Intel® Processor. Some models can be installed with GPU cards these products not only fulfill different computing requirements but also provide high graphic performance for advanced quality image output. In addition, there are hot-swappable batteries options available to ensure the continuity of operation without interruption.
  3. A series of medical-grade touch monitors certified with the latest IEC/EN 60601-1-2 4th edition to ensure the safety of medical electrical equipment compliance with professional healthcare regulations. They are designed with fast response time, wide viewing angle, DICOM® compliance, and an IP22 rated enclosure for advanced PACS and medical imaging applications.

Image credit: American Portwell Technology

American Portwell Technology offers a wide range of embedded computing platforms with the additional value proposition of a long product lifespan necessary to meet and exceed the medical industry’s demands for longevity, alongside upgraded technologies.

What are some medical imaging applications that American Portwell Technology caters to?

Portwell’s medical imaging technologies cater to various applications, including:

Radiography and Digital X-Ray; surgical imaging control, surgical planning station and ultrasound imaging; image-guided therapy/surgery on tissue types, features, and function in real-time through fluorescence; surgical navigation imaging; and dental 2D/3D imaging and diagnosis catering to the varying nature of requirements.

Resource: https://portwell.com/productnews/portwell-top10-medical-imaging-computer-solution.php

When planning and designing products for various medical applications, what qualities do Portwell prioritize?      

It is a prerequisite to restrict risk management in design, development and manufacturing processes by implementing a high standard of quality processes such as Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) and FMEA (Failure Mode Effective Analysis).

As a Medical Grade Quality Management System (ISO-13485) certified company, Portwell performs comprehensive verification and validation tests and has strict change management control to ensure product quality and reliability.

In addition, Portwell also offers a quality management system to our clients, enabling them to conform to medical equipment safety and quality standards and obtain the FDA’s approval.

Image credit: American Portwell Technology

Portwell is now a leader in the manufacturing and service of embedded computing platforms. Please list some of the products included in portfolio.

We currently have six key product categories within our medical portfolio: Our Medical Grade Box PCs are designed with the healthcare sector in mind and range from low to high powered applications. Our Medical Box PCs can be targeted to be used for applications from simple Clinical Gateways to more advanced Surgical Imaging / Navigation Systems. Our Medical Grade Displays are designed to provide accurate and efficient images. Using a universal VESA mount, our monitors can easily be mounted to any surgical cart, operating room arm, or wall mount. Our medical displays provide the imaging needs for a wide range of applications such as surgical, radiology, clinical, and point-of-care.

Medical All-in-One (AIO)  Panel PCs (PPCs) are designed for Point-of-Care applications in sterile environments. With an IP65 and fanless design, our Medical All-in-One PCs also provide an antimicrobial surface for easy cleaning. Our PICMG 1.3 Single Board Computers (SBCs) can function as a module and are easily serviceable. Designed for industrial use, these boards are meant for longevity and reliability. Our Mini-ITX Boards are designed to be both compact and have a wide range of performance, These flexible boards can fit in a wide range of different applications. With our wide range of boards, we can target fanless and rugged use cases. These boards can be used in a wide variety of chassis that can fit a majority of medical applications.

Finally, our Computer-on-Module / COM Express is standardized and allows for easy serviceability. Built with an integrated CPU, Memory, and a number of I/O signals like PCIE, USB, SATA, Graphics, and Ethernet, these modules are used in conjunction with carrier boards to support all the necessary I/O customers require.

Please see our solution page: https://portwell.com/solutions/medical.php.

Please explain exactly how Portwell products and services benefit medical equipment makers?

Portwell products and services are highly beneficial to medical equipment makers. They enrich standard product portfolios with high product quality and minimize risk through ISO 13485 QMS (Quality  Management System).

The product specification is designed to meet medical grade regulations such as IEC-60601-1-2 4th Edition. As Portwell products have a longer product lifespan, medical equipment makers can save on recertification costs of regulatory compliance.

Customers can rest assured that they will receive a professionally managed custom design, development and manufacturing service with flexible production to meet on-time delivery and upside demand. Customers will also receive a product roadmap to help in the planning of next-gen or new products. Essentially, Portwell is a​ one-stop-shop for products, manufacturing, service, logistics and supply chain management.

Computers are vital to surgical imaging and digital x-ray and radiography systems. What advantages do Portwell medical-grade computers provide to these applications?

Portwell medical-grade computers are well-established, and the quality management system is ISO-13485 certified. In terms of risk management in the design and manufacture processes, Portwell medical-grade computers are IQ (Installation Qualification), PQ (Process Qualification) and OQ (Operational Qualification) certified.

To ensure the safety of medical electrical equipment and guarantee that it is compliant with professional healthcare regulations, the systems are also IEC/EN 60601-1-2 4th Edition certified. The systems also have an optimized performance with fast and accurate image processing capabilities powered by the latest computing and graphic technology.

Portwell supports customization design services for Radiology treatment equipment through scalable computer boards and systems, What are the benefits of this customization?

Based on customer requirements, Portwell has a dedicated team of professionals that helps create the solution, from concept to final product, by following ISO 13485 QMS. They provide the latest computing technologies and professional engineering services on systematic design, development process and global supply chain management to deliver project success.

This helps customers reduce design efforts, reduce time-to-market, minimize risk and ensure product longevity by leveraging Portwell’s expertise in the medical landscape. No matter BIOS, OS image, I/O, package, mechanical design, chassis with a specific color, certification, etc., Portwell can fulfill on-time delivery and upside demand with flexible production and a strategic long-term product support plan.

Image credit: American Portwell Technology

Can you give an insight into the design of Portwell’s medical panel PCs and displays and the various options clients have when considering implementing one into their own systems?

First, we need to make sure if there is any space limitation where they want to implement the device, so size and mounting method are some of the factors we want to consider in terms of mechanical fitness.

Second, it is essential to consider if this human-machine interface will have direct contact with the human body or not. If yes, where will it be put? Is it in the surgical operating room or just placed in the hospital lobby as a patient check-in kiosk?

Suppose it will have direct contact with the human body. In that case, we need to make sure the equipment is compliant with medical-grade regulations, such as IEC/EN/UL 60601-1-2 4th Edition, to ensure safety which is the highest priority in the medical field.

Third, the client needs to consider what applications they will implement with these panel pcs/displays and what devices will be connected. Are there any specific requirements that need to be satisfied? Will it need worldwide regulatory compliance, 4K high resolution, high brightness, wide viewing angle, DICOM compliance, anti-bacteria, glove operation or backup battery support?

Of course, the client also needs to highlight the total budget and select an experienced industry partner to pave a shortcut for the final solution.

Portwell also offers a range of computer boards, including mini-ITX boards, Nano-ITX, PICMG 1.3 SHB, COM-Express and Qseven. Why is this variety of sizes beneficial to medical applications?

Every customer’s requirement is different. An enriched product portfolio enables customers quick time to market by either off-the-shelf or custom solutions.

Mini-ITX or Small Formfactor motherboards are designed with feature-rich, rugged performance and low power consumption in a small footprint that allows the developer to customize their system design in the low-profile and fully-configured embedded system.

COM Express (COMe), Qseven and SMARC are Computer-on-modules (COM) form factors that enable extreme flexibility with the modular design. Considering the performance scalability, energy efficiency and serviceability, next-generation upgrade and time to market are no longer a headache in terms of timeline, performance and effort.

Sources:

About Allen Lee

Allen Lee is President and CEO of American Portwell Technology, Inc., a subsidiary of Portwell, Inc. since 2000 to present. Allen has more than 20 years of business and engineering management experience in industrial computing and the embedded computing industry.

About American Portwell Technology

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Fremont, California, American Portwell Technology, Inc. is an industrial PC company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Portwell, Inc., and is committed to high standards and engineering excellence.

American Portwell’s extensive product portfolio includes the manufacture of industrial embedded systems such as single-board computers, embedded computers, specialty computer platforms, rackmount computers, communication appliances, and human-machine interfaces.

American Portwell provides both off-the-shelf and versatile custom solutions for applications in the medical equipment, factory automation, retail automation, semiconductor equipment, financial automation, artificial intelligence (AI), mission critical and network security markets.

Encouraged by American Portwell’s compliance with such quality and environmental standards as ISO 13485, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, TL 9000 and RoHS process, partnered companies have taken advantage of our customer-oriented and dedicated engineering resource to satisfy their need for superior mechanical chassis, computer board design and modification, and specific system configurations, testing and assembly.

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