Personal Tech

'Repeatable sanitization' is a feature of PCs now

New HPs can survive 'repeated germicide wipes', but disclaimer says they can't cure anything

By Simon Sharwood


HP Inc has announced a trio of slightly-odd products intended for use in hospitals.

The new HP EliteOne 800 G4 23.8 Healthcare Edition All-in-One PC and HP EliteBook 840 G5 Healthcare Edition Notebook are computers intended for use in the healthcare industry.

The EliteBook will ship with software called "Easy Clean" that disables the keyboard, touchscreen and keypad "to facilitate cleaning with germicidal wipes while the device is still on". HP Inc said it's scoured the market and thinks it is the only vendor on the planet with a laptop capable of handling "up to 10,000 wipes with germicidal towelettes over a 3-year period".

The All-in-One boasts no antibacterial features, but does have both RFID and biometric authentication, handy features in an environment where PCs can't be left unlocked to preserve privacy. That requirement means PCs are logged on to many more times a day than the average machine, making the presence of Windows Hello facial recognition more than a gimmick.

Oddly, both come with the disclaimer that they're "not intended for use in diagnosis, cure, treatment or prevention of disease or other medical conditions." Silly us, thinking that's the sort of thing that goes on in hospitals. HP's also not mentioned an International Protection Rating, so we don't know if they're sealed against dust and moisture. Given a PC's insides are lovely and warm, The Register imagines they might be a decent place for biological nasties to breed.

HP's also created a "Clinical Review Display", aka a 27-inch monitor that complies with the DICOM Part 14 standard for greyscale displays? Think X-rays, people, when pondering why the world needs that standard. The display also boasts a thumb-print reader, again enhancing security while keeping germ-ridden paws.

HP's cited US government data to the effect that "1.7 million healthcare-associated infections" are recorded in US hospitals every year. The company hopes it can stop a few of those from happening.

The three products are due later this year. The Register imagines their prices may make ordinary PC buyers feel decidedly ill, as special-purpose kit like this often attracts a premium price. ®

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