Zytronic's Touch Sensor Technology Revolutionises Patient Care

Recornect's innovative communication wall: Cowall utilises ultra large projected capacitive touchscreen, providing multimedia content to aid convalescence

Touchscreen manufacturer Zytronic's large format, highly robust projected capacitive (p-cap) products have been specified for another innovative application - this time within the medical sector. Through its Benelux based distribution partner Telerex, the company has been contracted to supply Recornect with bespoke design 32, 46 and 55-inch multi-touch sensors for its ground-breaking communication wall system, developed to help psychiatric patients in acute or long-term care facilities.

The Cowall displays enable patients to control various aspects of their living space while under supervised care. This can include choosing different forms of entertainment, changing the ambient lighting, or conversing with family/friends as well as members of the medical team. The accessible applications ('apps') can be changed by the care giver, depending on the individual case and patient needs, for example, radio, games, videos, music and drawing apps, as well as a secure communication system can all be made available. While Cowall provides the patient with entertainment options, the system also collects useful data which supports staff; enabling them to monitor the patient's condition, assess their recovery and modify their treatment accordingly.

It was imperative for the end users and environment where the touch sensor are deployed, that the Cowall system must be free from projecting parts, bezels, switches and buttons that could potentially be damaged by acts of aggression or cause self-harm. During the course of this project, front glass thicknesses up to 17mm were tested by Recornect to ensure the suitability of the product. Zytronic's highly sensitive, rugged multi-touch technology was chosen as it is able to determine touch events, even though the 12mm thick protective front glass incorporated into the final Cowall touchscreen design.

Each Zytronic touch sensor consists of an intricate metal matrix (just 10 microns in diameter) embedded into a laminated substrate, which can be further placed behind a thick glass or polycarbonate overlay. This safeguards the touch sensing matrix against both deliberate and unintentional damage of all forms. As a result user interfaces employing these touch sensors maintain their optimal performance in even the most demanding of working environments where competing touch sensing solutions would fail.

In addition, Zytronic touch sensors dispense with the need to include bulky unattractive bezels, This provides a real benefit over alternative touch technologies such as infrared (IR), surface acoustic wave (SAW) and camera based touchscreens, all of which need protruding frames or gaps.This means Zytronic can offer an aesthetically-pleasing, water tight, safer, smooth-fronted touch screen, which is easy to clean and prevents build-up of dirt and germs.

"Cowall is a really novel use of touchscreen technology. Allowing more control to be given to patients has been demonstrated to reduce their convalescence and improve their quality of life whilst within a secure environment. Patients can interact with the outside world using a safe, intuitive interface with minimal risk to themselves or carers," states Ian Crosby, Sales Marketing Director at Zytronic.

"The aim of Cowall was to give patients the sort of superior user experience expected when operating smartphones or tablets, just on a much larger scale," said Cor Datema, co-founder of Recornect. "We found Zytronic's product far more reliable than those from other touch sensor manufacturers, offering better accuracy and response rate, with no lag being witnessed. It also exhibited the touch performance required despite the thick glass, whereas other sensors struggled."

About Zytronic

Zytronic is the developer and manufacturer of a unique range of internationally award-winning touch sensor products. These products employ an embedded sensing element and are based around projected capacitive technology (PCT™) sensing. PCT offers significant durability, environmental stability and optical enhancement benefits to system designers of touch interactive, industrial, self - service and public access equipment. During 2012, Zytronic developed new know-how to create mutual projected capacitive technology (MPCT™), which enables multi-user and multi touch sensing in ultra large form factor sizes up to 84".

Zytronic products are used in electronic displays for self service and information systems, ATMs and gaming machines, as well as by military, computer, telecommunications and medical OEMs, and are available from its network of worldwide distributors. The company has its headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Blaydon, Tyne Wear in the UK.  In addition to ISO-approved manufacturing, these facilities are home to Zytronic's team of lamination, material science and electronics specialists who are responsible for ongoing product development in composite technology.

For more company information, visit Zytronic's web site at www.zytronic.co.uk or find us on

Contact details for editorial enquiries:

Carolyn Simpson, Zytronic

Whiteley Road, Blaydon on Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE21 5NJ, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 191 414 5511           Fax: +44 (0) 191 414 0545

Email: carolyn.simpson@zytronic.co.uk

Contact details for sales enquiries and regional representatives:

Asia - http://www.zytronic.co.uk/how-to-buy/sales-channel-partners/asia-pacific/ 

Americas - http://www.zytronic.co.uk/how-to-buy/sales-channel-partners/americas/

EMEA - http://www.zytronic.co.uk/how-to-buy/sales-channel-partners/europe-middle-east-and-africa/

Ref: ZY428/A

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