Microsoft PixelSense Tabletop (Formally Known as Microsoft Surface)


Microsoft PixelSense is a surface computing platform from Microsoft that requires no mouse and no keyboard. Direct interaction allows the ability to "grab" digital information with hands and move them around freely on the surface. The multi-touch ability recognizes multiple points of contacts on the surface at the same time. Surface also allows multiple users to interact on the same surface together. Object recognition will use physical objects and will interact with them on the Surface's screen such as contacts on a phone or pictures on a camera. Although for the most part the product has been halted for more portable options like the new Microsoft Surface tablets, Samsung is still incorporating the pixel sense platform on their 40 inch tabletop (Samsung SUR40).

The benefits of Microsoft surface are:
  • Large surface area to view different windows and applications.
  • Multi-users.
  • Data Manipulation
  • Moving, rotating, and resizing
  • Multi-touch (up to 52 points of contact).

Tabletop computing can help members of the healthcare industry stand out from the crowd. Some examples applications on the Pixelsense technology could help in healthcare by streamlining, patient-doctor interaction, children rehabilitation, and disaster management. Microsoft Pixelsense applications display images, videos, diagrams, and health records that doctors can manipulate with the touch of the screen.

Doctors are using these devices to securely connect with their patients. These devices also allow doctors to use tools to support aging population and growing population with chronic diseases. The devices also provide a way of communication that reduce the cost and boost efficiency.

The technology has been recently used to help with occupational therapists for pediatric patients with autism and cerebral palsy. The Samsung tabletop can be used to help kids who need aid in exercising their limbs as it uses natural hand gestures and does not depend on a keyboard or mouse. The director of the Microsoft Pixelsense, Somanna Palacanda, states "It's exciting to see technology and health care continue to converge and how the key attributes of Surface, such as multitouch, multiuser and object recognition, are being leveraged for unique therapy and diagnostic programs for pediatric patients."

Research and medical facilities including the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science are using the pixelsense tabletops to create gaming based therapies to help diseases and disorders that involve repetition.

More portable options like the new Microsoft Surface are only similar to the tabletop in name. While the tabletop has 50 simultaneous touch points for swiping and painting, the tablets can handle 5. The shift toward these more portable options is practical for physicians and clinics that need information on the go. Although the tabletop can be used for physical and occupational therapies, there is little use on the health informatics aspect. The tablet can easily hold information relevant to the EHR such as quickly pulling up patient records or viewing the schedule for the day. Physicians can even use the tablet to explain procedures and treatment modalities through the use of visuals. It is fairly safe to say that the tablet whether it is an iPad, Microsoft Surface tablet, or an Android Tablet is much more practical for use in an average clinic than a 40in tabletop that is very overpriced.

Implementing Microsoft Pixelsense will provide easy used and access to:
  • Telemedicine
  • Cloud Computing
  • Personal Health Records
  • Billing
  • Interaction

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