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HP

'Repeatable Sanitization' is a Feature of PCs Now (theregister.co.uk) 90

HP has announced a trio of slightly-odd products intended for use in hospitals. From a report: 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 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."
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'Repeatable Sanitization' is a Feature of PCs Now

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  • Keyboard should be a washable silicone membrane with squooshy clear silicone keys over a touchscreen. It would preserve tactile feel (typing on a pure on-screen keyboard is irritating) while allowing configurable keys -- really useful for specific healthcare applications.
    • Re:Keyboard (Score:4, Funny)

      by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @01:41PM (#56217473) Homepage Journal
      HP EliteOne 800 G4 23.8 PORNHUB Edition All-in-One PC and HP EliteBook 840 G5 PORNHUB Edition Notebook.

      There, you're welcome. HP can't market their way out of a wet paper bag.
    • by Misagon ( 1135 )

      Have you ever tried one of those "rollable" silicone keyboards? Those are horrible to use. There is no stability in the keys, and when you try to press one it wants to move your finger to the side.

      There are however also splash-proof keyboards where there is a regular keyboard underneath a flexible membrane. Those have much better feel and accuracy.
      BTW, the keyboard that comes with this machine looks like a membrane keyboard, but I suspect that it could be a touch pad.

      • There are also IP67 rated keyboards that can go in a dishwasher for cleaning purposes. Sure they are expensive, but a patient getting MRSA infection is a lot more expensive. Just have extra ones and go around swapping them out ince a week to go for a clean.

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          I don't think I'd want hospitals relying on a dishwasher to keep things clean. My experience with those things is that they grow more fungus than a mushroom farm.

  • I'm waiting for a laptop that is dishwasher safe.
    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Panasonic Toughbook?

    • Dell XFR?
    • by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @02:04PM (#56217683) Homepage

      I'm waiting for a laptop that is dishwasher safe.

      They're all dishwasher safe. Give it a try. Your dishwasher will be fine.

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      A new dishwasher, using distilled water and no detergents or other agents, would work just fine.

      That's basically what gets done to remove the water-soluble flux after a reflow operation on a repair batch of boards, anyways.

      • by ELCouz ( 1338259 )
        Nope... Good luck with that water ingress in the LCD & hard disk.
        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          We did this with LCD panels, too, hard disks (helium ones) are sealed. Try actualy working repair depots before talking about that which you do not know.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      I'm waiting for reliable accurately voice recognition, kind of stops there, don't you know. Likely it will require user and computer training for better speed and accuracy and a new vocal interface.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @01:34PM (#56217423)
    I thought initially this would be about the ability to properly wipe the device's storage. Now that would have been useful...
    • Remove SSD card. Take outside. Put in a Ziploc bag. 5# sledge.
    • I was thinking the same thing. I had a few feature ideas come to mind:

      Something like having the SSD which support the Secure Trim command (blkdiscard -s), where when the command is given, the trimmed pages are immediately cryptographically erased.

      Tamper resistance -- if the machine is opened, the keys to the SSD are dumped, similar to the ORWL desktop computer.

      A GPS/Wi-Fi system which would get the OS to suspend/hibernate if the machine is taken out of the medical area without an exception made, requiring

      • Such "secure" solid state drives exist... But the way they work is that they require a decryption key be erased, rendering the data not immediately recoverable (you have to find the key first) followed by a full erase of all the storage done by the controller which will continue until it completes, even if the power is interrupted. It just restarts the wipe anytime the power is restored.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Most SSDs support this, in fact. Encryption has been a standard feature for several years now. The secure erase command simply generates a new key, making the old data inaccessible.

          Most use AES128. Drives that support OPALv2 let you pick your own encryption key, but virtually all SSDs on the market use an internally generated one if you don't.

          We are finally starting to see really physically secure computers. AMD now supports encrypted RAM with very little performance loss (a few percent). Better IOMMUs prot

    • I thought initially this would be about the ability to properly wipe the device's storage. Now that would have been useful...

      Would not Bleach Bit serve both purposes?

      "Just wipe it with a cloth and Bleach Bit!" (tm)...

  • Yeah...that's called "Turn it off" for 5 minutes.
    But no, there is another "app for that".
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Yeah...that's called "Turn it off" for 5 minutes.
      But no, there is another "app for that".

      Or... just lock the machine?

      Every time I need to clean the keyboard, I just lock the screen and then wipe away. Touch screen doesn't do anything useful, neither does the keyboard other than type garbage into the password box.

      Sure if you're not careful you can still lock yourself out (but it's a lot harder to lock your account from the lock screen than from the login box).

      If the machine isn't being used by someone, then

      • It doesn't have to be flat, just one piece with no space under the keys. A silicone membrane with key bumps would do fine.
      • by gnick ( 1211984 )

        If the machine isn't being used by someone, then it should be at the login screen and you can wipe away since you'd be entering junk into the login box instead.

        When I hit Win+L, I go to a lock screen that requires me to press Ctrl-Alt-Del to access the "login box". Anything else I press does nothing; I'm not "entering junk" into anything. Is that not the norm?

        • by flink ( 18449 )

          Windows 8 and later will wake up and prompt for a password on any keypress. You can still revert to the old behaviour by setting a GPO.

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            Got it. I guess I'm behind the times.

            You can still revert to the old behaviour by setting a GPO.

            That seems like a better solution than installing special software for wipe-downs. I still don't get why this is useful.

            • by flink ( 18449 )

              That seems like a better solution than installing special software for wipe-downs. I still don't get why this is useful.

              Ctrl+Alt+Del is a special signal on Windows that only the kernel is allowed to intercept. This means that after pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, you are guaranteed to be interacting with an interface presented by the kernel and not a userland application. This is supposed to prevent unprivileged applications from faking login prompts to steal credentials.

              • by gnick ( 1211984 )

                We mixed signals. I understand the motivation of Ctrl-Alt-Del. I don't understand why HP's cleaning software is useful when forcing Ctrl-Alt-Del is an option. Is the convenience of a single-click login prompt really that important? Are we making sure that the hospital staff can log in one-handed?

    • The point is you don't want to turn it off, or even lock it, because it's quite possibly monitoring something important, or at the very least has data up on screen you want to keep visible.. However the keyboard is covered in blood and you need to clean it off.

      For the life of me I can't imagine why people are acting like this is some crazy requirement, it's literally just a switch that turns off the user inputs.

  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @01:37PM (#56217451) Journal

    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."

    I bet without this disclaimer, the PC would be subject to FDA regulations, and require clinical trials.

    • This is spot on.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Japanese manufacturers have been offering something similar for years, and not just for computers. Even cheap desk calculators come with anti-bacterial easy-clean cases. Basic computer cleaning wipes often advertise anti-bacterial properties.

      Probably not medical grade but great for people with a germ phobia.

  • You'd want to put the keyboards into an autoclave. yeesh!

  • FYI: This is not new (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @01:41PM (#56217469) Homepage

    FYI: I work in the medical industry, and Advantech and Cybernet are two companies that make these types of all-in-one devices. The ones I have around me are at least IP65 rated and fanless. We actually do accelerated bleach tests on them because the screens on some older devices would fade to white since the touch-screens had a plastic covering.

  • 10 times a day? That's some serious OCD.
  • Isn't that what vi is for?
  • From TFA . . .
    > handy features in an environment where PCs can't be left unlocked to preserve privacy.

    Why would you leave a PC unlocked in order to preserve privacy? It seems like you would want to lock the PC to preserve privacy.

    I suppose it is how you parse:
    (PCs can't be left unlocked) to (preserve privacy).
    PCs can't (be left unlocked to preserve privacy).
  • I would think the combination of an antibacterial finish, a sealed keyboard, and surface speakers (no grille required) would be vastly more effective.

    Perhaps these have no speaker grills or other crevices that germs can settle in? Otherwise, the ability to use wipes on it is actually creating a danger - the danger that people may become complacent in a false belief that the device is sterile just because they constantly wipe it.

    • Does a computer for medical use (entering patient records, viewing imaging, etc) even actually need speakers?
      • Good question. I see microphones in widespread use for entering records and device control, but the device isn't talking back yet. And when it does, perhaps it could be routed to the communication earpieces they've started using now.

        • As a medical health professional I usually tell people that talking to your computer doesn't mean you're crazy, it's when the computer starts talking back that you might have a problem.

  • I have noticed that users who constantly use hand sanitizer (with alcohol content) tend to wear off the letters on their keyboards. If you look closely at the keys, you can see that most keyboards use little decals for the key labels. If HP has TRULY taken care of this, then they must have laser-etched the labels onto the keys. Otherwise, the labels will just come off anyway.
    • Laser etching, dye sublimation or best of all double shot moulding are the technologies of choice for a quality keyboard and have been for decades now. Sounds like you have only used cheap junk when it comes to a keyboard.

  • I've been doing this for years in Linux, I even have a shell script for it:

    $ cat disable-laptop-keyboardmouse.sh
    #!/bin/sh
    xinput --disable 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard'
    xinput --disable 'SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad'

    $ cat enable-laptop-keyboardmouse.sh
    #!/bin/sh
    xinput --enable 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard'
    xinput --enable 'SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad'

    At cleaning time:

    $ disable-laptop-keyboardmouse.sh; sleep 2m; enable-laptop-keyboardmouse.sh

  • ... of a computer manufacturer that builds hardware that makes it easy for the operator to sanitize the exterior of the case, but has a reputation for doing the opposite when it comes to software - and even has a history of loading pre-installing spy-ware:-

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/... [engadget.com]
  • otherwise, FDA might consider it a medical device, and 8 years of tests would follow. I'm serious.

  • '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."'

    What geniuses must HP possess that they came up with such innovation in 2018 - just kidding. Seriously, a couple of lines of BASH code would achieve the same effect. Seriously slashdot, is this the best you can find to fill a whole article.
    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      You want medical professionals running two lines of BASH on a hospital computer?

      Better yet, you want the cleaners doing that?

      Me, I think wrapping those two lines of BASH in a user friendly UI that lets people too stupid to realise how fucking shit they are at using computers safely interact with them is a pretty sensible move.

  • Last month at the homeless shelter where I volunteer, someone dropped their cellphone in the toilet. She was pissed.
  • They really couldn't just open notepad and maximize it or just lock the session before wiping?

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