As hospitals and surgical centers add more portable medical equipment, the precision and positioning of digital displays become critical to staff efficiency, comfort, and health. Dispensing quality healthcare depends on providers having easy access to the right tools and supplies. Clinicians and technicians need information at their fingertips to perform their jobs in situations where every second counts. Point-of-care portable medical equipment — for diagnostics, monitoring, and treatment — has helped speed up patient service, but it frequently comes with tradeoffs for healthcare workers. Mobile-mounted video displays and computer screens are not always well suited for sharing among workers of different body proportions, causing user frustration and, frequently, physical pain. This includes repetitive motion ailments, sore necks and backs, and eyestrain from less-than-optimal viewing angles.

AV Series mounting arms are suitable for mobile ultrasound and X-ray equipment.
Maintaining mobile-mounted digital displays in appropriate working positions can be difficult. Readily available home-theater-type mechanical mounts do not work efficiently in these applications. Screens often drift due to the motion of the medical equipment, and users must turn knobs or lock/unlock mounts each time an adjustment is needed. These fastening devices are often over-torqued in order to keep screens in place, and releasing these devices can be nearly impossible for smaller users.

A new mounting arm technology meets user demands in medical environments. Constant torque technology regulates operating forces at all pivot points, allowing displays to be accurately repositioned repeatedly without screws or torque handles. Precise positioning keeps screens within easy reach and prevents drifting. Multiple users can work comfortably and share equipment quickly in medical settings where speed and accuracy are vital to proper patient care. Applications for the new mounting arm include mobile ultrasound and X-ray equipment, as well as carts for drug dispensing and patient monitoring.

The new technology has been integrated into Southco’s AV Series mounting arms, a line of rugged, high-performance industrial display mounts. Displays attached to rolling carts and other mobile medical equipment with AV Series mounting arms will remain in position indefinitely according to specific user requirements. The displays are able to withstand intense vibrations, breaking forces and the impact of multiple users pressing on arm-mounted touchscreens.

The integrated positioning technology enables the AV arms to function in locations where competing mounts cannot, providing design engineers with great flexibility. The arms provide full range of motion with tilt, swivel, and swing-out adjustments. Swivel motions can also be restricted to prevent collisions with nearby objects or to restrict viewing locations.

AV series mounting arms are engineered to operate for more than 20,000 cycles in rugged environments. They have a slim, low profile and can fold within 50 mm of the wall. They require minimal space in a stored position, making them well suited for high-traffic areas, such as emergency rooms and primary corridors. They also ease ingress and egress from patient rooms.

Compliant with the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) guidelines for most 12-inch to 23-inch monitors, the mounting arms can be customized for length, color, mounting style, and operating effort. Forces needed to make position adjustments also can be specified by the design engineer for all pivots and joints.

Integrated wire management channels provide a clean, professional appearance and allow for easy installation and removal of wires without a complicated and time-consuming threading process. Snap-open wire routing covers make for easy set-up and removal of cables, even with large end connectors.

Because of their ergonomic design and resistance to unwanted motion, AV arms with constant torque technology provide greater flexibility and reliability for display positioning in healthcare environments such as electronic medical record carts for point-of-care computing, monitoring equipment, X-ray units, and mobile imaging systems.

This technology was done by Southco, Concordville, PA. For more information visit

Medical Design Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2011 issue of Medical Design Briefs Magazine.

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