The medical industry continues to grow at a very fast pace. This is creating a greater demand for new medical equipment that requires an LCD display module. Medical equipment needs to operate in a variety of environmental conditions. VATN  looks to meet the needs of these environments.
A VATN (Vertically Aligned Twisted Nematic) display is a new display technology that offers the brightness of an LED (light-emitting diode), a viewing angle that exceeds FSTN (Film compensated Super Twisted Nematic) and a life time that is 20x longer than EL (Electro Luminescent) or the blue color found in a OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode). This makes the VATN display a multi-functional and highly successful solution to the demanding requirements of hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics and the like.
Let’s dig into the features of this new display technology and the advantages it offers the medical field.
VATN Medical LCD Displays are Ultra-Bright
Medical LCD displays need to be readable at a distance of several feet. VATN offers the brightness that can be seen from across the room. This means that a doctor in surgery doesn’t have to squint to see the vitals of the patient. The display maintains an even brightness and they do not suffer from the hot spots like that of a LED backlight and quick readability is at a premium when time is of the essence. The display also performs well in direct sunlight, so if a nurse needs to read the meter quickly s/he doesn’t have to shut the blinds to do so.
LCD displays have been in use for years in the medical environment. Specifically, older medical equipment made use of LCD displays equipped with EL backlights. EL was popular due to the even flow of light it provided. There were no hot spots, like you would see in an LED backlight (see photo below). Hot spots are particularly annoying because there are areas of the display where the light is brighter which diminishes readability, especially at a distance.. Hot spots were a common issue in LED backlights. While the EL backlight didn’t suffer from hot spots, it had two drawbacks of its own.
LED with backlight:
The EL backlight has a dim output. EL’s were difficult to read at a distance and were not very bright. This is a problem if your
equipment is in an environment that is competing against bright overhead lights (i.e. the operating room or the emergency room).
The EL backlight has a relatively short half-life (half-life is when the backlight is half as bright as when it was first turned on). The half-life of the EL is 3,000 to 5,000 hours, whereas the VATN maintains a half-life of 50,000 to 70,000 hours depending on the level of brightness the user chooses. That kind of extended half-life offered by the VATN is an incredible value-add to the overall product and a real improvement in the technology.
VATN Medical LCD Displays offer Ultra-Wide Viewing Angle
A display that is used on a medical device needs to be readable at a wide viewing angle so that the whole room can quickly see the same information without having to reposition themselves.
A truncated viewing angle has long been the problem with LCD displays; however, the technology has moved forward exponentially increasing the number of acceptable degrees of viewing. All LCD display technology is readable when you are looking directly at the display and are eye level with the display. However, once you move the display above or below eye level, or when you move to the left or right, readability is diminished. The change in angle makes the display difficult to read; and consequently, the more extreme the angle, the more difficult it is to read.
Viewing angle is measured in degrees from the center. So, if you are at eye level with the display and you lower it a few inches, you are now looking at the display from a 20% viewing angle.
Older display technology used on medical devices had a limit of 40 to 50 degrees above/below/left or right of the display. Beyond those degrees the display was unreadable.
VATN allows the user to read the display up to 70 degrees in any direction. This means less work for a medical person to be within the viewing angle. Who wants their surgical op. nurse to have to put down the surgical instruments that the doctor is reaching for in order to read a display? Not me!
VATN Medical LCD Displays Can Be Customized
Flexibility in design is a huge advantage of VATN displays. They now allow medical equipment manufacturers to design the display around the medical device. This kind of customization is what makes products that are what the designers dream them to be and not just what they have to settle for due to design and/or manufacturing constraints. The idea of customizing an LCD module to fit a product is not new, but it has come a long way with the VATN display.
Older display technologies such as TFT (Thin film transistor), OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) and Plasma displays required a very high tooling cost and sometimes prohibitive Minimum order Quantity’s (MOQ). VATN displays become the solution to these prohibitive costs.
Custom VATN displays allow the customer to design their medical LCD display with faster proto-typing, Lower MOQ’s and affordable tooling cost. All these benefits make the manufacture of VATN displays for medical technology and equipment the clear choice.
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor
June 6, 2012