As electronics become increasingly mobile, scientists and researchers are increasingly able to perform far-reaching studies more easily and comfortably. However, in some situations, mobility isn't enough to get the job done, in which case rugged mobile electronics, namely laptops and tablets, become necessary.
Take, for example, the company recently blogged about a time last year in which a team of American scientists, researchers and adventurers — comprised of individuals from the Mayo Clinic, North Face, National Geographic and Montana State University — flew to Mount Everest in order to study the effects of high altitude on humans. This is because Everest provides an ideal environment for monitoring the body's function — particularly its heart, lungs and cognitive function — under extreme conditions to simulate the experience of a person that suffers from heart disease.
Clearly, Mount Everest isn't exactly the ideal environment for typical consumer technology. Due to this, the research team turned to Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers, which have supported Mayo Clinic projects in other harsh locations including South America and Antarctica. Specifically, the team, led by Head of the Human Integrative and Physiology Research Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Bruce Johnson, took five fully rugged Toughbook 31s and a fully rugged Toughbook 19 convertible tablet on the expedition.
The team setup a mobile physiology lab at basecamp and spent a month there monitoring a group of nine expedition members. Another group of nine comprised of elite climbers underwent similar testing to the first group. The results were then compared to better understand how the human body adapts to changes seen in heart failure patients and those at a high altitude.
“A computer failure at the basecamp would have been a disaster,” said Amine Issa, Ph.D, Mayo Clinic researcher and expedition member, in a statement. “If the technology would have failed, we would not have been able to complete our research, making the trip a near waste of time and resources. Knowing that our Toughbook computers weren’t going to fail gave us an extra sense of security and one less item to worry about on Everest.”
It appears Panasonic's (News - Alert) Toughbooks may continue to be an integral part of such research in the future, as the company revealed two new Toughpads, the FZ-G1 and JT-B1, earlier this month as CES 2013. The former is a 10-inch tablet running Windows 8 Pro, while the latter is a seven-inch Android (News - Alert) device. Obviously, both sport the same level of toughness expected from this product line.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo