A Virtual Printer for Electronic medical records

USB connected printer

For three days after the September 11 event in New York, the FAA grounded commercial air transport. Ten years on, this decision alone has had a profound impact on my part of the electronic document industry. In those three days, millions of sheets of printed documents did not get to where they needed to be. Checks did not get to banks, contracts were not completed, medical records did not get to doctors. What followed was a whole raft of legislation that gave a huge boost to the “paperless office”.

Check clearing got the highest priority – CHECK 21 became law on the 28th October 2004. Now an electronic image of a check is good enough “replacement” for the real thing.

In 2009 the senate finally approved an $800 billion stimulus bill to put every American’s health record online. The politicians took great care over privacy issues and, now that screens and color printers are so cheap and excellent, there has even been an amount of goodwill from the medical professionals.

We provide a lot of the “glue” that transforms electronic documents and helps migrate legacy printer data to electronic medical record formats so it was no surprise to get a call from Zeiss with a interesting challenge. Some of the equipment made for the ophthalmology industry could not produce an electronic document, all it could do was print!

“Surely a software upgrade and perhaps a TCP/IP hardware interface
would be good enough? “
“No – you don’t understand – If we change anything it has to go back
through the very expensive TYPE APPROVAL procedure”.

It turns out that the world is full of “black box” devices in medical and industrial applications that can only print. Sometimes the law or security prohibits any attachment to a network. (nobody wants a “virus” on an ophthalmic lance) – The concept of Virtual Printer hardware was born.

Virtual printer

 

The principle is easy enough. Build a small piece of hardware that just looks like the same old printer to the “black box”. A powerful microprocessor handles the printer interface – we used a MICROCHIP PIC 16 device. Data is collected on a USB connection to a PC controlled using an FTDI package. The device gets its power from the USB interface avoiding the need for a special power supply.

Of course data collection is only half the story. Processing the collected printer data is the work of RedTitan EscapeE. You can even recover data straight off the printed page for re-processing, filing or even patient identification.

Now, six years on, many thousand of these devices have been rolled out in data capture applications. The chances are that, the next time you take an eye test, you will find the RedTitan PRINT2PC box doing its job in the back of a Zeiss Humphrey Field Analyser.

Today there are two models of PRINT2PC – PARALLEL PORT to USB and USB to USB taking care of every thing from Pacemaker Programmers through to Blood Analysis controllers. There is even a bowling alley on an island in northern Germany that owes its scoring system to PRINT2PC; a strange consequence of the sad events of ten years ago.

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22 Responses to “A Virtual Printer for Electronic medical records”

  1. Jason R says:

    It looks like you have done a Humphrey Matrix special
    http://www.pclviewer.com/resources/capture/matrix2PC.html
    How do I go about buying one?

  2. Rick Asselin says:

    We have a customer who is using the Humpreys Matrix machine, and he is looking for a way to eliminate his printer.
    If you could contact us with a price and availability as well as shipping cost to postal code V9N2R4 in Canada’
    Thanks

    Rick

  3. Douglas Lovell says:

    Hi I would like a red titan her in New ZEaland to attach to our Zeiss Matrix

    How do buy one cheers

  4. pete says:

    You can buy direct from the UK – we will be in touch with prices etc. on Monday morning.

    Thanks for tracking us down

    Pete

  5. Virginia says:

    interested in virtual printer for our zeiss matrix

  6. Virginia says:

    I would like to purchase one for our office. How can I get one?

  7. pete says:

    Happy Easter – Our office in Atlanta will be in touch with purchase details.

    Pete

  8. Ryan Powell says:

    I would like to purchase a Red Titan for my Humphrey Matrix for printing purposes. How do I purchase one?
    thank you
    Ryan Powell

  9. Pete says:

    Our office in Atlanta will be in touch.

    Thanks

    Pete

  10. I have a redtitian box for the pararell to USB works great! I want to purchase a USB to USB USB2PC box please contact me with the price at my email

  11. Thu says:

    Hi, I’m interest in the usb2pc for humphrey matrix. How much including shipping to sydney australia?

    Thanks

  12. admin says:

    Thank you for your enquiry, we will contact you directly with pricing details.

  13. Snezhana Muzechuk says:

    Hello, please contact me how/where we can purchase a USB2PC piece. Thank you.

  14. admin says:

    Thank you for your enquiry, we will be in touch directly with further details.

  15. Hi would like to buy Red Titan printer2usb uu2 for Humphrey Matrix 715. Please email me. Thanks.

  16. pete says:

    Thanks John – we will be in touch by Email

  17. John Winstone says:

    Hi I would like to buy a RedTitan for our Humprey Matrix. We are in New Zealand also, please can you contact me with price and details etc. Thanks, John

  18. Shaun Colbert says:

    Hi, We are in need of one of your USB2PC boxes to replace the printer that hangs off our Humphry Matrix machine. Appreciate if you can advise how I can get hold of one in Australia.
    Cheers
    Shaun

  19. William says:

    How much is the Red Titan printer usb2C (usb to usb). This is for the Matrix 750. Thanks.

  20. FIR says:

    Hi, We are interested by RedTitan Printer2usb with delivery to Poland.

    Please send me an email. Thanks.

  21. can i use this device for Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer 745i model HFA II-i series. Please quote me for immediate purchase.

  22. admin says:

    I have emailed you directly with a quotation.

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