When Is a Phone Not a Phone and a Case More Than an Accessory?

Posted by Leslie Titus Bryant on Aug 2, 2019 12:55:59 PM
Leslie Titus Bryant
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Here are a few questions to help clarify that previous one. First, can this phone scan and record important information about medications, IV fluids, or patient data? Second, is it sterile enough to be used in areas with critical care patients? Third, do you depend on your phone as an extension of the quality care you provide? Finally, Does the battery on the phone need to last a full 12-hour shift, all while protecting and extending the life and integrity of your phone? If you answered yes to these criteria, then your phone isn’t really a phone, it’s a piece of medical equipment and your case has to do more than simply hold that phone.

Protecting Patients & Your Mobile Investment Is Completely Possible

Today, many hospitals and clinics rely on the iPhone® as a vital addition to their mobile point-of-care workflows, but phones by themselves are inherently unsanitary and can’t withstand the rigorous cleaning and disinfecting required in healthcare environments. As a means of protecting the phone, and the patients, many healthcare professionals have turned to using commercial cases. Unfortunately, these come with a variety of risks and issues. For example, most (if not all) commercial cases are made of materials such as polycarbonate plastic, or rubber. While these materials are excellent for protecting a phone from a damaging fall, subjecting them to disinfectants or sterilants will quickly result in the degradation of materials and increase patient risk.

Battery power is another concern for the mobile medical professional. Long shifts, late nights, and busy floors can run a battery down quickly. Each mobile device has a limited number of charge cycles before the battery on that device stops holding a full charge. We have all seen first-hand, the more you use a phone the faster the battery runs down and the more often it needs charged. According to a report from Kingsley-Hughes, Apple says the iPhone batteries are "designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles." ( Logic dictates a busy healthcare mobile workflow would devour a phone’s useful life in a few short months. Having the ability to quickly add life to a phone is more than just a convenience. Keeping the phone running without using a single charge cycle is what we call genius! (Keep reading, you will understand what we mean.)

While some commercial products offer extra battery life, most will only provide an additional hour or two to the battery inside the phone. Putting your phone down for charging means loss of productivity that just isn’t acceptable in the fast-paced world of healthcare, and opening a case to change a battery means a time-eating case swap, or the risk of contamination which also rates as a “fail.” In a recent study, typical phones were found to have about 17,000 germs and bacteria on them. Among the most distressing finds were Streptococcus, MRSA, and E. coli. ( It stands to reason that these same pathogens can be found on both the phone and the case. Phones are just not designed to withstand the harsh healthcare-grade disinfectants needed to keep patients safe. Without having a completely sealed case, germs are free to hitch a ride or leave a phone unprotected from chemical erosion.

A commercial case may offer good protection in case a phone is bumped or dropped, but even with “shatter-proof glass,” the risk of a broken screen remains high. Phone and case manufacturers continue to find stronger, more durable materials, but most can’t withstand the daily rigors and demands of a healthcare facility. Their lighter weight and less durable materials result in fractured screens, broken glass, worn-out connections, and degradation of ports for frequent charging because batteries can’t survive the long use periods.

Commercial Cases Don't Hold Up to Healthcare Punishment–Unless It's Code!

In short – commercial cases can’t hold up to the punishment exacted on them by typical use cases in hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers. So how do you offer the mobility freedom healthcare teams desire and protect the large mobile investment hospitals must make facing the expensive reality of a shortened product life span from excessive use and chemical cleanings? The answer is simple: the Code CR7018 battery backup case. This case was designed specifically for the needs of the healthcare community. It not only meets the demands of hard-working healthcare professionals, but it can hold up to the daily use and cleaning required of a legitimate piece of medical equipment.

The CR7018 allows the iPhone® 7 or 8 to be completely enclosed and uses IP54 barriers so there is no risk of bacteria or other material getting inside to the phone. It’s made of PVC-free CodeShield® level 3 medical grade plastic, so it’s both durable and disinfectant-ready. It features Dragontrail™ Glass that is both shatter- and scratch-resistant and won’t cloud or fog as a result of cleaners and disinfectants. The case also offers a 2700 mAh lithium-ion external battery. No plugging in, no changing cases, and no risk of contamination when you need to change the battery. The risks posed by any potential pathogens carried on either the phone or the commercial case are mitigated because the phone is completely sealed within the CR7018 which can be completely wiped down.  

What About That Genius Part?

When an iPhone® 7 or 8 is placed inside the CR7018, the phone immediately begins using power from the external battery in the case rather than the internal phone battery. Notifications can be set to remind you when the external battery reaches a certain percentage to swap it out with a new one. Since the phone uses external battery power (here is that genius part again), you are not using the regular phone charge cycles. This protects the longevity of both the phone and its internal battery, extending the life of both, which becomes a significant cost savings to the facility. Additionally, BatteryTrak, a mobile app designed for the CR7018 feeds real-time vitals of your battery and deployed statistics so you and your IT team have access to vital performance information. Five-bay or ten-bay battery charging stations can be mounted vertically or horizontally to fit the needs and available space of your work area.

Yet another added benefit of the CR7018 is its ability to facilitate accurate barcode scanning. Code’s zero-miss decoding software, CortexDecoder®, can be easily integrated into your healthcare application or found currently integrated within Epic Rover. Your facility can reduce medication errors and the need for additional scanning hardware with this amazing software-based scanning solution. Because Dragontrail™ glass doesn’t fog or cloud with repeated cleaning and sterilization, you can be certain you’ll have top performance from your phone and case for much longer than any commercial case.

Does the Code CR7000 Series Have Any Criticism?

The CR7018 is ever so slightly larger than other commercial cases, and a few clinicians have commented about the additional weight. Here’s an interesting fun fact: the CR7018 is purpose built for healthcare workflows and qualifies as medical equipment. It may be bigger than the case you have been using, but chances are your other case doesn’t qualify as medical equipment. It doesn’t use medical grade materials, it doesn’t offer guaranteed full enclosure of your phone, it doesn’t feature an external hot-swap battery allowing the phone to run on external power-saving its own charge cycles, and it can’t stand up to the disinfectants and sterilants required in your facility. You’re going to replace that case three or more times in a year while the CR7018 is still hard at work. Test it out for yourself and schedule a no-risk demo today!

More importantly, if your ultimate concern is the health and well-being of your patients, why wouldn’t you choose the case that ensures your patients’ safety while still being able to perform your duties with maximum efficiency? The choice should be clear, but if you have any questions, give us a call! We welcome all your questions, comments, and feedback!

Topics: Healthcare Innovation, healthcare data capture, Mobility, Healthcare Workflow, patient safety, Medication Administration, healthcare barcode scanning, bedside patient safety, CortexDecoder, infection control

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