No assignee for this patent application has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a sterile enclosure for an electronic device and in particular, but not exclusively, an electronic device in the form of a portable computer device such as an iPad.TM.. The present invention also relates to a backplate for use in the sterile enclosure.
"It is quite common for surgeons during the course of a surgical procedure to wish to monitor the progress of a device, which may have been inserted into the body of a patient. An example of this is a camera, which generates an electronic signal representative of an image of the inside of a patient and outputs the signal for subsequent display. A particularly advantageous and portable display device in use at the present time is the so-called iPad.TM., which is manufactured by the Apple company. This device can receive externally generated signals and display them in full colour on a relatively large screen. It is therefore possible for such a device to be connected to the output of a camera, image intensifier, or x-ray or ultrasound machine (wirelessly or hardwired), in order to display, enhance or manipulate the image being recorded by these devices. One problem, however, is that the iPad.TM. is not sterile and therefore care has to be taken with the use of such a device in a sterile field, such as an operating theatre."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a sterile clamshell for housing an electronic device, the clamshell comprising: a first part for receiving the electronic device, a second part whereby the first part can be closed off, and fastening means for retaining the first part in its closed-off state.
"The clamshell may be of one-piece construction, the second part of the clamshell being hinged to the first part of the clamshell.
"The first and second parts of the clamshell may each have an outwardly protruding flange portion, such that the flange portions abut against each other when the first part of the clamshell is closed off by the second part of the clamshell, the fastening means maintaining the abutted state of the flange portions.
"The fastening means may comprise a plurality of hook-and-loop fasteners.
"The clamshell may comprise an opening, through which a connector can be inserted and mated with a corresponding connector on the electronic device. The opening may communicate with an extension of the clamshell, through which the connector and/or wiring attached to the connector can pass.
"A first sterile sleeve may be provided for sheathing said extension of the clamshell.
"An opening may also be provided in a rear wall of the clamshell for receiving an attachment means for attaching the sterile clamshell to a holder. A second sterile sleeve may be attached to the outside of the rear wall of the clamshell, the second sterile sleeve having an sleeve-opening approximately concentric with the opening provided in the rear wall of the clamshell. The second sterile sleeve may be a telescopic sleeve, which is adjustable between a fully retracted state and an extended state.
"The sterile clamshell may comprise a material selected from a group consisting of PET, PE and PVC.
"In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a backplate for holding an electronic device, the backplate comprising a plate having three terminal points and, at said terminal points, respective retaining members for retaining opposite edges of the electronic device.
"The plate may be triangular in shape. The triangle may be complete or with one side missing.
"The plate may have a central portion disposed intermediate the three terminal points.
"The retaining members at two of the three terminal points may have an L-shaped profile for holding two of the corners of the electronic device. The remaining retaining member may be configured as a flexible clip, with which an edge of the electronic device opposite to the edge common to the two corners, can be brought into engagement.
"The backplate may comprise an attachment member attached to the central portion on a side of the plate opposite to the side which is to face the electronic device.
"The backplate may comprise a thermally conductive element disposed on the side of the triangular plate which is to face the electronic device. The plate may comprise a material of high thermal conductivity.
"In accordance with a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sterile enclosure for an electronic device, comprising: the sterile clamshell as described above; a backplate with retaining means for retaining the electronic device, and an attachment means for attaching the sterile enclosure to a holder; the clamshell being adapted to receive the backplate with the electronic device in its retained state.
"At least the second part of the clamshell may be transparent and the electronic device may be a portable computer device having a display screen, the display screen being viewable through the transparent second part of the clamshell. The display screen may be a touch-sensitive display screen which can be operated through the clamshell.
"Advantageously, the backplate of the sterile enclosure is a backplate having the features described above.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the drawings, of which:
"FIGS. 1(a) and 1(b) are cross-sectional views of a clamshell used in an embodiment of a sterile enclosure according to the present invention, while FIG. 1© is a plan view of the clamshell and FIGS. 1(d) and 1(e) are cross-sectional views of an extension portion of the clamshell;
"FIGS. 2(a)-2© are a plan view, a side view and an underside view, respectively, of a backshell used in an embodiment of a sterile enclosure according to the present invention; while FIG. 2(d) is a variant of the view shown in FIG. 2©;
"FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b) are a plan view and a side view, respectively, of a heatsink plate used in an embodiment of a sterile enclosure according to the present invention;
"FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a sterile enclosure according to the present invention and incorporating the clamshell, backshell and heatsink plate shown in FIGS. 1-3;
"FIG. 5 shows a fastener used to clamp together the two parts of the clamshell;
"FIG. 6 is a first embodiment of a flexible mounting device for mounting a sterile enclosure according to the present invention to a fixed point;
"FIG. 7 is a second embodiment of a flexible mounting device for mounting a sterile enclosure according to the present invention to a fixed point;
"FIG. 8 is a side view of a telescopic sterile sleeve, which may be used as part of the sterile enclosure of FIG. 4;
"FIG. 9 is an alternative version of a backshell used in an embodiment of a sterile enclosure according to the present invention;
"FIGS. 10(a) and 10(b) are side views of a backshell without and with the use of a separate heatsink plate, respectively;
"FIGS. 11(a) and 11(b) show the use of a backplate, rather than a backshell, and involve two different examples of a retaining means;
"FIG. 12 is a plan view of a further embodiment of a backplate with an electronic device installed on it;
"FIGS. 13 and 14 are exploded views of a specific embodiment of the backplate shown in FIG. 12, and
"FIG. 15 is a side view of the backplate assembly of FIGS. 13 and 14."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Rolf, Sandor. Sterile Enclosure for an Electronic Device and a Backplate for Retaining the Electronic Device. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Patents.
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