UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock has visited medical technology company FutureNova to learn more about the company’s FlipPad case for clinical applications.

FlipPad is a tablet case that has been designed for use in the medical industry. Chelmsford-based FutureNova developed the cases for Apple iPads as a way for clinical staff and surgeons to use iPads in sterile environments.

Hancock was given a short tour of FutureNova’s design office, viewed prototypes and witnessed how FlipPad worked with surgical gloves. The visit took place during the minister’s trip to visit the new Anglia Ruskin University School of Medicine.

FutureNova is marketing FlipPad as both splash and shock-proof, and says it can be kept sterile with standard infection control sprays. The cases have a wipe-clean design and can withstand harsh chemicals. They also have touch-sensitive screen coverings which allow staff to control iPads even when wearing surgical gloves, allowing tablets to be used in operating theatres and infection control wards.

The specialised iPad case also allows hospital patients on sterile wards to use them in the comfort of their beds. FutureNova has suggested that this could give parents the opportunity to research their child’s condition and view medical records and upcoming clinical regimes.

FutureNova CEO Mike Casey said: “A lot of our design work with Apple and Microsoft will have a significant impact on digital healthcare. Mr Hancock has a vision of radically improving digital access to healthcare and was extremely interested to see the benefits of our technology for himself. FlipPad can assist the NHS in its efforts to reduce instances of Norovirus and C-Difficile by enabling the use of mobile technology everywhere in the NHS where infection prevention is important.”

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FutureNova is currently focused on designing medical-grade products that work with the Apple iPad and iPhone. The products are built in the UK and exported to 16 countries including the US.

Over the last two years the company says it has seen a higher demand for FlipPad. In the UK, the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) is the latest hospital trust to start using the technology to provide better digital access for patients.