Case Study: High-End Pharmacy POS System



Why low-power 4th Gen Intel Core U-Series processors on a Mini-ITX motherboard are the right Rx for a hard-working and versatile pharmacy POS terminal.

This article describes how a Mini-ITX board with Intel® 4th generation Core™ U-Series processors makes possible a flexible and innovative customizable POS terminal.

Figure 1: High computing capability and rich I/O connectivity are among the requirements for a high-end pharmacy POS that handles tasks such as patient ID validation, prescription printing, keeping track of pharmacy stock, and merchandise promotion in a limited space.

Figure 1: High computing capability and rich I/O connectivity are among the requirements for a high-end pharmacy POS that handles tasks such as patient ID validation, prescription printing, keeping track of pharmacy stock, and merchandise promotion in a limited space.


The Challenge

Due to the growing importance of smart healthcare applications, improving customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty, a reliable and multifunctional POS system (which optimizes the counter spaces) is becoming an increasingly important element (Figure 1). Thus, in order to stay ahead of the competition and to deliver more valuable and expanded services, pharmacies need a powerful solution to utilize business management and increase service experience quality.

From Patient ID Validation to Interactive Videos

The pharmacy POS system requires a high computing capability and a rich I/O connectivity to achieve a wide variety of tasks that covers patient ID validation, prescription printing, stock maintaining and merchandise promotion in a limited space. The all-in-one design of a POS terminal that supports a P-Cap touch screen monitor would be a preferable choice for allowing the integration of such options such as: MSR, RFID reader, thermal printer and barcode scanner into one compact machine—one which would make maintenance easy for users. In addition, a secondary display would be needed to broadcast interactive promotional videos and advertisements for waiting customers.

Thin, Energy Efficient and Generous I/O

After evaluating the requirements mentioned above, DFI, which designs and manufactures board- and system-level products for embedded applications requiring strict revision control and long life availability, took on the challenge.

DFI’s HU101 Mini-ITX motherboard (Figure 2) meets all the requirements for the pharmacy POS application. This thin and energy-efficient embedded board is fueled by the low-power 4th Gen Intel Core U-Series processors at only 15W TDP, and comes with rich I/O interfaces that include: 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 4 USB 3.0 ports, and 4 COM ports.

The USB ports connect the MSR to the thermal printer to quickly access the customer’s information and to immediately print out the prescription. The serial ports support the barcode scanner (for medication scanning) to control the inventory and reduce out-of-stock situations. HU101 is also equipped with 2 HDMI ports and 1 LVDS display port with high resolution for real-time dynamic advertisements that will increase the appeal of product promotions and enhance their impact. Moreover, DFI is able to provide BIOS/OS customization services tailored to customers’ unique requirements.

Figure 2: The HU101 Mini-ITX motherboard from DFI, which uses 4th Gen Intel Core U-Series processors, can show pharmacy customers real-time, high-resolution dynamic video.

Figure 2: The HU101 Mini-ITX motherboard from DFI, which uses 4th Gen Intel Core U-Series processors, can show pharmacy customers real-time, high-resolution dynamic video.

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Victor Huang is a product manager at DFI®, which was established in 1981, and is a leading supplier of high-performance computing technology worldwide. DFI focuses on innovative design and manufacture of leading-edge board- and system level products for embedded applications requiring strict revision control and long life availability. The company uses the latest technology platforms and manufacturing techniques to produce cost-effective products for use in medical diagnostic and imaging, ATM/POS, industrial control, kiosk, security and surveillance, digital signage, gaming, and other embedded applications.

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