There are COWs roaming America's hospitals -- "computers on wheels," according to a Wall Street Journal article. Until now, these big, bulky machines were the only way to digitally capture data about patients. But a sleek new tablet PC developed by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Motion Computing could help put those COWs out to pasture.

The device, resembling a thin purse with a handle on it, will allow nurses to take digital photos of patients' injuries, and document temperature, blood pressure, and other vital signs. Built-in Wi-Fi wireless technology will let nurses readily shuffle a patient's medical information back and forth between the tablet PC and the hospital's record-keeping system. This device represents a great opportunity for both Intel and Motion Computing, since only 16% of hospitals are currently using tablet PCs.

In the longer term, I believe this initiative will pay even bigger dividends for Intel. I have written before about Intel's WiMAX initiative with both Sprint-Nextel (NYSE:S) and Motorola (NYSE:MOT). But as an increasing number of hospital items and products get tagged with radio frequency identification chips -- as 3M (NYSE:MMM) is now doing with the Mayo Clinic -- the opportunity for these tablet PCs to increase nurses' efficiency even further will increase as well.

Of course, the real benefit is not so much that the tablet PC will help the nurses, although it should free them from some administrative paperwork and allow them to spend more time with patients. Instead, these new devices should help everyone else -- especially doctors and administrators -- more easily find and share the same information.

As my wife, a nurse, always tells me when I can't find a band-aid in her purse for one of our bleeding children, "You just have to know where to look." This new PC should help the rest of the hospital become as knowledgeable and competent as the nurses.

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Fool contributor Jack Uldrich doesn't carry a "man-bag," but if he did, he would put band-aids in it. He owns stock in Intel. The Fool has a strict disclosure policy.