The Digital Pen

The Digital Pen is a ground breaking solution that bridges the gap between the most rudimentary “paper and pen” data entry environments and electronic Digital Pen documents with usable and searchable metadata. Digital Pen allows users to complete paper forms using a highly sophisticated ink and laser pen. The pen recognizes the form it is working on and records all handwriting and other strokes. A digital copy of the completed form is then uploaded to a verification program to ensure the accuracy of the handwriting recognition. From there, the completed electronic copy of the form and its associated metadata can be uploaded to a content management system and information derived during verification can be exported to third party databases.

What is it?

It feels and writes like a normal ballpoint pen. However, it contains an integrated digital camera, an advanced image microprocessor and a mobile communications device for wireless connection.

Using our digital pen you can capture, verify, and securely store complete electronic documents automatically in Laserfiche without the need for scanners, PDAs or tablet PCs, enabling you to easily convert ink to digital data right away.

How does it work?

As you write, the camera built into the pen automatically takes digital snapshots of the dot pattern on the paper at a rate of between 50 and 100 images per second. Every snapshot contains enough data to enable the pen’s image microprocessor to determine the exact position of the digital pen and what it writes or draws. This means that the pen has sufficient information to create an exact digital copy of every document it works on and all pen strokes made on those documents. The pen recognizes the form it is working on and records all handwriting, selection marks and other strokes. After the digitized copy of the completed form has been verified for accuracy. the the form and its associated metadata can be uploaded to Laserfiche or another content management solution such as an EHR or EMR and if needed, information derived during verification can be exported to third party databases.

What else can it do?

In addition to capturing the coordinates that enable accurate recording of the handwriting and document identification, the digital pen appends key data about the handwriting context. This includes the exact time and location it was written and the identity of the writer. The digital pen can store up to 50 full A4/Letter size pages of handwritten data before uploading them. Because each document houses a unique microscopic dot pattern, the pen can switch from document to document, and back again, without causing confusion as to what pen strokes were made on which document. The pen can even attach pictures or GPS coordinates from the mobile phone before sending the information. 

Again using the dot pattern, certain areas of forms can be given special properties that react to interaction with the pen. A good example of this is a check box. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that we were using the solution with a form that asked a series of yes or no questions. Working in conjunction with the dot pattern, the pen could actually recognize whether or not the user checked the "yes" box or the "no" box, transfer this information to its verification module and then straight into the document’s template fields within the image repository and/or other third party processing module. This means that those yes or no answers could be searched on or used to further define, organize and/or process those documents. This same principal could be used for even more complex QA functions such as multiple choice, and much, much more.

How does the process store documents?

Using either a cradle (provided with each pen) or Bluetooth connectivity in conjunction with smart phone software, the pen transfers its data to a verification module. Here, users can review and further process the now fully realized digital copies of the completed paper forms. Once verified, the electronic documents are uploaded to a document image repository along with all data derived during original use and verification. The data can be exported in any format (.XML, .GIF, .TIF etc.) to suit the recipient's back office system (Laserfiche, EMR/EHR, CRM or other 3rd party applications).

What are the benefits?

This solution cuts out a major step in document processing. Cutting capture and transcription time relates to major savings.  Origination and capture are synonymous from the user experience point of view, and there’s never the need for scanning. Additionally, the solution is capable of identifying dynamic variables within the context of the document’s queries, such as check boxes and multiple choice selections.