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RFID-Readable Handwriting on the Horizon

  Originally Published MDDI March 2006 NewsTrends   Maria Fontanazza  


With the help of radio-frequency identification (RFID), clinicians may soon be able to capture handwritten information about patients.

DramaView Technology Inc. (Raleigh, NC) is developing a process and material that allow information to be written on a paperlike substrate. The new RFID-readable substrate is about the same thickness as a piece of paper and can be a tag, form, or label. The information is read using standard RFID equipment. The system would allow a user to walk around with just the form and a pen, as opposed to a personal computer device.

“There's no electronic component to it until it is hit with an RFID signal,” says Ray Alden, president of

DramaView Technology. “Then it can digitally capture the information that was stored on it in a physical sense.”

The substrate has an RFID signature that is altered after a person writes on it. The material is scanned before and after it's written upon, and the readings are compared. Software on the back end creates a map of the differences, which is translated into what has been written on the paperlike substrate. The use of a special pen or pencil is not required.

The system also has a character recognition feature. For example, it can differentiate between the letter “s” and the number “5,” because it captures the direction of the pen stroke.

The technology is currently under development. Alden says the company hopes the system will be implemented in hospitals, but doesn't know how soon. —MF

Copyright ©2006 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry
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