Anoto is the company behind, and the world leader in, the unique technology for digital pen and paper, which enables fast and reliable conversion of handwritten text into digital format.

Anoto works with a global partner network to create user-friendly solutions for efficient capture, transmission and storage of data within different sectors. However, the single greatest beneficiary has been the public sector; in particular, health and social care.

Anoto digital pen and paper technology has helped hospital staff and home care providers become more productive and save costs. It has allowed clinicians to focus on patient care rather than onerous administration tasks, and it has eliminated costly sources of error by eliminating the need for re-entering data.

Digital pen and paper technology for health and social care

Digital pen and paper technology works by remembering what has been written or drawn on dotted paper, transmitting this data back to a PC or server. The digital pen writes just like a normal ballpoint pen, but has a tiny infrared camera at its tip, which reads and records the movements of the pen relative to a pattern of barely visible grey dots printed on regular paper. The dot pattern can be generated using a standard printer.

Digital pen and paper technology is ideally suited to form-based processes such as those commonly used within both health and social care.

Digital pen and paper for clinical trials

The road to approving a new drug is cumbersome. Clinical trials are extensive, detailed research studies, testing the safety and efficiency of a drug, so it’s vital to be thorough.

For those who could benefit from newly approved medication, the sooner the experimental drug is approved the better, as the patient can be treated faster. While these trials sound ominous and impersonal, they are still conducted one-on-one, with the doctor examining the patient.

Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Switzerland, conducts medical trials the world over. They use Anoto digital pen and paper technology, which records data for researchers in more than 20 clinical trials throughout Europe, the US, Australia and Asia. Data is handled with the help of a web-based system co-developed by Actelion and GM Servizi, Italy, and a platform developed by Kayentis, France. There are more than 2,000 pens in use.

Data captured with the digital pen and paper solution is uploaded daily, integrated and processed. However, because clinical trials have more stringent health authority requirements a redundant data transfer is required. When a visit is completed, the CRFs are collected and all data is re-entered manually.

Normally the cost savings would be calculated by eliminating the need to transcribe collected data. In the world of clinical trials where quality cannot be compromised this additional loop is not significant.

Fast data access with digital pen and paper technology

The digital pen and paper solution provides faster access to data and reduces costs. The monitors who visit the investigational sites to review collected data are able to get a view of the data prior to their visit.

The main benefits are time and cost savings, due to less travel and more efficient usage of the monitor’s time, as well as increased data quality due to the optimised remote monitoring.