Cool Technology for Pharmacy

While not specifically related to pharmacy, this is very interesting. Stephen S. Hau, the founder of PatientKeeper in the 90’s, has created a new product called Shareable Ink. The product uses a digital pen on paper forms to capture handwriting. The information is transferred, via wireless connection, to a server where the information is digitized. The technology is not new per se, but the application to medicine in this way is.

Digital Pen Systems promotes the use of digital pen technology with paper forms, as well as digital field solutions. The major difference between these products and Shareable Ink is the ability to synchronize information to a remote server via web-based technology. That alone earns it a big thumbs up from me. Besides, digital ink is just neat. Watch the video at the bottom, it really is quite impressive.

While other digital pen systems are typically geared to an individual user or consumer, the Shareable Ink solution incorporates sophisticated, enterprise-grade software that makes it uniquely suitable for organizations with multiple users, as well as healthcare facilities needing to ensure security of PHI (protected health information). Offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, Shareable Ink’s zero-footprint, web-based technology means all computing is securely and immediately conducted on remote servers. It provides an unmatched level of security and reliability. All data is encrypted – on the pen as well as during transit between the pen and the Shareable Ink servers.
Shareable Ink’s enterprise backend and web-based technology enables integration with the organization’s registration, EHR, and data repository systems. Forms may be pre-filled with patient demographic information by inbound ADT and scheduling interfaces. Data from synced forms can be exported in discrete format using modern standards.
Shareable Ink makes paper smart. Rules – both simple and complex – can be built into forms, looking for the absence or presence of specific data. When a provider syncs a form with an error or omission, an alert is sent immediately to the provider or designated assistant in a format of their choice (email, text message, or alpha-numeric page). Rules can reduce administrative rework – saving valuable time for clinicians and chart reviewers – and increase regulatory and quality initiative compliance.

11 thoughts on “Cool Technology for Pharmacy”

  1. Great innovatiove technology, I can see lots of applications, are users required to improve their handwriting?

  2. Hi John,

    In theory the two things will happen: 1) the user will adjust slightly and 2) the system will learn a little. I know it doesn’t sound realistic, but the same thing happens to people who use a tablet PC for the first time. The tablet picks up your quirks and learns, while the user makes minor adjustments to their writing style. It happened to me when I started using a tablet. Now my tablet rarely miss fires. I also found the following on FierceMobileHealthcare regarding Shareable Ink:

    The software converts handwriting to text, following a list of pre-defined, practice-specific terminology. Whenever the computer has less than 95 percent confidence in the accuracy of the handwriting recognition, the field is highlighted in yellow for the user to fix. The system gradually becomes more accurate over time as users train it.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Digital pen technology has enormous potential to bring users up to “meaningful use” quickly. It’s often mis-perceived as a transitional technology, but its applicability for patient intake use isn’t going away any time soon, and the improved doctor/patient connection that it affords will always have appeal.
    Check out Satori Labs ( for a different take on this technology, as deployed at Mass. General Hospital, Lahey Clinic, MD Anderson, and 100 other sites nationwide.

  4. Hi Roy,

    I agree that digital pen technology has enormous potential in healthcare. I’m a big believer and have been following it for a while. My first real interest was in the LiveScribe pen because it was aimed at the consumer and less expensive. I would like to see a hospital using such technology. What do you have in California? I don’t hold out much hope as us “West Coasters” always seem to be behind the big boys on the opposite coastline.

  5. Hi Jerry. Thanks for posting this.

    I’m in the SF bay area. How about you? Happy to have a discussion with you or any of your readers if you’d like to learn more about this technology.

    Vernon Huang, MD
    Chief Medical Officer, Shareable Ink.

  6. Hi Vernon,

    I think you have a great product with tremendous potential. At this point in the technology game, it makes a lot of sense to ease into an electronic system with familiar practices. I also see value in this system for pharmacists when collecting drug information and allergy histories at the bedside; collect the information in ink and have it digitized into the medical record. The ability to utilize “pen and paper” while reaping the benefits of an electronic record is ideal. Now if I could just get people to see it my way….

    I’m in Fresno, your neighbor about 4 hours south-east. I do travel to SF on occasion and would love to stop by and talk more about the technology. Thanks for stopping by.

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