Data input: Still a final frontier in clinical computing but progress is being made

Bill Crounse 2007 01 I've called "data input" the final frontier in clinical computing.  In fact, data input has been a frequent topic on HealthBlog these past few years.  If you want to see for yourself, just type in "data input" in the handy search box on the upper right-hand corner of my Blog.  Up will come entries about Tablet PCs, voice recognition, digital inking, surface computing and more, including this piece where I explain in greater detail why data input is perhaps the final frontier for clinical computing.  From the perspective of a typical clinician, data input is often cited as the one barrier holding us back from realizing the full potential of IT in healthcare.  Patient care is data intensive, and entering all that data into a computer remains a challenge for most doctors (and nurses) particularly when they compare it to the ease and speed of old fashioned dictation/transcription.

With my heavy travel schedule the past few weeks and the Thanksgiving Holiday, I neglected to inform HealthBlog readers about a new video I just did with my colleagues at Microsoft Research.  In this video, we take a look at investigational technologies and solutions that might one day improve the way we interact with our computers, and perhaps reduce just a bit more some of the annoyances we encounter with data input.

imageOne of the solutions we explore in the video is something called InkSeine; an investigational upgrade to the digital inking experience that builds upon and improves navigational and data input functionality.

  We also take a look at a research project imagecalled Lucid Touch that proposes ways to make the interaction between our fingers when used as pointing devices and the computer screen (especially on very small devices) a whole lot easier.  The video ends with a look at a fun and interesting tool that may one day change the way we interact with our computers when we are on the move.

You can watch the video by clicking on the link below. 

A Visit with Microsoft Research:  Innovations in data input and navigation (streaming video) 

I would also like to point you to the entire inventory of articles, audio-casts and videos in my House Calls for Healthcare Professionals series on  Here you will find helpful resources to satisfy many of your most common questions and interests about healthcare IT industry trends, solutions, and technologies taking place around the world.

Bill Crounse, MD    Worldwide Health Director    Microsoft Corporation