The medical sector is seen as one of the main areas for future application of pen-operated Tablet PCs. Some hospitals already use tablets for their work, but often the software has not been developed for Tablet PCs and therefore many potential features and advantages are not exploited. Medical facilities where Tablet PCs have been hardly used so far are medical practices. Very little software has been created specifically for this purpose; often the software in use is adapted regular PC software, which fails to provide a variety of useful pen-based features.
This work aims to create a completely new prototype of pen-based EMR (Electronic Medical Record) software on a Tablet PC using new technologies such as C# and WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation). Some of the special features included are: using gestures for navigation, providing an image annotation tool where the user can write directly on the picture and modify the ink, using it as a communication device and adding audio comments to a record or inputting text with the stylus.
The first part of this master thesis contains some examples that describe medical software for Tablet PCs already on the market and which institutes already have tablets in use. In the main part, the development of the prototype and its usage are described. Due to special ink canvas controls and the new Windows Presentation Foundation, which enable many design possibilities, the text input with the stylus is done directly in the program and is analyzed and recognized afterwards. Various additional features (audio-recording, image-annotation, gestures) were implemented to show several advantages of the Tablet PC use.
The test results of the prototype with several users have shown that the new features are appreciated and can be used efficiently in a medical practice. Nevertheless, some training for more accurate text recognition has to be performed and the process of analyzing has to become more reliable.
D. Mayrhofer: "Pen-based Electronical Medical Record on a Tablet PC in a Medical Practice"; Supervisor: M. Gelautz; Institut für Softwaretechnik und Interaktive Systeme, 2007.
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