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last updated 31/05/09



InkNotes is an application that allows a fluid e-paper experience using the new multi-touch capabilities of the Dell XT tablet PC.

Why InkNotes?
Tablet PCs have long been proposed as a good solution for hospitals and for custom written applications can work well, but the reality is most off the shelf apps that are in use are only designed to work with a keyboard and mouse and using them on tablets is a painful experience. Ink forms for use on tablets (such as MiForms) are good, but they do require as much (if not more) effort to create and maintain as their desktop equivalents. InkNotes was inspired by the huge gap between paper notes (and scanned notes) in a hospital and structured forms based applications.

InkNotes Benefits
What InkNotes proposes is replicating the "unstructured" paper notes that are in use now but in a digital form, this requires no significant process change or huge product teams worrying about datatypes and form layout, but can provide huge benefits right now in records management; storage, transport, misplacement, multi-access, audit trail, searchability. As the paper process is replicated the notes can also be printed and placed in the patients notes very easily if only used for part of the record.

Some doctors use OneNote to provide this sort of functionality in a single practice, but this has limited scalability and is quite complex to use. InkNotes keeps the interface clean, uncluttered and most importantly touch based, which can get over problems of screen size when trying to fit an A4 sheet of paper onto a 12" screen by providing intuitive panning and zooming (like an iPhone) without messy scrollbars and zoom dropdowns. Ideally we would use tablets with slightly larger than A4 high dpi screens, but they don't exist yet.

Current features
  • Digital Inking
  • Pan and Zoom using Windows 7 multi-touch API
  • Page templates from existing paper clinical forms
  • Multi-page


Future enhancements
  • Patient selection
  • Pathway/Episode management
  • User management
  • Template management
  • Viewing of scanned notes from Windip using the touch interface
  • Zoom-able thumbnail views of notes (deepzoom)
  • Viewing of images from various systems, or linking to those systems
  • Integration of the digital ink notes into the desktop EPR system


  • Windows 7
  • .Net Framework 3.5 SP1
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  • C#
  • Binary Serialized Ink (Microsoft ISF format)
  • SQLServer Compact (SDF)
  • Dell XT Tablet with Duosense N-Trig screen (multi-touch and stylus)



  Screencast of the prototype application
All panning and zooming is achieved by touching the display
The square pointer and wait circle follow the pen but are not normally shown