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Psychiatrist Makes Writing Read Right

A senior doctor writing on a clipboard.

Horacio Escriben, MD, psychiatrist at Everything’s Healthy Hospital in Phoenix, AZ, has discovered the code behind doctors’ handwriting. Dr. Escriben explains. “I noticed during elementary school, high school, and college that my handwriting was not so bad. I could even read it! But when I got to medical school, that was the turning point. I felt as if I was responsible for a week’s worth of college material on the first day of medical school. I had to write faster.”

Physicians have a reputation for illegible handwriting. Dr. Escriben scribbled unintelligibly to keep up his note writing. Many of his classmates used laptops and tablets for notetaking. But for Dr. Escriben, handwriting was more practical. “Handwriting is organic, and it helped me remember the medical information,” says Dr. Escriben.

The secret to deciphering scribble is reversing the writing direction and speed along with using muscle memory to decode the original intent of the handwriting.

“The process sounds funny and strange, nonetheless, we created a Writing Reversal Integration Timer Element or W.R.I.T.E. It is a unit that scans and decodes handwriting. Eureka! It means organic writers like me can scribble our way to efficiency,” explains Dr. Escriben.

W.R.I.T.E. works like a document scanner to image handwritten text. But there are so many questions. How does a scanner know the intent in the handwriting? What does a timer element do? Dr. Escriben made the scanner to focus on medical scribble. Through repeated scans, the W.R.I.T.E. algorithm notices the intent of the writer. The W.R.I.T.E. device stores thousands of medical terms to match up scribbled handwriting with known medical terminology. The timer element helps synchronize the words for real-time translation.

“You might wonder about the efficiency of translating writing with the W.R.I.T.E. device. Right now, it reverses scribbled writing with a 75% accuracy. It may confuse the ‘lumbrical’ muscle for the word ‘lumbering,’ for example. But this is still a great breakthrough,” says Dr. Escriben.

This is a remarkable discovery. The more W.R.I.T.E. sees the user’s handwriting, the translation accuracy will increase.

Dr. Escriben knows doctors who have legible handwriting, but for those doctors with scribble muscle memory, W.R.I.T.E. is the right device for you. You do not have to worry about the legibility of what you write. For more about medical documentation, see Chief Medical Officer Wants Docs to Sign with a Sine Wave.




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