Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberWO2001050413 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/US1999/031279
Publication date12 Jul 2001
Filing date30 Dec 1999
Priority date30 Dec 1999
Publication numberPCT/1999/31279, PCT/US/1999/031279, PCT/US/1999/31279, PCT/US/99/031279, PCT/US/99/31279, PCT/US1999/031279, PCT/US1999/31279, PCT/US1999031279, PCT/US199931279, PCT/US99/031279, PCT/US99/31279, PCT/US99031279, PCT/US9931279, WO 0150413 A1, WO 0150413A1, WO 2001/050413 A1, WO 2001050413 A1, WO 2001050413A1, WO-A1-0150413, WO-A1-2001050413, WO0150413 A1, WO0150413A1, WO2001/050413A1, WO2001050413 A1, WO2001050413A1
InventorsAbbas M. Husain, Arch C. Luther
ApplicantHusain Abbas M, Luther Arch C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Digital audio recording with coordinated handwritten notes
WO 2001050413 A1
The invention provides coordination of handwritten notes and computerized sound recordings that created simultaneously but later stored separately at low cost and without any special skills of a user. A computer (1) performs digital recording and storage of sound and all system control processing. A selector (2) which is a computer controlled switch that allows the computer (1) to select one of a multiplicity of pickup and control units for use. The computer (1) contains internal disk storage (4) for holding digital sound recordings, a standard analog-input sound and standard software for recording from the sound digitizer to a hard disk. The computer (1) includes a removable recorder (5). A printer (6) for marking identification marks on labels. A code reader (7) reading the marks and retrieving the corresponding sound recording, the sound recording can not be made until a bar code mark is entered through the code reader.
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
1. An electronic recording system comprising, in combination, means for recording and storing a multiplicity of data, said recorded and stored data being addressable for retrieval by means of an identification code which uniquely identifies said recorded and stored data, said identification code being capable of being printed on paper and being read electronically, in which electronic recording system, the reading of said identification code is required to begin recording of the data.
2. An electronic recording system as set forth in Claim 1 in which said recorded and stored data is in a form of sound recording.
3. An electronic recording system as set forth in Claim 1 wherein said identification codes is a bar code.
4. An electronic recording system as set forth in Claim 1 wherein said recording data is a sound recording and wherein the paper on which the identification code is printed contains written notes summarizing a content of the sound recording.
5. An electronic recording and storage system comprising, in combination, means for recording data and means for storing data in computer mass memory, said data being addressed for location and playback by way of an identification code, said identification code being comprised of unique numbers and capable of being printed on paper and being read electronically, and said reading of said identification code being required to begin recording and storage of said data.
6. An electronic recording and storage system as set forth in Claim 5 wherein said recorded data is a sound recording.
7. An electronic recording and storage system as set forth in Claim 5 in which said identification code is a bar code .
8. A system for recording and storing of data with corresponding summary notes written on paper comprising means for identifying and correlating marks on written summary notes with electronically recorded and stored data, means for reading and identifying marks on notes written on paper as an identification code, means under control of said computer to begin recording of sound to said computer's mass storage upon receipt of set identification code and means for identifying said recording of sound with set identification code on summary notes written on paper.
9. A system for coordinating and correlating sound recordings of meetings or transactions and notes written on paper taken during said meeting or transaction, comprising, in combination, a pickup and control unit including at least one microphone device for picking up sound in the meeting room and a bar code with reader for reading identifying marks placed on notepaper, a sound recording and storage device, said sound recording and storage device having means to identify the sound recorded in stored data with the notes written on paper.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



Technical Field

This invention relates to an apparatus for coordinating notes, either typed or handwritten, on paper with computerized sound recordings that are created simultaneously or close in time to the notes but later stored separately.

Although sound recording provides a complete record of the proceedings of a meeting or interview, it is often valuable to also create a written summary during the meeting or interview which will provide a concise report of the activity conducted and which can be reviewed more quickly than listening to the complete recording. This is accomplished in many cases by the taking of notes in graphic form during the meeting or interview. When this is done, however, it often is helpful, if not completely necessary, to coordinate the storage of the notes in graphic form from numerous meetings or sessions with the corresponding sound recordings of those same meetings or sessions. The present invention provides a means for simultaneously creating written summary notes on paper and full sound recordings of proceedings conducted during a meeting or interview so that at a later time, both the notes and the sound recordings may be quickly and efficiently retrieved.

Sound recording of meetings or interviews is very commonly done using a medium such as audio magnetic tape. The recorded tapes are usually identified by labeling them and thereafter storing the tape in boxes or racks. If notes in graphic form are taken during a recorded session, those notes are normally identified by some kind of written identification and the notes are usually stored in file cabinets. When it becomes necessary to review the content of the meeting, the notes from the meeting are retrieved from the file cabinet. If it is also necessary to review the sound recording of the meeting, the corresponding tape must be found in the tape storage area by reading the tape labels and coordinating the tape labels manually with the written identification from the notes. This use of different storage and search methods for the two media involved (paper and magnetic tape) is awkward, time consuming and very susceptible to error.

The storage of sound recordings is greatly facilitated when recordings are made digitally on a computer disk. A single disk in the computer can potentially store many hours of recording and individual recordings can be quickly retrieved and played by using the computer's file system. By use of removable high capacity disk media such as CD-ROM magnetic-optical disk or magnetic disk, the sound storage capacity can be virtually limitless.

The preparation of summary notes in a graphic form on paper during a meeting is an accepted, time proven method to create a record of the meeting. The notes can be taken by any participant and the note taking can be accomplished without distracting the participants in the meeting. Written notes can be stored by way of conventional filing and can be retrieved and read without any special equipment or skills. However, absent the use of a special stenographer who can make a verbatim transcript of the meeting, generally the written notes are a summary of the proceedings conducted at the meeting rather than a complete transcript of everything that was said at the meeting. In many instances, such as recording the proceedings during a physician's examination, the use of a special person for transcribing is neither acceptable nor affordable and the notes of the proceeding, i.e. the physical examination in the case of a physician's notes, are normally recorded by the physician in summary form. In such a situation, the concurrent use of sound recording provides an inexpensive, non-obtrusive method of capturing an accurate transcript of the proceedings. However, in order to fully utilize the written summary notes with the sound recording of the proceedings during the examination, an efficient and inexpensive method of coordinating the storage and retrieval of the two methods of recording the proceeding is essential. This is especially true where the sound recording medium may contain recordings of numerous meetings, or in the case of a physician, examinations. While it is normal practice, in the case of a physician, to maintain the handwritten notes of the examination in the patient's file, it is not practical to segregate the recording of one particular examination and store that in the patient's file. Although the problem of coordinating written notes with a computer storage sound recording could be easily accomplished if the notes were also maintained on the computer, this requires that either the notes be taken on the computer or scanned into the computer. This would require the availability of special equipment or the use of a separate operation, i.e., scanning with its attendant additional cost. Keeping the notes on the computer also requires a person with computer skills and restricts the flexibility of the operation. Several prior art systems have taken this approach and describe elaborate means for the note taker to use during the meeting. Their objective is to "simplify" note taking but they require the note taker to learn complex protocol and to use a special tool for capturing the notes. Moreover, computerized note taking requires the availability of a computer whenever notes are retrieved and read. Writing or reading notes recorded on paper requires no computer and be done by one without any computer skills. Although the use of the computer is becoming more and more common in business, written notes will always be used thereby raising the need for a method to handle those written notes in coordination with computerized records. The present invention provides printed identification codes that are placed on paper notes and used in such a way that a matching code will be embedded in any computerized recording that is made simultaneously while the notepaper is being used. A key feature of this invention is that sound recordings cannot be made without first entering a bar code. For retrieval, the paper is retrieved first from conventional files and the conventional file's printed code is read in order to retrieve the corresponding computer recording.

Background Art

There have been a number of patents issued which disclose methods for correlating a written document with a unique bar code. A prime example is U.S. Patent No. 4,835,372 issued to Gombrich on May 20, 1989. That patent discloses a device for relating items to patients in a medical office whereby the patient is provided with a unique bar code which correlates to the patient's records. Another is U.S. Patent No. 4,321,63 issued to Tsuyuguchi on March 23, 1982 which discloses a video disk player with a record disk with information recorded. The disclosed invention is essentially a device to display optically the contents of the disk and provides a means for selecting an address of an information system and playing it . The device does not provide any coordination or correlation between two types of records as does the device disclosed by the instant application.

The objectives of the present invention are:

1. To provide means for coordinating handwritten notes and computerized sound recordings that are created simultaneously but later stored separately;

2. To prevent errors in the creation, storage and retrieval of written notes and corresponding sound recordings;

3. To provide coordination of paper and computerized records at a low cost without requiring any special skills on the part of the user.

The background art is probably best summarized in U.S. Patent No. 5,265,075 issued to Bergeron on November 23, 1993 which discloses a central dictation system for pre-recording standard voice files. The invention provides means for the user to select pre-recorded standard forms or other prerecorded information for use in completing a report. Bar codes are used to identify the standard forms. However, this invention is readily distinguishable from the instant application in that no means are disclosed for coordinating data recorded in two mediums at the same time for later use.

U.S. Patent No. 4,831,610 issued to Hoda on May 16, 1989 discloses a method and apparatus for interactive control of a data recording medium playback apparatus using bar code access comprising: a disk storage 2 for recording a multiplicity of data wherein the data is audio and wherein the paper on which the identification code in printed contains written notes representing in graphic form the content of the sound recording; a memory 15 for storing a plurality of data, wherein the recorded and the stored data are retrievable using a unique identifying code 18 which was assigned to the recorded and stored data during recording and storing sessions; a scanner 19 for scanning the identification codes; and a pick-up 3 and control unit 13. While Hoda may in fact disclose some of the elements of the instant invention, Hoda does not disclose a key feature of the invention which is that the sound recording cannot be made without first entering a bar code . Hoda says nothing about how the values of the bar code are determined during recording. In order to determine the "codes" under Hoda, the "start" and "end" frame numbers must be determined. These are then the values that are placed into the bar codes. Since there is no use of the bar code during recording, the determination of the start and end frame numbers must be done manually after recording to obtain the values to put into the bar codes . This tedious and error prone process is completely eliminated by the invention disclosed in the present application. The instant invention solves the coordination problem by using the bar code during recording to determine the identification for the recording that will automatically match the bar codes to be used for the subsequent playback.

Disclosure of Invention The present invention encompasses a method and apparatus for coordinating and correlating sound recordings of meetings or transactions with notes recorded in graphic form on paper taken during said meeting or transaction. The sound recording cannot be made without first entering a bar code into the device thereby ensuring that each recording has a bar code which corresponds to the paper upon which the notes or summary of the meeting or transaction have been recorded in graphic form .

Brief Description of Drawings

The details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a record keeping system showing one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the pickup and control unit of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is the drawing of one possible physical design for the pickup and control unit .

FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing the use of the system in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a drawing of the unit of FIG. 3 in use by a physician.

Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention Reference is to FIG. 1 which shows one embodiment of the invention designed for use in a physician's office for note taking and sound recording of medical examinations . The apparatus includes a computer 1, a selector 2, pickup and control unit 3, a code reader 7, a removable medium recorder 5 and a printer 6. The computer 1 performs digital recording and storage of sound and all system control processing. The computer may be a conventional desktop personal computer or any equivalent unit . The selector 2 is a computer controlled switch that allows the computer to select one of a multiplicity of pickup and control units 3 for current use. The multiple units may be located in different examining rooms or the doctor's office. The computer contains internal disk storage 4 for holding digital sound recordings, a standard analog-input sound digitizer and standard software for recording from the sound digitizer to hard disk. The computer also has a separate removable medium recorder 5 for creating removable-medium recordings which would be required when the internal hard disk becomes full. A printer 6 allows identification markings to be printed on adhesive labels or notepaper. A code reader unit 7 provides for reading of code markings from notepaper for retrieval of the corresponding sound recordings. An appropriate coding method for this application is bar codes.

The pickup and control unit 3 is further detailed in FIG. 2. An interface unit 11 connects all other components to the interface cable 8 that goes to the selector 2. The cable 8 is a combined analog-digital connection although it will be evident to one skilled in the art that it could be made all digital by including an analog to digital conversion in the pickup and control unit . A microphone 12 is provided for the pickup of sound. The output of the microphone 12 is amplified by the pre-amp 13 for delivery via analog cable 14 to interface unit 11. A code reader device 15 is also connected to interface unit 11 via flexible cable 17. This reader is of a type suitable for scanning codes that are placed on the notepaper and delivering a digital representation of the code to the rest of the system. The control panel 16 is connected to the interface unit 11.

It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that an alternative and equivalent architecture could make the interface cable 8 a telephone connection and that selector 2 and computer 1 could be at another location on the telephone network and could serve many more than three users .

FIG. 3 shows one possible implementation of a pickup and control unit 3 and provides more detail of the control panel 16. A housing 21 contains the components of the pickup and control unit 3 which is designed to be placed on a flat surface in the examining room where the microphone 12 on top of the housing 21 will pick up the voices of the physician and the patient in the room. A wand-type code reader 15 is connected to the housing by way of flexible cable 17 that will allow convenient operation of the reader 15. The elements of the control panel 16 are placed on the surface of the housing 21 where they may be readily operated by the physician. The control panel 16 comprises three control buttons 22, 23 and 24 and a LCD display 25. Because the sound operation of the control buttons may be sensed by the microphone, it will be desirable to provide an isolating mount (not shown) for the microphone to minimize acoustic interference.

In operation as shown by FIG. 5, it is necessary for the note taker 40, used by the physician for taking handwritten notes, to be bar coded before use. The exact content of the bar code 41 is not important so long as each one is unique. That can be accomplished by making the bar codes on site using the computer printer 6 and assigning the bar code sequential numbers. Bar codes can be printed directly on notepaper or they may be printed on adhesive labels to be attached to the notepaper for use. The physician must always have a bar coded notepaper in hand before it will be possible to begin recording sound. The key feature of this invention is that sound recordings cannot be made without first entering a bar code .

When removal storage media are to be used with the removable media recorder 5, the system must provide means to identify a particular removable medium piece so that, upon a request for retrieval of a specific recording, the appropriate piece of medium can be inserted into unit 5 for playback. This is best accomplished by having the identification of the current removable medium piece that is being prepared included in the bar code. In the example of FIG. 3 that shows the contents of the display 25 immediately after scanning the bar code, this is shown by the numerical display that identifies the medium as number 101 and the other number, 623571, is the current sequential number. This approach poses the management task that, when the hard disk is dumped to medium 101, a set of bar codes must then be produced for the next piece of medium and the office must make sure that any remaining bar codes from previous media are purged from use .

An alternate approach for management of the medium identification is possible by having the computer maintain a global index of recording numbers and medium numbers . On requests for retrieval, the computer would first look up this index for the medium number of the requested recording. It would then check the medium number that is on line and, if it is not the correct one, request the user to insert the proper one .

The operation of system may be further understood by reference to the flow chart of FIG. 4. The process of recording a session begins when the physician presses the START button 22 on the pickup and control unit 3. This is shown in FIG. 4 at location 31. The design of the selector unit 2 is such that START commands from any of the connected pickup and control units 3 are passed directly to the computer regardless of which pickup unit is selected. If another pickup and control unit 3 is selected while inputting is in progress from another pickup and control unit, the computer 1 will simply send back a display command "busy". Otherwise, the computer 1 will select the current pickup and control unit 3 and respond to the unit by displaying "SCAN THE BAR CODE" on its LDC display 25.

When the physician responds with a successful bar code scan from the bar-coded paper 40 being used for the examination, there is a beep from the pickup unit and the computer display is the bar code's value along with the word "READY" . The computer 1 also prepares for recording using the identification value from the bar code 41 but it does not actually begin recording. The identification values are used to create a unique file name for the sound recording so that the recording can be retrieved later by simply looking up the bar code value in the directory of the recording medium, whether hard disk or removable disk.

To continue the process, the physician can press the REC button 23 at any time to begin recording. During the examination the physician makes notes on the bar coded paper 40 and the recording is captured by the computer 1 into a hard disk 4. At the end of the session, the physician simply presses the STOP button 24 which will end the recording and de-select that pickup and control unit 3 making the system available for use from the another pickup and control unit 3.

Retrieval of a recording at a later time is done by retrieving the paper notes from the patient's file and, at the computer location, using the bar code reader 7 to scan the code from the paper. The computer first looks up the appropriate removal medium number and prompts the user if it is not already on line. With the appropriate medium available, the computer searches the sound directory for the file name indicated by the bar code and allows playback of the recording. The usual recording controls for PLAY, PAUSE, FAST FORWARD, FAST REVERSE, and STOP can be provided on the computer screen for this purpose.

It will be evident to those skilled in the art that the system of bar coding could be expanded to include additional patient information other than simply an identification number. Patent data could be extracted from the physician's office computer and other available data such as date and time could be added by the recording computer itself. A header data structure could also be added to the sound recording file to include other information about this particular examination.

Although this invention has been disclosed an illustrated with reference to a particular embodiment for medical examinations, the principles involved are susceptible for use in numerous other situations which will be apparent to persons skilled in the art.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4652733 *15 Oct 198424 Mar 1987At&T CompanyTechnique for cataloging pictorial and/or written database information on video tape or disk
US4831610 *3 Mar 198716 May 1989Pioneer Electronic CorporationMethod and apparatus for interactive control of a data recording medium playback apparatus using bar code access
US5126543 *10 Jun 199130 Jun 1992Pitney Bowes Inc.Integrated hand microphone with barcode reader and dictation controls
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US779630914 Nov 200614 Sep 2010Microsoft CorporationIntegrating analog markups with electronic documents
International ClassificationG06F3/0488, G06K19/00, G06F3/00, G06F3/01, G06F3/042
Cooperative ClassificationG06F3/002, G06F3/0421, G06F3/011
European ClassificationG06F3/0488G, G06F3/01B, G06F3/042B, G06F3/00B
Legal Events
12 Jul 2001AKDesignated states
Kind code of ref document: A1
Designated state(s): JP
12 Jul 2001ALDesignated countries for regional patents
Kind code of ref document: A1
Designated state(s): AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LU MC NL PT SE
5 Sep 2001121Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application
13 Nov 2002122Ep: pct application non-entry in european phase