Hosted digital pen and paper speeds claims processing

Aquilo, an insurance industry claims processing systems provider, is using hosted digital pen and paper incident data collection as a cost-effective alternative to mobile computers for collecting claims information.

Aquilo Inspection and Reinstatement Services (AIRS) assesses the damage to buildings after storms, fires and other incidents, followed by effective management of the building repair.

Using a digital pen and paper-based forms from provider, Digital Field Solutions, AIRS building engineers can assess damage and plan the repairs without needing to return to the office.

Tim Howard, director of Digital Field Solutions said the system is popular with field staff like the AIRS engineers because of the simplicity of the technology.

"Once we have designed the forms, it can be printed on normal paper by laser printer. It instantly gets data back from the field, enabling the next step in the process to start - whether [it's] invoicing, report production, order fulfilment or claims payment."

He added that clients like Aquilo have experienced significant improvements in service delivery, productivity and data quality.

Users record the information with the pen and paper without needing a mobile computer. The system uses electronic ballpoint pens, which write exactly like normal pens but also capture handwriting and drawing from specially prepared paper forms, pre-treated with a microdot pattern.

A miniature camera built into the pen captures patterns printed on each page as it moves across it. And once the claimant signs the personalised form, the information is immediately transmitted to Aquilo's support team via mobile phone, speeding up the claims process.

The data is encrypted and then transmitted over Bluetooth and GPRS to web servers hosted by provider, Hostway.

Once it reaches the web servers, the information is deciphered by the Digital Field Solutions software and sent on to Aquilo as an image of the completed form, along with text or figures converted from the handwriting according to rules embedded in the data collection form.

Aquilo was attracted to the system as the digital pen and paper server environment is fully managed so that all systems are automatically patched and up-to-date. And an enterprise-level hardware firewall also monitors any emerging threats so they can be dealt with as they are discovered. All of its data is fully backed up on a daily and weekly basis so that if files are deleted by accident, or applications become corrupted, the data can be restored to its initial state.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.