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United Nations Speeds Pace of Nutrition Surveys With Digital Pen and Paper Technology Powered by Mi-Forms e-Forms Software

Joint Solution From Anoto and Mi-Co Reduces Surveying Process From Three Weeks to Five Days (November 09, 2011)

DURHAM, NC -- (Marketwire) -- 11/09/11 -- Mi-Co, the mobile information corporation providing software to automate paper forms-based business processes, today announced the results of a project with the United Nations (UN) Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), which has significantly improved its data capture process with Mi-Forms e-forms software and Anoto Digital Pens.

The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) generates evidence-based information and analysis which is used to inform livelihood interventions and investments, development programming and strategic planning for the Somali people. FSNAU needed a way to automate data collection in the field that could easily digitize the information collected, while at the same time, could withstand rugged and unpredictable field conditions of the East African environment. FSNAU worked with Mi-Co to capture information in the field electronically, using Mi-Forms e-forms software with digital pen and paper technology. This new technology replaced the previous manual process, while at the same time still preserved the pen-on-paper interface requiring almost no new training.

Between May 12th and June 2nd, nutrition surveys were conducted in Hargeisa and Garowe using Mi-Forms with the Anoto Digital pens. The time it took for data collection to transmission and analysis improved from an average of three weeks to an average of five days, with a high level of character recognition (90%). Given that the digital pen looks like an ordinary pen, it did not stand out as a high valued device and a theft target, alleviating any apprehension of using it in south-central Somalia where security is of concern.

It is expected that the full roll-out to the rest of the FSNAU team (of an additional 30+ Digital Pens) will be implemented in the next few months. Currently, Mi-Co is working with the same unit for yet another digital pen-based project.

"The combination of the Mi-Forms solution and digital pen and paper technology has enabled us to collect, transmit, and analyse validated data in a much faster manner," said Kamau Wanjohi, Data Systems and Information Manager for UNFSNAU. "In addition, this technology on requires minimal training for our field staff. Given the success, we expect the Mi-Forms solution to eventually extend to all other surveys done by all other divisions of UNFAO Somalia."

The Mi-Forms solution utilizes Anoto technology, which comprise digital pens and the Anoto dot pattern. The digital pen is Bluetooth-enabled and has a tiny digital camera under the tip of the pen that takes pictures at 70 times per second as the user writes. When paper forms are filled out, the handwritten information is recorded onto a chip in the digital pen. When the form is completed, the data in the pen is transferred via a USB docking station or through Bluetooth transmission. The handwritten information is converted into electronic data.

About Mi-Co
Mi-Co, a leading provider of mobile data collection solutions, provides software to automate paper forms-based business processes. Mi-Co's enterprise Mi-Forms Software System provides flexible electronic forms design for data capture using digital ink and has proven capabilities for handwriting interpretation and verification, data validation and the communication of forms-based data. Mi-Forms supports Tablet PCs, Digital Pens, iPads, Windows Phone 7 smartphones, signature capture devices and industry standard software technologies. Mi-Co reaches historically paperwork intensive markets such as healthcare and government and supports an extensive network of channel partners. The company is headquartered near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina with a customer service center in Seattle, Washington. For more information on Mi-Co, visit

Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) Somalia has contributed significantly to an improved understanding of food security and nutrition in the complex humanitarian and political environment of Somalia. FSNAU collects, manages and continues to successfully deliver timely and relevant information on food security early warning and nutrition situation analysis. This information has contributed significantly to an improved understanding of food security and nutrition situation as well as to directly inform about emergency activities in the country. FSNAU conducts more than 100 Nutrition and Food Security surveys in a year. To learn more about FSNAU, visit:

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For more information contact:

Gautham Pandiyan
Email Contact
919-485-4819 x 1973

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