Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an a new partnership with Captricity, a HIPAA compliant document processing firm that leverages a mixture of optical character recognition (OCR) and Mechanical Turk to digitize handwritten documents.
The FDA receives 900,000 drug accident safety reports annually. Most of these documents are submitted digitally, but ten percent are submitted on paper. These paper submissions were digitized manually by data entry staff at the FDA – a process that, according to a June 2013 report, was creating a massive backlog in paperwork.
Captricity recently completed a proof of concept that demonstrated paper submissions could be handled 50 times faster at a fraction of the cost with the same accuracy as their internal staff. To read more, see Fast Company’s recent commentary on Captricity’s partnership with the FDA, as well as coverage from CivSource, a publication covering technology-related news in the public sector.