scanform icon

Efficient Electronic Capture of
Paper Medical Registry Books

Fill Out a Paper Form

Take a Picture

Automatically Digitized Text

To Excel in Under a Minute


ScanForm enables paper forms to be transcribed with a single smartphone photo. Once the photograph is uploaded to the cloud, the handwriting is auto-transcribed and can be exported to Excel. Visual analytics can be auto-computed in real-time.

This technology, built by QED, has been used for several years for epidemiological surveillance in Kenya, and has been highlighted on The Gates Notes. ScanForm was designed for highly rugged environments, such as rural medical clinics without stable electricity, where malaria/HIV/TB surveillance is also crucial, but electronic infrastructure is absent. Paper guarantees that data entry is easy, and ScanForm ensures that data will be received.


Step 1: Write on paper
Step 1: Write on paper
Step 2: Take a photo
Step 2: Take a photo

Handwritten data is digitized and exportable to Excel within 60 seconds.

Step 3: Data is digitized
Step 3: Data is digitized
Step 4: Fully digitized data ready to export to excel!
Step 4: Fully digitized data ready to export to excel!

Photograph on left. Digitally populated and auto-transcribed template on the right.


ScanForm Process Animation

ScanForm Demonstration

Dr Pedro L. Alonso
“Weak data collection systems are hampering a timely and effective response to malaria. The epidemic in Angola offers a stark reminder of the importance of strong surveillance.”
— Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, Director, Global Malaria Program, WHO


Mission-critical medical data is hidden in seas of handwritten books and papers.

Paper is Everywhere! Especially in global health!

books… summaries of books… summaries of summaries… data quality degradation

data quality degradation

Just digitize everything?

What actually happens:

  • Steep learning curve.
  • Too many systems!
  • Replace hardware every 2-3 years.
  • Double-entry (they use paper anyways)

Paper isn’t going anywhere soon

  • Regulations from governments and clinical trials
  • “Source document verification”

Rural clinics that need the most help are resource-poor.

  • Lack computers or scanners
  • Lack stable electricity or internet
  • No permission to remove books
  • Scarcity of doctors, nurses, blood, beds, gloves…

How to sustainably collect timely, granular, and accurate data from such places?

photo of a rural clinic

Paper isn’t the problem. Extracting data is!

Solution: ScanForm


  • Paper Forms: flexible, clean design
  • Imaging: phone-based image capture no scanners required!
  • OCR: high accuracy
  • Verification: friendly web interface
  • UX: a snap!
  • Analytics: daily and fully automated (e.g. DHIS2)
Current trials in nine clinics
current trials in nine clinics
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
“Defeating malaria is absolutely critical to ending poverty, improving the health of millions, and enabling future generations to reach their full potential ... Strong health and disease surveillance systems halt epidemics that take lives, disrupt economies, and pose global health security threats.”
— Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, General-Director, WHO



Current medical form filled out
This is considered filled out well!


clean form
security, QR, speed, clarity, art

Available in loose leaf books…

loose leaf books

or bound books

bound books

Internal Machinery

ScanForm State Diagram

Media Kit

Download a printable version of the ScanForm flyer.

scanform logo

Mentioned by GatesNotes


We express our gratitude to our medical partners for presenting the problem to us, for allowing our engineering teams to be embedded into their day-to-day operations, for opening their homes to us and providing us with their hospitality, and for their partnership and support.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Kenya Medical Research Institute