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Digital Paper: pulp fact

Good news for bibliophiles, technophobes and cynics: digital paper is a reality and the "paperless" hospital might never be.

This article in the Guardian describes the "Librié" a new product from Sony, Phillips and E-Ink.

Charged black and white microcapsules in oil line up in response to an electronic charge to form words on a screen. The Librié can hold the equivalent of 10,000 pages, about 40 novels, which can be reloaded. The boot of a Consultant's 4x4 may never have to be full of patients' notes again! (Only joking, guys!)

Digital paper is already used for in store displays that can be refreshed by wireless links.

However, Siemens has developed paper thin displays that could replace conventional labels. Walking down the isle of the supermarket could soon be like strolling around Piccadilly Circus as the labels of goods present us with changing, alluring images and displays.

And, don't we already have e-books on PDAs and displays that respond to digital signals? Oh, and where do those digital signals come from? Computers?

Though I love gadgets, it's difficult to see what more digital paper offers. It may be yet another solution looking for a problem. Suggestions for healthcare applications on white pulp or (better) in the "Comments" section below, please.

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