We have developed a system that uses the Newton MessagePad technology as part of a client-client-server paradigm to collect health-related quality of life information from breast cancer patients attending an outpatient clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Patients are asked to fill out an electronic questionnaire on the Newton, which then uploads the information into the institution's Oracle database. The program consists of a separate questionnaire engine and question base, facilitating questionnaire design and allowing us to give different questionnaires to different patients dynamically. The results of a preliminary trial show excellent user-acceptance of the device. Finally, we present a general framework for such systems and discuss issues that developers must consider when implementing a pen-based computer project.