Response Technologies, in East Greenwich, R.I., is betting that a new spin on lottery technology will pay off big in the market-survey business. The company has introduced a system that computerizes the suggestion box and makes data collection less costly and less labor-intensive. Like lottery machines, Response terminals allow patients or customers to mark survey cards that can be read, recorded, and analyzed by terminals instead of people. The result is more affordable market research, claims CEO James E. Dewey, who says large insurers gather health data with the $6,500 systems, while consumer companies are adopting them for customer surveys and product promotions.

-- Anne Murphy