Nuance Acquires Speech-Enabled Medical Imaging Company

Nuance Communications announced earlier today its acquisition of Commissure, a medical imaging software company that uses speech technology to optimize and streamline radiology workflow, for an undisclosed amount. This transaction extends Nuance’s capabilities in its Dictaphone solutions for medical imaging as well as its expertise in the radiology market.

Speech technology in the medical industry has proven a great success already.  The radiology department of Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust in London implemented a speech solution from Nuance to accommodate their three-month transcription backlog.  Initially, the hospital had to work with Nuance to accept specialist vocabulary as well as coordinate X-ray images with the proper patient record.  In a month, however, the productivity of stenographers jumped from 45.5 percent of completed daily reports to 83.8 percent.

Though Nuance already has a health-related application in their Dictaphone Healthcare Solutions suite, Commissure’s addition will help Nuance to enhance patient care, speed report turnaround time, reduce costs and improve overall operational efficiency across the radiology industry.  

"Radiology is the largest specialty market that the Dictaphone Healthcare Solutions division serves, already saving the industry more than $200m per year in transcription costs," Paul Ricci, Nuance’s chairman and CEO, said in a press release.  "Commissure is another accelerant to our strategy to deliver comprehensive speech-driven clinical documentation solutions that meet the needs of healthcare provider organizations. Commissure's intellectual property, solutions expertise and established customer relationships will expand our ability to serve the growing radiology market."

The acquisition of Commissure gives Nuance a suite of robust software solutions.  These applications center on the order, interpretation, archiving, sharing, and analysis of diagnostic exams.
Speech solutions have seen widespread adoption within the radiology market, mostly in a transcription capacity.  Recently, however, healthcare providers are searching for further speech-related solutions to handle other tasks, such as ordering of supplies.  The end result is similar: reduce operational costs while increasing productivity and enhancing patient care.

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