Speech Offers the Right Prescription for Healthcare

Speech recognition technology may be the ultimate "vertical market" product because each user can benefit from customized service, and specially selected software and hardware. This is especially true with medical and healthcare applications.

Healthcare applications have become strongly driven by costs in recent years, and medical transcription is a major budget item for major hospitals and individual doctors. With the need to trim transcription cost, the importance of accuracy and speed and the trend of fewer doctors treating more patients, without compromising quality of service, the medical category is emerging as a leading vertical market. Doctors, nurses, transcriptionists and healthcare insurance industry workers find the benefits of speech alluring.

Here is a roundup of the latest news in this exciting new area:

Dictaphone and Philips' Speech Processing, a subsidiary of Philips Electronics, have renewed a licensing agreement for the integration of Philips speech recognition technology into Dictaphone's digital dictation and medical applications. Dictaphone will incorporate Philips speech technology into their applications and offer solutions for the medical industry.

Specifically, Dictaphone is integrating their Enterprise Express, voice and data management application, with Philips' SpeechMagic software to provide physicians with practical applications of continuous speech recognition. For example, a physician can save time by inputting patient records and associated diagnostic reports with voice to text applications, having the system automatically transpose the audio to the text.

"Philips strives to create technology that maximizes the productivity of professionals who need to manage information," said Paul Celen, chief operating officer of Philips Speech Processing. "The strength of Dictaphone in the medical industry allows us to align with a company who can truly implement our speech technology into complete, turnkey solutions."

The application integrated by Dictaphone uses the ability to dictate through various input methods and optimizes contexts for greater efficiency and recognition.

"The alliance of Philips' technology with Dictaphone's applications opens a window of opportunity for both companies," said Rob Schwager, vice president and general manager of the Integrated Healthcare Systems Division of Dictaphone. "With this agreement, Dictaphone and Philips are leveraging their respective technology and knowledge into creating continuous speech recognition applications that increase productivity and ease of use."

The Dictaphone solution is to allow physicians to continue using voice as the fastest and most productive method of document creation. It uses voice recognition as an alternative to traditional transcription methods. This allows the physician to talk and then walk away.

The Dictaphone speech recognition solution begins with a vehicle called Boomerang, which turns any PC on the network into a dictate station.

Voice-enabling the PC is a critical step in bringing the electronic patient record closer to the physician.

Putting voice on the network is an important part of the Enterprise Express solution. Moving voice, text, and graphics is easier, and more productive. Dictaphone uses the term "IVDM...Integrated Voice and Data Management" to describe this.

With the addition of speech recognition, the dictation process becomes streamlined and costs are reduced, without impacting physician dictation practices. Dictated voice input is routed over the network to a speech recognition server for processing into text.

Most surveys of healthcare IS Directors place top priority on integration of differing HIS Systems as well as full network compatibility for all systems. Such integration, of course, is critical both to development of a full computerized patient record and to today's healthcare cost containment strategies.

The Philips speech recognition system will gain enhanced value as it becomes a fully integrated part of the Dictaphone Enterprise Express family. Based on Windows NT technology, Enterprise Express VoiceSystem and TextSystem provide full network-based control of voice and data for the kind of complete work flow management needed in healthcare. Integration with these products provides a powerful end-to-end system for dictation and transcription that will bring true benefits to the healthcare organization.

For more information about Philips contact Matt VanVleet, 770 821-3909 or at mvanvleet@compuserve.com and for more information about Dictaphone, contact the company at 3191 Broadbridge Ave., Stratford, CT 06497-2559 or call 203 381 7000.

fonix Acquires Articulate, Expands into Medical Market

fonix corp. announced recently that it has signed a binding letter of intent to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Articulate Systems, Inc., for a combination of cash and stock.

The acquisition means fonix will gain additional end-user products and rapidly broaden the reach and breadth of its markets, with special emphasis on the health care industry. Articulate Systems will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of fonix.

Dragon Systems Inc. becomes a minority shareholder in fonix as a result of the transaction.

Stephen M. Studdert, chairman and CEO of fonix said "fonix is rapidly moving to be the leader in providing advanced human-computer interface products.

"Articulate has the most comprehensive dictation solution for the medical community we have seen," said Studdert. "The fonix-Articulate-Dragon alliance will facilitate the development of a broad suite of medical applications and related products

Articulate has developed a comprehensive medical dictation and transcription software solution called PowerScribe.

Ivan Mimica, president of Articulate said "Our PowerScribe system is the first speech-recognition based application that healthcare organizations are standardizing on for automating 100% of their medical reporting. No other company has produced a system that combines high dictation accuracy within a comprehensive, integrated, system wide solution."

As part of the merger, the long-standing strategic partnership between Articulate and The MRC Group for the marketing and support of PowerScribe will continue, and in fact be strengthened. The MRC Group is the largest medical transcription company with more than 2,000 specialized transcriptionists nationwide.

For more information, contact Anji DowDell, 801 553-6600, adowdell@fonix.com or Peter Durlach, 781-935-5656 at pdurlach@artsys.com or Phil Cohen, 800 DICTATE or pcohen@mrc-group.com.

AVRI Acquires Transcription Resources

AVRI announced recently that it has acquired the assets of Transcription Resources of Dallas, TX.

Tim Connolly, AVRI chairman and CEO said "the acquisition of Transcription Resources allows us to continue increasing our presence in the healthcare transcription market.

Cathy Clemons, founder of Transcription Resources and now director of transcription resources for AVRI said "Voice-Commander (AVRI's core product) transcription software provides the complete package our physician client base has requested, including voice recognition and traditional medical transcription services."

For more information, contact Karen Hott, at AVRI, 4615 Post Oak Place, Suite 111, Houston, TX 77027 or http:www.voicecommander.com.

Medical Software Agreement

Associative Computing Inc., (ACI), a developer of intelligent agents, speech interfaces and other intelligence technology, recently announced that its Hungarian subsidiary has acquired two medical expert systems, Karyoask™ and Dnask™, and an advanced image processing toolkit, Digicell™ .

ACI, using existing artificial intelligence, speech and agent technologies in combination with these products, plan to develop medical expert partner systems.

For more information, contact Tim Musgrove at Associative Computing Inc., 408-467-9208, or by e-mail at marketing@mindmaker.com.

MedQuist Medical Products

Last fall, Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products and MedQuist Inc., announced a broad-based strategic alliance to jointly integrate the companies medical reporting product lines.

As a result, the two companies were able to develop a common interface between L&H's Kurzweil Clinical Reporter product and the MedQuist Medical Transcription System, a computer based medical transcription package.

Recently, MedQuist announced their Clinical Voice Workstation for Emergency Medicine™, which offers ER physicians a choice in report creation. Users can just sign on to the system, speak the patient's ID number, and the speech recognition system retrieves all the patient demographics needed to start the report creation process. Users can then choose either structured reporting or digital dictation, with both methods designed to match their workflow.

Using speech technology in order to process up to twice the amount of work that can be done using conventional transcriptionists, MedQuist transcriptionists have become editors, capable of processing two reports in the time previously needed to produce one. As a result, the company expects to be able to continue their average annual growth rate of 30%.

For more information, contact MedQuist Inc., Five GreenTree Center, State Highway 73 North, Suite 311, Marlton, N.J. 08053, or call 609 596-8877.

New from Dragon

Dragon Systems recently announced the Dragon Naturally Speaking Medical Suite, a continuous speech recognition system specifically designed to create patient records, medical reports, notes, correspondence and other documents.

The medical suite is an enhanced version of Dragon's NaturallySpeaking, which includes a comprehensive specialized medical vocabulary.

For more information, contact Renee Blodgett at 617 796-0348 or by e-mail at reneeb@dragonsys.com.

New Medical Language Models

Voice Input Technologies (VIT) recently announced the availability of SpeechWriter for Cardiology and plans releases soon for products with orthopedics, oncology, emergency medicine, radiology and general surgery.

SpeechWriter is a large vocabulary continuous speech product developed specifically for use in a professional environment. "The SpeechWriter advantage lies in the language model," explains VIT President Andrew Friedman. "Products based on general English are great for general usage, but when your business depends on the correct application and interpretation of a very specialized vocabulary, you need a very specialized product."

SpeechWriter supports the traditional dictation/transcription workflow so the doctor's daily routine is not impacted. Other product features include seamless integration with Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect and an OCX toolkit for integrating dictation with leading electronic medical records (EMR) systems.

For more information, contact Voice Input Technologies at 570 Metro Place North, Dublin, Ohio, 43017, call them at 614 799-3182 or 888 97VOICE, or www.voiceinput.com.

Zydoc Speech

Zydoc Speech is a speech recognition software package that allows doctors to dictate detailed records, eliminating costly transcriptionists. The reports are produced immediately and can be faxed, e-mailed or stored.

The company makes 15 specific contexts used by physicians to convert their dictated speech into word processing.

Zydoc provides language models that work with the DSS speech compression standard used by the Olympus D1000 digital recorder. The company was founded by physicians, and as a result has an excellent understanding of the various specialty domains.

For more information, contact Zydoc Technologies, LLC, 1455 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, N.Y. 11786.

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