If your doctor is talking to an iPad the next time you see her, she may actually be flipping through your file.
Voice-recognition technology developers are introducing a slew of products aimed at getting doctors to document patient information more immediately and thoroughly. The technology has advanced far enough, its proponents say, that it can now do more than just passively receive doctors` input.
Nuance, the maker of Dragon voice-recognition software, is marketing a new product that is embedded into a hospital`s electronic medical record system. As doctors input a patient`s information via voice, it can highlight and validate medical facts, spot inconsistencies and ask follow-up questions, says Nick Van Terheyden of Nuance. They can edit to ensure accuracy.
M-Modal, a Nuance competitor, is working on a similar product that allows physicians to record information in real time on mobile devices as they consult with patients. "Physicians prefer to narrate and dictate. They don`t want to point and click," says Juergen Fritsch, co-founder of M-Modal.
The companies` push into health care, where accuracy is of utmost importance, is enabled by constant improvement in voice technology. Apple`s introduction of Siri on iPhone has also raised the public`s awareness of its potential. The federal government`s call for hospitals to install electronic medical record systems has also stirred the industry`s curiosity about the technology, says Mary Griskewicz of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
Doctors have used dictation for years as they compile patient care history and post-care summaries, orders and prescriptions. Many speak into recording devices and pay transcribers to type the notes. In recent years, they`ve moved on to software that transcribes directly as they dictate.
But Nuance`s technology -- in testing at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a few other hospitals -- takes the process a step further, employing a mixture of data...
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