Houston Medical integrates with MedSpeech voice recognition

Houston Medical has integrated Speech Solutions' MedSpeech voice recognition and dictation system into its VIP.net practice management software.

MedSpeech is a cloud-based platform that allows users to dictate patient notes or letters to be converted straight to text. It has also been integrated into Genie Solutions' software and HCN's Blue Chip.

Houston Medical's managing director, Derek Gower, said he was prompted to add the solution to VIP.net by a new client, who had used it in his previous software and wanted to retain access to the service.

Mr Gower said MedSpeech appeared superior to other voice-to-text products on the market such as Dragon Dictate, which he described as “very frustrating” at times.

“I've used Dragon Dictate for years and I still use it for all of my emails, but it frustrates me as it can be quite stupid,” Mr Gower said. “You can dictate a sentence and say 'I will see you there' and it comes back as 'I will see you their'." He admits though, "it is still faster than I can type.”

Mr Gower said one noticeable difference between MedSpeech and other dictation systems was that the text didn't appear immediately. In Dragon Dictate, for example, you can see the text as you speak, but MedSpeech instead records the dictation and then sends it into the cloud, where it transcribes the recording and returns it as text straight into a pre-designated template.

MedSpeech uses highly sophisticated voice recognition software that is trained by comparing the voice file with an initial human transcription to build the individual clinician's MedSpeech profile.

“Dictation is then done into a hand-held microphone in the usual way but the words do not appear on the screen as they would with Dragon," Mr Gower said. "They are sent to a powerful server where speech patterns and diction are analysed. Because it is cloud-based very powerful servers and analytical software analyse and learn your speech patterns and transfer it into text within seconds.

"It learns all about your 'ums' and 'ahs' and how you say full stop. The dictation is then returned as text seconds later attached to the original template which has the usual boilerplate information such as patient name, referring doctor and any other information already known to the software."

Mr Gower said it was his new client's demonstration of the system that convinced him to integrate with the service. “He just picked up his microphone and spoke away at high speed. The transcription was coming back 20 seconds later from the cloud computer and it was perfectly formatted in his writing with all of the full stops and the bolding. An excellent presentation of how things can be done.”

MedSpeech is fully integrated into VIP.net so the user needs to pull up a patient's file, open a letter template and press the MedSpeech button. The patient's details are automatically inserted into the letter.

Mr Gower said he initially thought the price of $200 a month charged by Speech Solutions was too high but “I spoke to an ophthalmologist who said he was spending $24,000 a year on an offline dictation service for three ophthalmologists. While not quite a like for like comparison the equivalent would be $7500 for MedSpeech.”

Houston Medical is also now offering to host VIP.net in the cloud for users who don't want to maintain their own server. Users can take out a 12-month contract and pay a monthly off-balance-sheet fee for all backing up, software upgrades, support and maintenance.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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