Speech Recognition: what’s up in Europe?

what’s up in Europe? Why don’t we leave planet North America for a minute, cross the pond and take a look at what is going on in Europe?

The crystal ball predicts a “steady growth” for the European healthcare voice recognition market, with dramatic changes in the healthcare delivery system putting enormous pressures on healthcare providers to reduce costs and improve the quality of care given.” According to Frost & Sullivan, “the combined benefits of voice recognition and healthcare information systems, such as EMR/PACS/HIS, extending the productive range of healthcare organisations and individuals alike, particularly in today’s demanding healthcare environment.”

As a matter of fact, the market is definitely showing signs of major activity, not only at the local but at the regional healthcare level too. Only a week ago, Philips announced the roll-out of the first region-wide speech recognition system in the Italian healthcare sector, connecting no less than 22 hospitals. But this is only the fifth region-wide success for SpeechMagic within the last twelve months, following similar projects in France, Norway and Spain. All right, who’s next?

Clearly, the expectations are pretty much the same from one side of the ocean to the other, as Frost and Sullivan puts it: to allow healthcare organisations to meet patient quality of care expectations through accurate, accessible, shareable and real time health information.

What will be interesting to monitor over the next few months are the implementation methods within each country as well as the level of integration achieved. Especially since, in 2006, the European Commission, DG Health and Consumer Protection, observed that the health sector still lagged behind other industries in introducing systematic safety processes and recommended the introduction of the electronic medical record (EMR). An observation that led Philips and Health Language Inc. to collaborate on a prototype designed to advance system interoperability in healthcare with the help of speech recognition.

Stories / testimonials on recent European speech recognition implementations can be found on the European Hospital web site.

The excerpt from the Frost & Sullivan research service on European Healthcare Voice Recognition Systems Markets can be downloaded from the Philips Speech Recognition News Center.

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