Posts Tagged 'speechmagic'

Freshly Squeezed…

Freshly Squeezed …from the ConText blender. SpeechMagic is now served in the following flavours:

  • Consultations – US English
  • Emergency Medicine – US English

> View full ConText menu.


Front-end SpeechMagic Installations

What is a Speech Recognition Context ? Someone asked me to provide a few examples of healthcare facilities having deployed SpeechMagic in the front-end (process whereby the recognized text appears on screen as the physician dictates). It is my pleasure to oblige:

For more information on front-end/back-end speech recognition workflows, see this thread.

More Comments on the SpeechMagic/Dragon Comparison

Risking a SpeechMagic-Dragon Comparison? More comments came up over the weekend from Eric and David, which I would like to address here this morning.

Dear Eric, Dear David,

Eric is not the only one confused here. Actually, the bluriness that still prevails between consumer and professional speech recognition technology is what started this blog in the first place.

First, it is important to place my original thread in its context. I wrote this thread after I attended a congress on ER medicine where one doctor was explaining how he was using the off-the-shelf Dragon engine as an enterprise solution; an initiative that only reveals the overall market turmoil. To address users’ confusion, the best way is probably to analyze the reasons behind it. I believe the products’ respective sales models account for most of the blurriness:

  • Dragon is sold both directly (you can buy it from your local Electronics store) and through integration partners. What this doctor did was use the out-of-the box software thinking he was using an enterprise solution. And who could blame him? I would be lost myself if I were in his shoes.
  • SpeechMagic is not sold directly, but only through integration partners (workflow/dictation vendors). It is Philips policy to rely on their integration partners to provide the workflow management, interfacing and security aspects, which they consider as being as important as the speech recognition engine itself. The role of SpeechMagic in the overall EMR agenda will thereby depend on the way the partner interfaces the whole speech/system with the rest of the hospital’s IT infrastructure.

This whole dichotomy in the sales approach is not without its historic explanations. As Eric rightly points out, both products come from different worlds, addressing different markets in the first place:

  • Dragon comes from the consumer world. It was later “extended” to the professional arena through the addition of medical dictionaries and, later on, integration partners. It can therefore be installed on a single user’s PC or in a network configuration. This “consumer” background might also explain why the recognition accuracy is a central point in Dragon’s marketing speech.
  • SpeechMagic comes from the professional end of the spectrum and has always refused to reach out to the consumer market. It is designed for groups of users as part of a department or multi-facility approach, for which the recognition accuracy is just as important as other feature such as shared correction, acoustic adaptation and failover mechanisms. This is why David is right when he points out that SpeechMagic is not en enterprise solution; simply one that’s, in my opinion, more geared towards professional use. I will therefore rephrase that in my original post. SpeechMagic, just like Dragon, becomes an enterprise solution once integrated, depending on the workflow management features offered by its integration partner(s).

Regarding initial training: I am not sure which version of Dragon this doctor was using. I am only reporting his experience of using Dragon, which involved, in his own words, significant training time. Then again I am not questioning Dragon’s marketing speech here (who would I be to do so?), but only relaying a user specific testimonial.

Finally, David is rightly mentioning Enterprise Express (powered by Dragon) as an enterprise solution, which should be added to the list I provided on Friday.

May I conclude by inviting actual end users of any of the above systems to share their experience on this blog? I look forward to publishing your stories.

SpeechMagic / Dragon Comparison – Response to Reader Comment

Risking a SpeechMagic-Dragon Comparison? I would like to reply to the following comment from Eric Jacques: “Wouldn’t it make more sense to compare SpeechMagic to PowerScribe?” in response to the following thread: “Risking a SpeechMagic-Dragon Comparison?

Dear Eric,

Comparing SpeechMagic and PowerScribe would be like comparing an engine to a car. It is indeed important to differentiate:

  • The speech recognition engine technologies
  • The enterprise solutions that integrate the above technologies and are offered to healthcare facilities as part of a comprehensive dictation/workflow management package.

In today’s marketplace, vendors of dictation/workflow solutions are typically powered by one of the two major speech recognition engines: Dragon or SpeechMagic. Hence the importance to compare these two in the first place.

What makes it slightly more confusing in the case of PowerScribe is that:

  • PowerScribe is a Dictaphone product
  • PowerScribe is powered by Dragon
  • Dragon is a Scansoft product
  • Scansoft bought Nuance in 2005 but chose to keep on doing business under the name Nuance
  • Nuance acquired Dictaphone in 2006.

Still following?
Wait, is that you?

So if PowerScribe was to be compared to any system, it would be to a range of enterprise solutions such as:

  • Crescendo Speech Processing (powered by SpeechMagic)
  • Dolbey Fusion Speech (powered by SpeechMagic)
  • MedQuist SpeechQ (powered by SpeechMagic)
  • Dictaphone Enterprise Express (powered by Dragon)
  • SoftMed Speech Recognition (now powered by SpeechMagic since 3M merger)

The Nordic Example

The Finnish Example With an industrial history firmly rooted in technology, the Nordics have always been early hi-tech adopters, clearly ahead of new market trends. While, in the early 2000’s, the rest of Europe was still getting used to the very concept of online transactions, these guys were already buying books by the dozen from over broadband connections. The fact that Norvegian healthcare is about to roll-out the world’s largest speech recognition installation therefore comes as no surprise.

As announced yesterday, over 1,000 physicians from the Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo – Norway’s largest clinical center – will be using SpeechMagic to generate reports across all medical specialties as of 2009. This is expected to be the world’s largest deployment of front-end speech recognition at one single hospital site. > More…

On the other side of the northern border, their Finnish neighbours also decided to step aboard the speech recognition ship with zero drowning reported so far. Instead, a rather impressive use case from the Palokka healthcare joint authority, who has been using a speech recognition system powered by SpeechMagic since December 2003. The system allowed the authority to “speed up patient care and improve data security at the same time. Patient data is always in the right place at the right time, which avoids unnecessary processing and reduces the need for doctors to consult each other.” > More

More Dictation Tips…

Dictation Etiquette As an addendum to my previous post called “Dictation Etiquette“, I would like to direct you guys to the Philips web site, which now has a whole section dedicated to dictation guidelines aimed at optimizing speech recognition results. A very well done site, where all the DO’s and DON’Ts are further detailed, with a few video clips adding a fun note to the educational purpose of the exercise. For those in a rush, all tips were compiled in a downloadable PDF.


> Before you start dictating
> How to dictate
> Correcting your dictation


> Wrong distance to the mike
Q: “Dude, that mike doesn’t work. I’m only 3 corridors away.”
A: We’re talking speech recognition here, not speech miracle. We can’t figure how to teleport humans yet, I guess that applies to sound waves too.

> Background noise
Q: “But hospitals are not exactly silent environnements, are they?”
A: Well said. The noise cancellation features present both at the mike and SpeechMagic software levels are here to take care of the background noise inherent to any healthcare setting. We are just saying here: try to avoid non-healthcare-related sounds…

> Talking slow, then fast, then slow, etc…
Q: “Err, who would do that?”
A: Well, well, among all the things our mother forgot to teach us is: the importance of being self-conscious during the course of a dictation. As a result, we don’t always realize the pain we cause to those whose job it is to listen…

Independent Research Firm Recognizes SpeechMagic Leadership

Independent Research Firm Recognizes SpeechMagic Leadership Frost & Sullivan announced yesterday that Philips Speech Recognition Systems (Philips SRS) won the 2007 Global Excellence Award in speech recognition technology. The award recognizes the Austrian firm for its “demonstrated leadership in the field of speech recognition technologies for the healthcare market.” Research Analyst Nikolopoulos goes even further by saying SpeechMagic is “becoming the ‘de-facto’ standard document creation platform in healthcare throughout the world.”

Decades of experience, a portfolio of 25 recognition languages and more than 150 specialised vocabularies, coupled with over 8,000 installations of its flagship product – SpeechMagic – across 50 countries, bear testimony to Philips SRS’s position as a global market leader.

“SpeechMagic is a client/server-based, professional speech recognition package, which can be fully integrated with other healthcare IT solutions such as RIS, HIS/EPR and PAS,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Konstantinos Nikolopoulos. “It is suitable for both small and large systems, and by supporting distributed networks it ensures that dictation, recognition and correction can be done independently of the location, across a local or wide area network or the Internet.”

“Intelligent speech interpretation technology assures that the system not only recognises words but also understands their meaning,” adds Nikolopoulos. “SpeechMagic formats text and recognises headers, hesitations and punctuations, thus reducing human involvement in the generation of medical documents to a minimum.”

The latest version of SpeechMagic pays special focus on the security needs of large installations. SpeechMagic is protected against instabilities in the overall IT system and loss of network connections. Security is further increased by Speaker Detection – a feature which protects individual speakers’ settings by detecting discrepancies between author and voice profile.

> View press release

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