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Tech firm launches speech recognition for iPhones


Speech recognition has come to the iPhone.

Speech recognition has come to the iPhone.

A Pittsburgh-based technology company has released an application that allows physicians to dictate notes to Apple’s popular iPhone. The application then converts an audio file of the physician’s voice into transcribed notes that can be exported to the doctor’s electronic health records system, according to Nick van Terheyden, MD, chief medical officer with M*Modal.

“This tool can be used by clinicians to document anything anywhere at any time or any place,” van Terheyden says.

The software, which the company says is “based on a unique combination of proprietary speech recognition and natural language-understanding technologies,” organizes the notes into categories that make sense to physicians like medications, allergies, and medical history, regardless of the order in which the doctor has dictated the notes. “It’s not just a blob of text that’s been transmitted,” van Terheyden says.

After the doctor reviews the transcribed notes on her iPhone, she may edit or correct them before approving them. Once approved, the notes may be sent to the doctor’s EHR system, practice management system, or printed out. The software continually “learns” from corrections made by users to improve its accuracy, van Terheyden says.

Because its software for the iPhone is so new, the company hasn’t developed a detailed pricing plan yet, van Terheyden says. Pricing will likely be determined by usage, such as the number of minutes of dictation or number of lines of text, he says.

The speech recognition software joins other recent medical applications marketed towards iPhone users, including medical image viewing software and clinical decision support software.

M*Modal also sells versions of its speech recognition software that take dictation through personal computers and telephones.


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