Navigating Healthcare – Patient Safety and Personal Healthcare Management

Virtual Assistants in your Future – Personal Healthcare Delivered

You can always rely on Hollywood to take concepts and extend them into the future – sometimes correctly (cloaking, holographic TV, forcefields and eco skeletons with mind control), sometimes incorrectly (aluminum dresses, atmosphere that is completely controlled, suspension bridge apartment housing). We have had speech recognition and Spock’s request:

So it was no surprise to find the latest Hollywood idea is the “Her” – a lonely writer develops a relationship with a newly developed operation system

Intriguing and challenging our current concepts with an exploration of artificial intelligence, voice and natural language technologies. These new styled avatars understand, listen and decipher what we say and something that Nuance has been developing and reinventing the relationship that people and technology can have. We can engage with our devices on our own terms and we have show these concepts in healthcare with our very own Florence – who is getting ready to launch in 2014

Ambitious you say – maybe but imagine the environment with intelligent personal assistants that hear you, understand you, know your likes and preferences – and in our world exist across your doctors office, the phone, surgery, hospital and elderly care and hospice. Cool? Liberating? Impossible?

If you’re Nuance, the idea is not only brilliant – it’s our focus and drive as we reinvent the relationship between people and technology. It is the chance to connect with your devices on human terms and presents infinite possibilities for intuitive interfaces that adapt to you.

Liberating our clinicians to focus on the patient and providing patients with someone they can talk to, interact with and who does have time for them. That future – coming to a doctors office near you:


Presenting at Health2.0

Posted in HealthIT, medical intelligence, NaturallySpeaking, NLP, Nuance, Speech Recognition by drnic on July 31, 2013

See me at Health 2.0” src=Excited to be presenting at Health2.0

There have been exciting innovations in Cloud based Intelligent Speech Understanding and our new development tool set is offering a way to help healthcare providers transform patient stories into high-value clinically actionable medical information. No more burdening clinicians with data entry tasks.

See me at Health 2.0” src=Florence

You can see it here integrated by by

We have a mobile development platform with more than 750 developers signed up already

The mobile health platform is good at delivering information but the interface can be challenging and capturing the medical decision making difficult using on screen keyboards and point and click methodology.

Mobile speech enablement offers tools that facilitate the navigation and human device interaction and includes capture and clinical understanding services that turn narrative into discreet actionable data to capture the clinical decision making

You can see a brief demo here:

Hope to see you at Health 2.0

Voice is Ready for Prime Time

Posted in Dragon, DrVoice, NaturallySpeaking, Speech Recognition by drnic on September 23, 2010

Mike Elgan said so……: Say it with me: Voice is ready for prime time, It’s time for the victory of voice to shout down the tyranny of text in this enlightening piece that had many comments all in the positive relative the to advance of technology

Talking is the best user interface…Language is natural to people and universal to all cultures. Language is a spoken medium. Written language is merely the symbolic representation of spoken language. It’s an abstraction, but a necessary one.

And he asked But is the technology there yet?. You bet!

In the future, we’ll talk to our computers and they’ll talk back. We know this is true because talking is the most natural way for human beings to communicate. The evolution of the human-machine interface always moves the workload of interaction from the person to the computer. The perfect UI would be a natural conversation, just like you have with other people.

Could not have said it better myself! This is especially true in the healthcare setting where clinicians are overwhelmed with paper work and documentation requirements. As Mike points out there are hurdles, no insurmountable

  • Technology: creation of software (supported by powerful hardware) that can understand spoken language
  • Technology: content must be searchable. Text can be indexed, and we’ve grown addicted to the ability to search for and find the things we’ve written, and
  • Cultural: the barrier to voice-based computer interaction is one of habit. We’ve grown used to typing on keyboards. Although speaking is natural, speaking to a computer feels a little weird at first. And people generally don’t like learning a new way to do things.

In the piece he features three products that address these issues and go much farther VoiceBase for indexing and searching, DialtoDo to convert spoken utterances into action, and as he puts it the Mother of All Voice Applications, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 from Nuance.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking takes dictation so accurately that it begins to approach Steve Jobs’ favorite word: “Magical.” For the first week of use, I was actually shocked when it correctly recognized obscure names, extremely technical terms, brand names with correct capitalization (for example, iPhone) and performed other unlikely feats. Since I started using it, I’ve written the first drafts of all of my columns and blog posts, including this column, using Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

But as Mike points out the downside to this innovations, speed and accuracy that is especially relevant to healthcare is the lack of time to think. Many of us use typing time as thinking time….if you lose the typing time you lose the thinking time and generating content becomes a little more challenging at first:

The accuracy has an unexpected and very welcome side effect: It makes it easier to write. I assumed that typing was automatic, requiring little brain power. But using Dragon has demonstrated that mental energy was diverted from the task of typing to the task of thinking, which is what makes writing so much easier. I can also write faster using Dragon.

This requires a change in behavior and an adaptation to the lost thinking time that can make clinicians feel less productive as they have to pause during dictations. But for those that already adapted to dictation and that process is easy (think existing dictating clinicians who use a telephone or hand held recorder device to dictate and generate clinical notes using traditional dictation and transcription) then a move to dictating directly to your PC is one step closer.

But be warned as he identified “It’s not feasible yet for most people to completely abandon keyboards, mice and text and interact entirely via the spoken word.” – so don’t try to make that happen or expect it to happen. Again think of the telephone and texting – in some respects Texting could be considered a retrograde step but for many (read millions) texting is preferable to actually using the phone to speak to someone.

Embrace the tools that make sense in your work and home life and importantly as I said in this piece at HealthCareIt Guy Blog: Top 10 tips for successfully using speech recognition in EHRs and healthcare apps spend the money on a good microphone

I’ll leave you with Mike’s closing comments:

And what can I say about Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11? It’s the biggest user interface advance since the iPhone. The bottom line is that voice is finally ready for prime time. I’ve decided to continue my experiment indefinitely and to keep pushing the voice envelope as far as it will go. Voice makes using a computer faster, easier and a lot more fun.

How about you – have you made the jump? Can it work for you in your environment and if not what is is the barrier to using voice in your world?