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Automation of medical transcription is driving growth in speech recognition

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26 June 2008 | Published by Datamonitor

London – A new report by independent market analyst Datamonitor discusses speech recognition and its use in the medical industry for transcription and dictation. It reveals that healthcare automation is driving growth in speech technology and the leading vendors, Nuance and Philips, are providing specialized solutions. The report, “Automating and Enhancing Processes through Voice in Desktop and Back Office Environments”, explains that although adoption of PC-based speech recognition is not widespread, the technology has found its niche in the healthcare market, where automation and cost savings are key drivers.

Tight budgets and the need for accurate patient records are forcing healthcare providers to automate processes with speech recognition

Changes are taking place in the healthcare industry as issues over budgets and the accuracy of patient information arise. In order to reduce the error rate in diagnosis and ensure information is recorded efficiently, healthcare providers are adopting electronic health records (EHRs). Using speech recognition with digital dictation systems, to dictate notes directly into EHRs, means that doctors can update information faster and with lower error rates. “Patient information is gradually becoming digitized in order to address issues with delivering records and test results faster,” said Aphrodite Brinsmead, analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report. “By reducing the number of illegible handwritten documents and simplifying processes, providers can eradicate errors in diagnosis.”

Speech recognition is also being used for medical transcription, easing pressure on transcriptionists and allowing healthcare providers to save on staffing costs. Medical transcription is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar market and speech recognition vendors are taking advantage of this.

The market for speech recognition within healthcare will double in the next five years

Healthcare currently represents 85% of the PC- and server-based speech recognition market. Datamonitor estimates that the market for speech recognition in healthcare globally is worth an estimated $170 million in 2008. Between 2008 and 2013 the market will more than double in size.

One area where speech recognition has seen a significant uptake is for imaging where a number of radiologists are using the technology to dictate reports. Radiologists work in controlled environments using specialized vocabularies to dictate reports that often use repeated language and are therefore an ideal target for speech recognition vendors.

Healthcare is not the only industry where speech recognition is thriving. Two other industries where investments in speech technology are expected to grow are in professional services for legal transcription and in education for assistance with language learning. However, healthcare will remain the largest market for speech recognition through 2013.

Brinsmead concludes:

“The introduction of digital dictation and EHRs has given speech recognition new channels to market. Speech technology adoption will increase as it becomes more tightly integrated with these solutions to provide a seamless document production process.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors
Related Research

Datamonitor’s report “Automating and Enhancing Processes through Voice in Desktop and Back Office Environments,” outlines the changes in this market and explains the current drivers and challenges faced by customers. The report gives an overview of the key industries where speech recognition is being used and provides a sizing forecast for PC-based speech recognition services and licenses.

Further Information

Aphrodite Brinsmead is a technology analyst with Datamonitor and author of the report.

More information is available from the Datamonitor Group Media Team. Please contact Krishna Rao on +44 20 7675 7271 or

About Datamonitor

Datamonitor is a leading provider of online database and analysis services for key industry sectors. We help our clients, 5000 of the world's leading companies, to address complex strategic issues. Through our proprietary databases and wealth of expertise, we provide clients with unbiased expert analysis and in-depth forecasts for seven industry sectors: Automotive, Consumer Packaged Goods, Energy, Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, Technology, Transport and Logistics.