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Data Input: voice recognition

Techguy (John) recently commented he believes that Voice Recognition is the way of the future. He may be right—at least in part. I first saw VR many years ago and was unimpressed. Fortunately, I read positive reviews of Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 and decided to invest—now I’m impressed.

As a first test, I read from a book on computerising work—which uses a good number of unusual words—and was astounded to see it was more than 80 percent accurate straight out of the box. Mind, you have to "teach" the software to become more accurate, which is a bit of a chore taking several hours of dictation.

Nonetheless, I find it an excellent way of dictating first drafts into MS Word at a speed much faster than my typing. It also reduces the risk of repetitive strain injury, but the headphones give me a sore ear if I wear them for too long!

This feature on E-Health-Insider gives a good overview of the voice options available to healthcare, together with the pros and cons. The outsourcing of transcription from digital dictation to countries like India, it seems, can save money. But, this presents a public sector organisation like the NHS (the UK's largest employer) with a dilemma because using such a service would effectively outsource jobs overseas.

Nice entry here on KrellMD about data input which uses the theme of future crime prevention from the film Minority Report as an apposite analogy for future healthcare.

Lastly, after my trashing the computer keyboard read this entry on Slashdot about a new keyboard with 53 keys and an alphabetical key layout. Hmmm.


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Some advice: buy better quality headphones; if you can think faster than you can type you are not thinking enough; if you are repeating what you have done before then cut-and-paste; talk is cheap, thought is not. Invest your time wisely - it is the only resource you have.

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