Automatic speech recognition technology innovation in healthcare

Photo image of Amazon Rain Forest waterfall symbolizing patient data and healthcare technology
Photo image of Amazon Rain Forest waterfall symbolizing patient data and healthcare technology
… The Amazon Rainforest hosts over 40,000 species of plants and trees …

John G. Baresky

  • Amazon expands healthcare business, advances lead in automatic speech recognition ( ASR )
  • Transcribe Medical a collaboration of Amazon, Cerner and Suki
  • Application accurately converts patient and physician conversation into digital text format, including advanced clinical terminology, in real time
  • EHR and medical data resources can be enriched with precise information generated by Transcribe Medical

Conversation Accurately Converted To Digital Text Data

Amazon ( NASDAQ: AMZN ) has introduced a new healthcare application which interfaces with electronic health records and significantly improves patient and clinician interaction. Amazon Transcribe Medical digitally converts speech ( patient and medical professional conversations ) via a microphone feed to text for inclusion within clinical documentation and other healthcare data records. Amazon Transcribe Medical can accurately process spoken dialogue plus medical and pharmacological descriptions and clinical terminology aligned with medical professional and patient discussions. The application can populate electronic health records ( EHR ) that is also referred to as electronic medical record ( EMR ) which healthcare professionals and their provider organizations use to record and manage patient data.

ASR And Medical Transcription Advantages For Medical Professionals

In healthcare and an array of other industries, advances in voice recognition and transcription technology are widely welcomed and highly anticipated. These solutions speed processes, streamline recording and retrieval of information and bypass the keyboard interface which slows down processes and contributes to errors. As we have seen with smartphones, digital assistants, various remote control apparatuses and other uses of digital technology, the ability to control technical interfaces and collect, store, share data via voice is becoming the new technology standard in healthcare, businesses and homes.

Amazon Strategically Deploys Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning Technology As A Resource For Daily Patient Care

The Transcribe Medical application applies machine learning technology to generate precise accurate automatic speech recognition ( ASR ) for use in a variety of point-of-care settings. It enables clinicians and patients to freely communicate without the distraction of notes having to be entered into an EHR or require the use of a transcription recording device or employ a medical transcribing assistant to take notes covering their dialogue. The burden of data entry, memory recall or awkward deciphering of notes is drastically reduced.

Amazon In Partnership With EHR leader Cerner and AI Voice Technology Enterprise Suki Formulate An Innovative And Practical Solution

Amazon developed the application by collaborating with Cerner ( NASDAQ: CERN ), one of the world’s largest EHR companies based in North Kansas City, Missouri and startup company known as Suki. Based in Redwood City, California, Suki specializes in artificial intelligence focused in medical data, transcription technology and EHR applications. Amazon began working with Cerner in 2017 and the two organizations along with Suki have admirably covered a great deal of ground in a short time. Currently, the Amazon Transcribe Medical program can only be used by those healthcare provider organizations and EHR platforms aligned with Amazon Web Services ( AWS or “Amazon Cloud”).

A Strategic Counterpart To Amazon Comprehend Medical

Amazon Transcribe Medical was designed to work with Amazon Comprehend Medical. Amazon Comprehend Medical is an application that enables developers to work with unstructured medical text rhetoric related to patient symptoms and associated clinical details including drug therapy doses, diagnoses and other finite detail essential for a well-fortified EHR patient file. The Comprehend Medical solution was launched in late 2018.

Patient Information HIPAA Compliance And Data Accuracy

Transcribe Medical meets HIPAA requirements which is absolutely pivotal in all things related to patient data, privacy and security. In addition to working with Cerner and Suki, Amazon has wide experience with other healthcare enterprises and government agencies that has fortified its knowledge of healthcare information technology and its pivotal demands for accurate and solidly protected data resources.

Amazon Building Healthcare Enterprise Through These And Other Initiatives:

Amazon’s ASR Leadership Is Advancing Through Transcribe Medical, Comprehend Medical and Alexa Experience

In addition to Transcribe Medical and Comprehend Medical, Amazon’s Alexa platform is rapidly outpacing its competitors as a healthcare resource. Besides being a consumer digital assistant, Alexa has found its way into business and healthcare applications. The Alexa product franchise supports a HIPAA eligible environment for use by skill developers in the United States which presently is an invite-only program.

Some Of The Appointed Healthcare Participants Of The Amazon Alexa Skills Kit Platform Include:

  • Atrium Health
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Cigna / Express Scripts
  • Libertana Home Health
  • Omron
  • Providence St. Joseph Health

Microsoft, Google, Other Competitors In AI, ASR, VRT And Medical Transcription

ASR and voice recognition technology ( VRT )is being pursued by numerous healthcare software and technology companies. Being aligned with Cerner, one of the world’s largest EHR companies, gives Amazon critical insights to patient data records plus strong credibility with medical professionals and healthcare provider organizations.

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While Microsoft and Google have collaborations underway with various partners in this regard, there are many other companies developing solutions which could compete with Amazon, Microsoft and Google. They may remain independent or be acquired to accelerate development of a marketable commercial product accepted for use by hospitals, health systems, medical practice groups or other healthcare provider organizations.

Leading Contenders In Healthcare Voice And Medical Transcription Technology Include:

  • Dolbey
  • Entrada
  • Nuance
  • Radekal
  • Sonix
  • SpeechRite
  • WebChartMD
  • Zydoc

Dolbey, Entrada and Nuance already interface with some EHRs but having a complete clinical and commercial solution to be utilized by an entire hospital or health system is something on an entirely different scale. Amazon, Cerner and Suki, with Amazon Cloud as an integral resource, have the clinical, financial and technical bandwidth necessary to provide enterprise-wide voice recognition medical transcription technology that will have wide impact on large scaled healthcare provider organizations.

Demands Of Clinicians And Healthcare Provider Organizations

As Amazon Transcribe Medical’s launch plans unfold, doctors, nurses and other clinicians, as well as healthcare administrative staff, will be eager to learn more. Amazon will be busy educating the market about it while incorporating the application with additional attributes it develops based on active point-of-care use and feedback. The ASR and VRT companies listed above plus Microsoft, Google and others will spur their efforts to develop their own solutions to blunt the momentum Amazon attempts to establish.

Amazon’s Initiatives Setting New Innovation Standard In Healthcare Information Technology

Amazon Transcribe Medical is also going to foster significant investment by Allscripts, Epic, Meditech and other EHR / EMR companies to readily accommodate ASR and VRT applications or develop their own. It will drive further development to align with interoperability opportunities throughout healthcare including medical devices, diagnostic instrumentation, telehealth / telemedicine and other platforms. Amazon’s ability to organically develop and effectively partner with other healthcare data enterprises accelerates their investigational, product development and launch capabilities.

Unique Opportunities, English-Speaking And Non-English Speaking Nations And Communities

For all players in the ASR / VRT medical transcription space, there will be a race to develop solutions that accommodate multiple languages including regional dialects. Healthcare is a global industry and a great way to drive user adoption and sales revenue is to be able to market solutions in primary and secondary markets as well as emerging markets and third world nations by overcoming language barriers.

Amazon Has Multiple Commitments In Healthcare

Amazon has gone beyond dabbling in healthcare through it partnerships, cloud services and acquisitions of Health Navigator and PillPack. Targeting healthcare application development with Alexa then following up the introduction of Comprehend Medical with Transcribe Medical demonstrates their commitment and ability to build and commercialize advanced healthcare data solutions. Amazon is steadily building a robust healthcare enterprise which engages multiple customer stakeholders and disrupts numerous competitors as they move forward.

Thank you for reading this article. Check out my other stories about healthcare mergers and acquisitions, clinical and commercial developments, medical technology, healthcare brand and product management, digital marketing strategy, social media and market access strategy…

About me

I lead healthcare marketing initiatives spanning pharmaceutical, medical device technology, clinical programs, health services, healthcare RPA ( robotic process automation ), software, SaaS and managed care. My background covers team building, digital marketing, brand and product management, content development, content marketing, upstream and downstream marketing and market access strategy.

Connect with me at LinkedIn, Twitter, Email or my website


John G. Baresky


John G. Baresky Healthcare Marketing Guy




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