Medical dictation apps are the result of a natural progression in dictation technology. Dictation is part of a clinician’s daily routine – and as technology progresses, there are more ways to save time while dictating. Speech recognition has made dictating much more efficient for healthcare professionals. The most feature-rich medical speech recognition platforms exist only on PCs – and some on Macs, like SayIt from Dolbey. However, a desktop computer isn’t the only way to get accurate medical speech recognition, and it’s not always the most practical. There are now medical dictation apps for iPhone and Android that immediately recognize speech or send audio files to a speech recognition platform in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner.
What is medical dictation?
Medical dictation means vocally notating important aspects of a patient’s visit or a clinical trial into a voice recording device. Often, medical dictation will be paired with speech recognition to ease the documentation workflow. Otherwise, dictations will be passed through transcriptionists who transcribe the dictated words to text. Both methods have a high degree of accuracy, but speech recognition can reduce the time it takes to enter and review information.
Why medical dictation needs to go mobile
If the current pandemic is any indication, daily routines and processes at work can change on a dime. There may be times where providers are uprooted and need to do part of – or all of – their work at home. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were good reasons to dictate from a phone.
Mobile dictation allows healthcare providers more flexibility in their work and makes it easy to dictate without advanced equipment. If you are away from your workstation, you can still take notes and send them to your workstation or even into the EHR directly from your phone. This level of flexibility allows you to be better equipped wherever you are, and can help move the documentation process along more quickly. The option to use your smartphone as a dictation microphone can also help you work in different environments or get started on speech recognition with a lower starting investment.
Can I use Siri for dictation?
Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and the Google Assistant do allow for voice-to-text, but they are not designed for medical dictation. While medical speech recognition software might easily recognize ‘cervicodorsal’, for example, the mobile assistants would struggle to understand what you were saying. Attempting to use these programs for medical dictation will lead to errors and an inaccurate transcript of the dictation.
There are also security concerns associated with these personal mobile assistants. Some virtual assistants can record and store your dictations. Clearly, this can be in violation of HIPAA requirements. When PHI is stored by a 3rd party, its confidentiality and security can no longer be ensured.
While these virtual assistants can be of assistance when making quick notes, they do not serve as a full replacement for medical speech recognition software.
What are the best medical dictation apps for mobile phones?
So then, which healthcare dictation apps can allow you to dictate with your smartphone? There are a few options available now, each serving slightly different needs.
Fusion Narrate Smartphone App – Fusion Narrate Keyboard
Our own mobile speech recognition solution, Fusion Narrate Keyboard, is a mobile dictation app that comes with the Fusion Narrate license. Fusion Narrate Keyboard enables clinicians to dictate directly into healthcare apps, including mobile EHR apps, from an iOS device. With our app, users can also work securely on their iOS device with HIPAA-compatible features, including secure data transmissions with encryption over WiFi or cell networks.
Our app leverages the Fusion Narrate cloud-based speech recognition platform in real-time. You can also use the substitutions that you have saved to your Fusion Narrate speech profile with the app. Fusion Narrate Keyboard is available from the App Store.
Philips Dictation Smartphone App – LFH7400
The Philips Dictation app, LFH7400, is free and built for medical use. After making a dictation, the audio file can be encrypted, then stored in the app. You can view a list of all dictations and filter by patient name or by the HCP who made the dictation. This filtering, along with other file properties and recording prioritization allows for dictation workflow management from within the app.
The app does not recognize speech, but any dictation made can be sent directly to a speech recognition service or transcription service directly from the app.
Olympus Dictation Smartphone App Solutions – Olympus Dictation
The Olympus Dictation app is designed to record dictations, then encrypt and transfer the voice recordings. These recordings can be emailed or sent directly into the user’s Olympus Dictation Management System. The app can be tested for free for 60 days, after which a full license is required.
The Olympus Dictation app is available for Android or iOS devices, but to get the app’s full functionality, you will need to activate a trial license. To learn more about how to use the Olympus Dictation app, click here.
nVoq Wireless Microphone app – Wireless Microphone
With the nVoq Wireless Microphone app, you can record audio directly into a desktop computer from your phone. This app is built to provide the same functionality that any dictation microphone would have, including a button that allows the person dictating to execute voice shortcuts.
The nVoq Wireless Microphone app is intended for use with Fusion Narrate or SayIt. Audio recorded by the Wireless Microphone is recognized through nVoq’s cloud speech server, then inserted in the text area or field selected on the user’s paired desktop. The Wireless Microphone app is available on Android and iOS.
There are plenty of mobile speech recognition options available, but only a select few are suited for medical dictation and documentation. Once you’ve determined the solution that best fits your organization’s needs, you can begin documenting directly into mobile EHRs with your phone.