Voice Recognition Software

Using a computer and speech recognition software, a computer user can bypass, or partially bypass the keyboard and mouse interface. Commands or words are spoken into a receiving device, and the computer recognizes the input and responds accordingly. Development of medical voice recognition software began around the middle of the 1900s. Researchers soon discovered that development of applications of this sort was far more difficult than initially anticipated. In addition, the power necessary to run the software was not available until much later. The slow pace of the early computers stymied progress in the emerging speech recognition software industry. The first stand alone computers able to decipher language through accents and differencing speaking speeds were not available until the 1990s. These prototypes were not without their errors. The original language deciphering computers used so much memory and computing space just recognizing the spoken words that the output had to be handled by a second computer. These early language processing machines could only handle a single speaker at a time and had to be reconfigured each time a new user was introduced. For these reasons, they were not all together practical.

Despite the early drawbacks, a person with a disability could still get more work accomplished on a computer with medical voice recognition software than she could without the it. Limitations notwithstanding, even with corrections the speech recognition software of the early 1990s could still type much faster than a disabled person could without the advantage of language processing applications. For example, a magazine columnist who has suffered from paraplegia would still benefit from using this type of invention, regardless of speed and necessary computer memory. As advancements are made, computers were able to process users speaking without a pronounce speech impediment at up to 150 words per minute. All this is accomplished while achieving up to 99 percent accuracy. There are still the occasions when a user develops a sore throat that causes a gravely effect in their speaking. While other humans have little difficulty understanding someone who has a sore throat, the user's medical voice recognition software will be unable to process her spoken words. This concern is in the forefront of current research and development of new and improved speech recognition software. Researchers are also eager to create an application that can recognize the spoken words of a child. Children often do not fully understand language, and their speech develops over time.

These applications do not only include the ability to dictate a manuscript, but encompass many other capabilities. Voice dialing on home and mobile phones are quite handy. While driving, a phone user can dial a number simply by saying the name of the recipient into the phone. Then the cellular phone uses speech recognition software to convert the spoken name into the recorded phone number the user has keyed in for that individual name. This kind of technology can also be used for call routing. Call routing is the ability for an automated phone system to route calls per the caller's verbal request. For example, when a caller says, "accounts payable," the system would then transfer the call to that department. A caller can also enter data, such as a telephone number or credit card number simply by speaking them clearly into the automated system. There are many professional uses for this type of application. Pilots now can communicate to the plane's navigational computers through just the spoken word. The spoken word literally has the power to fly planes! "A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!" (Proverbs 15:23)

Despite all the multitude of uses, medical voice recognition software is by far the most commonly used language recognizing application. Developers originally thought that voice recognition software would replace the need for medical transcriptionists. Before the advent of this type of computer program, a doctor would speak her medical notes and observations into a hand held recording device. Then a medical transcriptionist would transcribe the oral recording to printed words for filing and recordkeeping purposes. Once a doctor could speak directly into the computer and generate printed documents, the idea was that medical transcription would become obsolete. The software that recognizes spoken word is not at the level of accuracy to challenge the medical transcription employees quite yet.

There are two main ways to implement medical voice recognition software. This software, often called SR, can be used at the onset of a project or at the end. If it is used at the beginning, a medical transcriptionist is not needed. If at the end, the services of a MT or editor are employed. SR at the beginning of a project consists of a healthcare provider speaking directly into the computer interface. Her spoken words immediately appear in written form on the screen. It is at this time she can make edits or corrections before saving them as a document or file. If the SR applications are utilized at the end, a healthcare provider speaks into a SR interface, but the words are filtered through the software and appear on the computer of a medical transcriptionist or healthcare editor. The changes are then made by this professional before filing or printing. In addition, many strides are being made in an attempt to make electronic claim filing also attached to the SR applications for speed and accuracy purposes. In the near future, healthcare professionals might also find it more convenient to file, retrieve and query information by speaking into the computer rather than weed through thousands of printed documents or saved files.

Speech Recognition Software

Voice recognition software became a viable product for mainstream use in the middle of the 1990's due to rigorous research and advanced programming skills. There are many uses today for speech recognition software including dictation, computer applications and Internet use. Some programs, of course, are more accurate than others, but none can really claim a proficiency rating much higher than 99% intelligent translation capabilities. The major concern that has continued to stimulate ongoing development of this programming concept is the limitations of artificial intelligence associated with the product. "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Colossians 4:6) Nothing can still quite replace the immediate processing capabilities of natural human thought processes, but advanced technologies have provided a productive place for programmed software that produces voice activated text and commands.

Many uses for vocal programming systems are emerging for both business and personal use that make using a computer easier and more productive. Speech recognition software, however, is certainly not a replacement product for those who cannot or don't like to type! As with any system, there are glitches and techniques to learn before anyone can actually get the most out of a program and today, typing is a necessary skill almost as important as driving. Software that transmits and transcribes vocal commands can be very helpful for designated functions such as medical transcriptions, activating a computer desktop for multiple functions, and small business functions such as sending or receiving email, making documents and other applicable charts. Medical transcriptions are in a specialized field of vocal translation to text that requires highly accurate results and quick input.

Many health care professionals have traditionally hired professional transcriptionists to transcribe spoken medical data regarding patients. Transcribers have typically used transcription equipment that allows the person to hear the spoken word and then type the information into a document form. This can take hours of work and careful processing since medical information not only sounds different from doctor to doctor but medical language is in a class all its own with special spellings and abbreviations for medications and procedures. Up until recently, voice recognition software has not been able to meet the rigorous demands for accuracy and easy submission for acceptable text processing. Now, there are several programs that are available that specialize in meeting medical standards for thorough transcription procedures.

In fact, there is specific software available through several sources that is designed only for medical transcriptions. This provides the best that speech recognition software developers have to offer for this particular field. There are other types of programs that are available for other professions that make it easier for each field to find the right system. Some small businesses can benefit from a program that allows the user to produce word documents simply by the spoken voice. Email can be activated by voice command and received email is heard through a computerized internal vocal application. Word documents can also be read to the user through the same computerized application program. Surfing the Internet is extremely easy as well and simple vocal commands from the user will access websites by speaking aloud various links and web addresses.

Other variations of vocal programming systems are available as well that allow applications for home use. Voice recognition software allows complete control of a desktop simply by speaking to the computer. Many individuals that operate both home based businesses or want to enjoy the ease of Internet surfing can make good use of new vocal command computer technologies. Many of the various programs are configured for compatibility with either Windows or MAC and are also compatible with office software systems. Some options also are Internet ready, allowing the user immediate web access after installation. There are a few accessories needed in order to use speech software such as microphones, headset mikes, digital recorders and extra memory cards. For those who use medical transcriptions, digital recorders are an added accessory that is important to purchase with any software system.

Software packages are available for just about any requirement for a vocal transmission system and may be cheaper in the long run than purchasing each item separately. One of the most important accessories that anyone who uses speech recognition software needs is a good quality headset or microphone. Since recognition programs work best with clear, loud vocal transmissions, it is well worth the money to purchase a quality accessory. The type of use intended for a microphone will determine which is best. For transcriptionists that sit hours in front of a computer, a well supported headset mike may be best. Users that only periodically have need of voice recognition software may be completely satisfied with an external mike that is hand held or mounted on a stand. Whatever the preference for microphone equipment, the most important consideration is vocal output quality.

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