Could cloud-based speech recognition transform healthcare?

It seems not a day goes by without another tale of how cloud services are fuelling success at organisations in every sector. In the past, healthcare organisations haven’t jumped on the cloud opportunity quite as fast as other industries. But we plan to help change that with Dragon Medical One, our AI-powered speech recognition solution for healthcare, built to enable clinicians to document patient stories from anywhere.

The digital dilemma

Few healthcare professionals disagree that the future of health is digital. But while digital technologies offer powerful new ways to improve operational efficiency, clinical decision-making, and patient experience, they can also bring new challenges.

Over the last few years, high-profile ransomware attacks on hospitals have put cybersecurity in the spotlight, drawing public scrutiny to how healthcare professionals are facing up to new threats. New digital systems often demand new levels of IT oversight and day-to-day management, leading to unexpected—and unpredictable—costs. And while EPRs and other clinical information systems can help care teams coordinate their efforts and give patients more control over their health, they demand fast, accurate data entry to achieve those goals—adding to clinicians’ admin burden.

Tackling digital challenges with cloud-based speech recognition

One way to reduce that admin burden is by using AI-powered speech recognition systems like Dragon Medical One.

Speech recognition allows clinicians to capture accurate, complete patient records using only their voice. So, instead of spending time typing up notes, healthcare practitioners can focus on engaging with their patients, while the solution captures all relevant information and transcribes it directly into clinical documentation.   

The AI and machine learning technologies behind speech recognition systems are impressive, and I’m sure many people reading this will already have used Dragon to capture clinical notes. But these systems bring even more value when they’re unshackled from on-premise infrastructures. That’s why Dragon Medical One is hosted in the cloud.

More flexibility for care teams

Because it’s cloud-based, Dragon Medical One gives practitioners a consistent clinical documentation experience that’s personalised to them—accessible anytime, anywhere, on a broad range of devices. That unchains clinicians from their desks, enabling them to capture information wherever is most convenient and ensure that patient notes are quickly available in clinical information systems.

Regardless of the device they’re using, practitioners still get all their personalised vocabularies, templates, and verbal shortcuts, helping them work more efficiently and avoid one of the primary causes of the burnout that’s so common in healthcare today.

It’s also an ideal solution for care teams working remotely, and for supporting the telehealth initiatives that are a major part of many organisations’ digital transformation efforts.

Less complexity for IT teams

Cloud-based speech recognition doesn’t just make life easier for clinicians—it’s also a lot simpler for IT teams to manage. Dragon Medical One doesn’t require any complex installation or configuration to get practitioners up and running. And automatic updates continuously provide service improvements and new medical terminology, eliminating much of the maintenance work for IT teams, which helps reduce management complexity and keep operational costs down.

Security, reliability, and compliance as standard

For healthcare organisations, the shift to remote working and telehealth, along with the growing threat of cyberattacks, have brought security and compliance to the top of the agenda. Safeguarding patient information is a key priority, and the advanced security capabilities of the major cloud providers deliver the robust protection required. Beyond data security and privacy, the cloud offers a more resilient platform for digital healthcare solutions, providing levels of availability that are very difficult to achieve in on-premises environments.

To enable care teams to coordinate patient journeys and make fast, informed clinical decisions, patient information must be accessible at all times. The major cloud providers offer ultra-reliable infrastructures to support this always-on availability—Dragon Medical One, for example, is hosted on Microsoft Azure, providing uptime of at 99.97% in the last 12 month.

Microsoft Azure hosts Dragon Medical One in UK data centres, ensuring NHS trusts and agencies can meet their data sovereignty requirements. The Azure environment supports UK GDPR compliance efforts, and is DCB0129 accredited and ISO 27001 certified, offering a modern, secure cloud infrastructure in line with NHS digital transformation goals.

Get more value from Dragon in the cloud

It’s clear that the cloud offers the security, mobility, and flexibility that healthcare teams need to store, manage, and share data that helps improve patient journeys and outcomes. Platforms such as Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare can even help solve the interoperability issues that have hindered efforts to deliver more connected care.

At Nuance, we’re excited to be helping healthcare organisations move to the cloud with Dragon Medical One. So, whether you’re new to speech recognition or you’re a seasoned Dragon veteran, I encourage you to consider switching up to a cloud-based solution that can bring you tighter security, higher availability, simpler IT maintenance, and a lower TCO.

Digitize health or fail is a blog series by Simon Hill, Senior Vice President, International Healthcare at Nuance. He focuses his blogs on the economic aspects of digitization in the healthcare sector and how Cloud AI will drive digital transformation across hospitals in the UK, Europe and Australia.

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Simon Hill

About Simon Hill

Simon Hill joined Nuance in August 2021 to lead their International Healthcare business. Prior to Nuance, Simon worked at Epiq as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), at Oracle Corporation leading their European regulated energy business and was Head of Corporate Affairs and Strategy at Cerner. Simon has had an extensive career working in government, consultancy, start-ups, and large corporations, having worked with the ICG Consultancy and for the British Conservative Party in Westminster. Simon is an alumni of the University of Cambridge, the University of Durham and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After commissioning, Simon was selected for an elite frontline regiment in the British Army and led teams of highly motivated professionals during high-intensity combat operations around the world.