Nuance is challenging developers to use its cloud mobile health care platform to develop speech-recognition apps for mobile devices such as the Apple iPhone and iPad.
Nuance Communications has
launched the 2012
Mobile Clinician Voice Challenge, a contest to get developers to integrate
speech recognition into mobile or Web-based health care applications.
The company is calling
on independent software vendors, internal development teams and health
insurance providers to find new ways to incorporate speech recognition into
their medical software. Nuance announced the challenge on Jan. 4.
sending out an open query to the development community to develop
state-of-the-art voice-enabled iPhone and iPad applications," Joe
Petro, executive vice president of research and development for Nuance
Healthcare, told eWEEK. "It's a
competition of sorts so we can basically get the word out and solicit a
community around the development of mobile speech and clinical understanding
Developers will use the
Nuance Healthcare Development Platform to integrate Nuance SpeechAnywhere into
mobile health care applications.
SpeechAnywhere is a cloud
service that embeds and voice-enables devices using client-side software
components from runtime libraries and plug-ins as well as mobile devices, thin
clients, browsers and desktops.
"Dictation has proven
to be among the most preferred, intuitive and effective ways to document
clinical information," Janet Dillione, executive vice president and
general manager for Nuance Healthcare, said in a statement. "By expanding
access to Nuance's speech-recognition and Clinical Language Understanding
capabilities, the Nuance Healthcare Development Platform is enabling
application developers to unleash an entire new ecosystem of health care
applications that will help clinicians and patients create and use high-quality
clinical documentation better and smarter than ever before."
By incorporating speech
recognition into mobile applications, doctors and nurses will be able to
dictate their notes into patients' electronic health records (EHRs) on an
iPhone or iPad or Android device.
"It's not unusual now
to see a physician speak into an iPhone or iPad to drive documentation into the
electronic health record," said Petro.
"They can command and control the interface as well as capture
information and documentation."
Developers will integrate
the speech recognition into applications for the Apple iOS 4.2+ and Android
2.2+ as well as Web applications for Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and
The judges for the contest
are Dillione; health care IT blogger Mr. HIStalk;
Methodist Health System CMIO Dr. Steven Zuber; Dr. Andres Jimenez, CEO of EHR
educational services provider ImplementHIT; and Jonathon Dreyer, senior manager
for mobile solutions marketing at Nuance Healthcare.
"We're looking for the
best implementation of voice recognition for the mobile clinician," said
Dreyer in a Nuance video.
The deadline for submissions
is Feb. 3. Nuance will begin notifying winners around Feb. 13 and announce
results Feb. 20.
Nuance will feature winners
of the challenge at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
(HIMSS) 2012 conference in February. It will also include the winning
applications in a licensing package for a year.
A model for the developers
to go by could be Calgary Scientific's ResolutionMD mobile application, which
allows radiologists to view streaming images on mobile
devices and use their voices to document patient visits. Physicians can
view 2D and 3D medical images on their mobile and Web-based devices.
"They used our cloud-based SDKs to provide
a ubiquitous voice-enabled user experience across their supported
devices and platforms," said Petro.
Nuance and its partners will
judge the challenge based on four criteria: innovation, benefits to the
physician workflow and patient care, functional implementation and visual
The company is also actively
with IBM and its Watson supercomputer to extract hidden data from physician
notes using natural-language technology. Physicians will be able to access this
data in mobile applications, Petro said.
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.