About Speech Processing

The evolution of speech processing is long and interesting tale. From the days when a secretary sat in a bosses office taking shorthand. Seeing the glaring inefficiency of having another person sit there while the boss decided what to say, we moved to machines.

The first dictation machines cut what was said into wax cylinders and could be played back at a later time or typed by the secretary. You can imagine the issues that might become you if all your important documents are stored on something so fragile. From there we moved to belts and disks but finally to cassette tapes.

The standard cassette provided universal standardization, they provided longer dictation times, a more durable media and they were inexpensive. In the 80’s the micro cassette came along and had all the benefits of tape but at a smaller size which brought much needed portability to the industry. It wasn’t until the late 90’s that portability would move to digital portables. That being said there still are some firms holding on to tape machines a good 10 years after they stopped manufacturing commercial grade equipment.

Digital dictation was first accepted in the medical/hospital market where centralized systems worked perfectly with their workflow. They had a large number of folks needing to dictate and a small group of folks to do the transcription. This technology is still being used in most hospitals and law firms today.

We sometimes hear “Dictation is Dead” from administrators. The truth is that’s far from true but it is changing. It’s not your grandfathers’ dictation, and speech recognition is making the difference. In the legal community we have been bringing in new associates and not having to provide them much in the way of support services; they type themselves. While this might be fine early in one’s career, as you move up the ladder, you become too valuable an asset to spend your time typing. Look around the office; the most productive people may be those gray hairs in the corner offices dictating. We have also been told that nothing prepares you for oral arguments like dictation does. We may never be able to convince you to become a traditional dictation user, but might get you to agree that you can speak faster than you can type. If you agree to that, then Dragon Legal will help you be more productive than typing your own dictation.

In the medical industry this progression from dictation to speech recognition was made for them with the introduction of the EMR. There was not a good way to dictation into these systems and typing in them was too cumbersome. Dragon Medical is the perfect solution. If your EMR had a dialog box for you to type in chances, Dragon Medical will work with it.

Today Tekton sells mostly hybrid systems, dictation systems that provide the advantage of speech recognition if they want to use it. While you will not find these systems in our store, a needs analysis is usually done prior to pricing. The information on both the Philips and Winscribe systems are available on this site or we can come to your office and discuss your needs.