Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Speech Recognition With General and Medical Vocabularies Revisited

A while ago, back on May 10, 2009, I posted an article that discussed speech recognition software in general and Dragon Medical 10 in particular. Click here to navigate to that post.
In the two years plus since then, the field of speech-to-text translation (and the hardware available for speech-to-text translation software to execute on) has advance. This can be seen in the research reports published at the Special Interest Sites that you can navigate to from the links at the top of the right-hand column of this blog.

Reflecting these advances, Vendors, Nuance Communications Inc., the maker of
Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Dragon Medical Practice Edition, in particular, have been able to release improved versions of their products: The next version of Dragon Medical will be called “Dragon Medical Practice Edition” and will feature the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Speech Engine. I have found it to be faster and more accurate than any previous version of Dragon. (The most recent versions utilize new hardware features such as multithreading and multicore CPUs, and they double the sampling rate and more).

That said, it's still important that you use any speech-to-text translation product with a good sound card and a good microphone.

Click here for a downloadable Product Sheet

Click here for a Feature and Specs Sheet

As is my wont, I recently installed a pre-release copy of
Dragon Medical Practice Edition hurriedly: that is, I wasn’t very careful when I built a profile (trained Dragon) and then gave Dragon an initial test run by speaking into a 10-year-old, $5.95 microphone that happened to be connected to my sound card at the time. The idea was simply to familiarize myself with this new edition a little before using it seriously later. To my astonishment, even with this primitive set up, Dragon Medical Practice Edition converted my speech to text without a single error throughout a 5-minute run (using the General vocabulary).

There's an awful lot of information about this new version to sift through. Nuance's site (click
here) is a good place to start.

{ Click on the image above for a larger view }

As a footnote, I want to add that systems that convert spoken words to text are not just of value to professional practices. I have an acquaintance who has used this software for over a year as he has had a stroke and finds it difficult to type. He speaks well of it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Security Requirements for Electronic Health Records Redux

Click here for a commercial white paper on the title subject from the vendor Symantec. Although much of its content appears in earlier posts to this blog, this white paper presents a good summary of today's conventional wisdom on the subject.

Counter views abound, however. For example, many believe that there is no such thing as cybersecurity. That’s because no system can be 100% secure. There is no uncrackable code.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Google+ ... The next big thing ?

The following numbers are impressive, given that Google+ marketing hasn't yet begun.

It will be fascinating to see whether Facebook, which has a very big head start and hundreds of millions of satisfied users, or Google+, now only a few weeks old, which, once you get a free Google+ account, has a spot on the new, nearly ubiquitous, black Google toolbar, reaches a billion users first. Note: Each time you connect with any of the Google services (a billion people do each month), you see this new toolbar across the top of your browser.

Stay tuned ….

And/or click here for more overview.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Changing Landscape For HTLM5 Design

Motion and Interaction Design for HTML5

Adobe Edge Preview is a new Web motion and interaction design tool that allows designers to bring animated content to websites, using web standards like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3.

The initial version of Edge focuses primarily on adding rich motion design to new or existing HTML projects, that runs beautifully on devices and desktops.

Click here to download your own copy of this free beta and examine the samples for yourself. With them, you can be up and running in only a few minutes, or click here to see an image of one of these samples that I've run on my desktop, or click here for one video that shows Edge in use and/or here for another.

{ Click on the image above for a larger view }

As much as we can give Apple credit for getting the HTML5 ball rolling, Adobe's decision to offer an HTML5 design tool is unlikely the result of Adobe giving in to Apple. It is a reasonable business decision that answers to a global trend - a decision that is driven rather by opportunity than surrender.

Few of us paid attention to this new format before Apple said it would deny Flash access to its iOS platform for performance, security and power consumption reasons (while others claim it is really the closed platform approach that killed Flash on iOS).

Within two years, HTML5 has evolved from an Apple thought process to a global movement with the conviction that HTML5 will be the future standard of how Web applications will be developed. It is a conviction that is shared by those who follow corporate interests as well as those who have the open Web in mind, such as Mozilla. Whether we like it or not, HTML5 will become a powerful application layer for the Internet within a few years - the first application layer that will enable Internet applications and services that will look and feel like desktop applications today.

Adobe sees Edge as a tool designers can use along with its Creative Suite applications such as Photoshop and Dreamweaver (discussed on a few of my earlier posts to this blog), although direct import support isn’t available yet. Adobe does, however, have plans to add import support as development continues.

Edge-created content is viewable on any HTML5-aware browser, such as Safari, Firefox and Chrome, and works on mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, HP’s WebOS, and Android-based smartphones.

The beta is still in its early stages, so it isn’t feature complete yet, and Adobe plans to use feedback from customers in the development process.

If you look at the market share for browsers, you will find that less than half the browsers in use are HTML5 compatible at this point. That percentage is certain to rise rapidly over the next couple of years, but a substantial share of the browser market will require an alternative to HTML5 for the foreseeable future. Companies will still need to be backwards compatible for older browsers at a minimum and will employ Flash for this.

In addition to raw browser support, HTML5 lacks a number of features that Flash offers. Most notably, Flash includes digital rights management (DRM) features, while in HTML5, users can quickly save videos to their own machines. That may not sound like such a bad thing for users, but for developers and content owners, it's a serious problem. A number of DRM schemes are currently under consideration for HTML5, but the issue is far from resolved. The best-fitting software depends on your use case. Many projects will benefit from technologies like Flash that are not browser controlled, for some time to come.

Adobe to Capitalize on The Rise of HTML5

While Flash has been the dominant technology used to create interactive, animated content, its market share has been decreasing as HTML5 gains ground. Apple refused to support Flash on the iPhone and the iPad citing performance issues (as noted above), which led many developers to move to adopt HTML5.

With PC sales dropping and tablet sales showing tremendous growth, many developers will eventually move on to HTML5 to create content as it is compatible with most platforms and doesn’t need any special plugins.

With Adobe Edge, Adobe plans to capitalize on this shift to HTML5. With Edge, Adobe can recapture some of its lost market share and improve sales of its Creative Suite software bundle, which currently has more than a 40% share of the global market.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Briton's EHR System - IT and Politics

Briton has been trying to create a single network that would allow NHS staff across England to access any patients’ details. A new report, however, says this will not happen now and the country has been left with a “patchwork” of costly and fragmented IT systems.

Critics claim that creating a single system was always a “massive risk” especially as clinicians were not asked for suggestions on its operation.

Click here for more.

I found the comment there that includes the following:

"One of the most basic mistakes in the public sector is to assign "IT experts" to these types of projects. That, however, is not what is needed at all - we, as suppliers and designers, have all the IT expertise required. What we need on the customer side is somebody who can write and develop correct specifications - what exactly is required, and how is it supposed to work? Specifically, we don't need young ambitious people that want to jump start a career but don't understand the KISS principle..."

I encourage the reading of the comments following the article cited in the link above.