Nuance voice-enables Epic Haiku, Canto apps for clinical info input

By Brian Dolan
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epic cantoJust one week after Nuance Communications announced that it had inked a deal with Cerner to add voice input to the electronic health records (EHR) company's mobile EHR apps, it has announced a similar deal with Epic.

Epic users can now use Nuance voice recognition technology to capture clinical information in Epic's Haiku app for iPhone and its Canto app for iPad. In the announcement Nuance cites a survey by Vitera Healthcare Solutions that found nine out of ten physicians are interested in mobile EHR apps. Nuance believes that voice-enabling clinical documentation and navigation helps physicians to work more efficiently while they are on the move.

"I can use [Haiku or Canto] to look at my patient lists when I'm not in the hospital and I can look at lab results -- I can do a lot of things -- but what I couldn't do with these apps before was to make a note," Dr. Jeffrey Westcott, medical director, Cardiac Catherization Lab, Swedish Medical Center told MobiHealthNews in a recent interview. "I couldn't put anything into the system, so these apps were basically read-only."

Westcott said that only enabling physicians to manually enter notes via these apps is not sustainable since most physicians won't take the trouble, manual entry on smartphones creates a lot of errors and for those messages that do get entered manually Westcott has found them to be incomplete and truncated because the user experience is so clunky.

"Voice recognition should raise the quality of the note and the willingness of people to make a note," Westcott said. "It also helps that this is a cloud-based offering so all the processing is taken care of elsewhere. Processing power on mobiles is just not that wonderful and these are big apps."

Nuance voice recognition technologies are already used by more than 450,000 clinicians globally.

More details in the announcement here.