Speech Recognition Technology and Medical Transcription Services

:An Overview:

Speech is now not confined solely to the human race, or even living beings on a broader perspective. It has extended to the World of Technology; specifically Computers and Software. Speech Recognition Technology [SRT], little known until recent times, is an area that has been constantly growing over the years. SRT has opened new windows of panoramic dimensions to human kind.

Speech Recognition Technology – Defined:

A technology wherein a machine or program identifies spoken words and phrases and converts them to readable format. In more simpler terms, voice/speech is converted to text format.

The Beginning:

Speech Recognition Technology, as we know it today, did not just bloom overnight. It is the work of over 30 years. The very first implementation of Speech Recognition was designed and displayed by IBM during the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It was called the IBM Shoebox; and typically sized too. This device only recognized spoken digits from 0 to 9. Over the years, Software companies have delved upon the benefits and the profits that can be reaped from developing SRT, and they have come a long way since. Now many noted companies have come up with different versions of this technology, offering various features.
While Speech Recognition has progressed vastly, the downside is that it has been a long and laborious road this far. It calls for training and updating of Software to work flawlessly; and it is currently far from perfect. There is so much more to go before it can be said that SRT is without any imperfections.

Speech Recognition Technology – In Health Care and Medical Transcription:

An area where this technology has caught on to a great extent is the Medical Transcription Industry. Speech Recognition is of two types: Front End and Back End.

  • Front End: As the doctor dictates into the machine, the words are automatically generated and displayed. This text can be edited directly, the report finalized, and signed by the doctor immediately. But there are few Front end users due to time constraints faced by doctors and practitioners.
  • Back End: Also called Delayed or Deferred Speech Recognition. The written draft is generated by the Software and sent to the Medical Transcriptionists for editing and proof reading. This is more convenient for doctors as it requires less time spent reading the proofs.
  • EMR: Speech Recognition can be applied in Electronic Medical Record systems of hospitals, clinics, etc. Searches, queries, and even filling up of forms can be made simpler and faster with voice rather than using the keyboard.

Advantages:

Speech Recognition Technology can be advantageous to both Medical Transcriptionists as well as doctors in a number of ways. A few advantages are:

  • There is not much typing involved as the first draft is generated by the software
  • Requires only editing of the machine-generated text
  • Faster turnaround of reports
  • Saves time in completion of reports
  • Stat reports can be completed and returned quicker than by using the conventional method of typing

Drawbacks:

Being a technology that has not entirely been perfected, SRT has a few drawbacks.

  • It cannot fully distinguish words spoken with heavy accents
  • Homophones (words which sound the same but may have different spellings and meanings) can cause spelling errors
  • Incorrect grammar is bound to occur in the generated texts
  • Punctuation rules are not likely to be followed at all times
  • Multiple speakers cannot be clearly differentiated
  • Background noise and disturbances may cause misspellings

Question of the Hour:

A niggling thought in the minds of many Medical Transcriptionists is whether Speech Recognition Technology poses a threat to their livelihood. This is a baseless fear, keeping in mind the drawbacks of SRT. No report will be complete until a human eye has scanned it. Machine-generated documents can only be 60%-70% error-free. It demands well-trained and professional Medical Transcriptionists to read through and edit the reports. A mistake, even a tiny one, can result in unpleasant situations for many. And one cannot rely on mere machines to do the job 100% without errors. In conclusion, Speech Recognition Technology is certainly one of a kind. While it has not yet reached the peak of perfection, it is still quite an aid to the healthcare industry, specifically Medical Transcription. And there is certainly no danger of software or machines or even technology entirely taking over man’s work; technology is just merely helping out!

Discover the Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

If you’re like most Americans, you don’t eat a lot of fermented foods. Fermented foods are more popular in the Chinese, Korean and Japanese culture where fermented soy products like tempeh and kimchee are a dietary staple. In fact, the only exposure many Americans get to fermented foods is when they eat a container of yogurt with active cultures – but that’s rapidly changing.

Fermented products are growing in popularity including fermented beverages like kombucha, a beverage prepared from fermented mushrooms, and kefir, a fermented milk drink. More natural food stores are carrying fermented foods and beverages because of the health benefits they offer.

What Are the Health Benefits of Fermented Foods?

One reason fermented foods and beverages are good for you is because of the natural probiotics they contain. Probiotics are “good bacteria” that keep disease-causing bacteria in check by competing for the same resources. There’s only so much room available in your gut for bacteria and when the good guys move in, they push the bad ones out. Unfortunately, most people who eat Westernized diets don’t get many natural probiotics in their diet. That’s changing as yogurt and other fermented foods grow in popularity.

Probiotic bacteria not only keep bad bacteria in check, they also help to “tune up” your immune system. You may not know it but 70% of your immune system lies in your gut – so nurturing your gut immunity with probiotic bacteria keeps your intestinal tract healthy.

Some studies also show these friendly bacteria offer added resistance against infection. Plus they offer potential benefits for treating irritable bowel syndrome, some types of diarrhea and for preventing vaginal yeast infections. If you have gas and bloating after meals, probiotics may help with these symptoms because fermented foods are a natural source of intestine-friendly bacteria.

Fermenting Foods Reduces Anti-Nutrients

Another benefit to fermenting foods, especially soy, is it inactivates anti-nutrients that block the absorption of minerals from the foods you eat. Soy contains phytates, compounds that reduce the absorption of minerals like iron, zinc and calcium from your gut. Fermenting soy inactivates phytates, making it a healthier way to eat soy.

Examples of fermented soy foods you can buy at most natural food markets are miso and tempeh. You may have enjoyed a cup of miso soup at a Japanese restaurant and not realized you were doing good things for your intestines. Believe me – your intestines would thank you if they could.

Other examples of probiotic-rich foods are sauerkraut, kimchi (fermented cabbage), fermented cheeses and soy sauce. Just as there are fermented foods, you can nurture your intestines with probiotic beverages like kefir and kombucha.

Fermented Beverages: Another Source of Probiotics

Kefir is a probiotic -rich beverages that has the consistency of thin yogurt and is available in a number of flavors at natural food markets. It has a slightly tart taste like yogurt, but you can blend it with fresh fruit for a sweeter taste. You can even make your own kefir at home.

Kombucha is fizzy and has a rather tart taste. Some companies that produce it like Synergy add flavors like lemon, strawberry and cranberry to it to give it more mainstream appeal. Being an acquired taste, some people don’t like it when they first try it but after drinking it a few times, its fizzy effervescence becomes addictive for some.

How to Enjoy the Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

You can enjoy the benefits of probiotic bacteria by simply eating a container of yogurt with active cultures every day. If you’re a little more adventurous, give kefir or kombucha a try. There are ways to make eating kefir more fun. Try making a kefir parfait by adding nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and spices to kefir. It’s a healthy way to start the morning. Sip on a bottle of flavored kombucha as a healthy replacement for soft drinks.

Why not make your own sauerkraut? You’ll get the benefits of the probiotic bacteria and the anti-cancer compounds in cabbage at the same time. Sauerkraut you buy in cans at the grocery store don’t contain live probiotics. Here’s a video to show you how:

When buying cheese, skip the packaged cheese at the grocery store and buy aged cheese with natural probiotics. Fermented soy is rich in isoflavones, natural compounds that may reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. You can buy miso at most natural food markets and use it to make soup, sauces and salad dressings. You can also add it to soups and stews for greater health benefits.

You’ll want to avoid using high heat since it can destroy the probiotic bacteria. Try tempeh, another fermented soy product, as a substitute for meat. It’s a good choice for meatless Mondays. By scouring the web, you’ll find a number of tasty recipes using tempeh.

Next time you’re at your local natural food market, pick up some kimchi. It’s a popular vegetable side dish in Korea made of fermented cabbage and other fermented veggies. It has a spicy taste that’s as tongue tingling as it is healthy. In fact, you can ferment your own vegetables at home using a starter culture you buy at health food stores or online.

4 Most Important Points to Consider While Finding a New Auto Repair Shop

Whoever owns a car has always a trusted auto repair shop in his/her locality. However, when someone moves to a new city, he needs to find everything from scratch. Just like you need to find a new house, a new telephone connection, and a new doctor, you should also find a trusted auto services center that can help you in maintaining your vehicle. Looking for an auto shop near your new house right in the beginning will give you ample time to search and find out the best and will make it easier for you to deal with car problems in emergency situations. Given below are few tips that will make it easier for you to find a good and trusted automobile shop:

Visit Different Shops and Check their Equipment
You can make an online search and quickly find out the list of these shops located in your vicinity. You can then shortlist a few and visit them. Make sure that the auto technicians are using advanced equipment needed to diagnose problems with modern day vehicles. If you find it difficult to determine the quality of equipment they are using, feel free to ask. Even though you are not much knowledgeable about different types of vehicle equipment, you can still get an idea.

Inquire About their Rates and Services
While you are visiting the shop, look around to check if they are clean and organized. You can inquire about their hourly rates, prices of replacement parts, quality of repairs made, fair shop rates, etc. You can also ask customers present there about their experiences in using the services of the auto shop. Don’t forget to ask the customers about their consistent quality service and customer care department

Check their Certifications
Certifications are given to auto technicians only after they pass a rigorous review process. Therefore, a certified auto repair shop is always better than non-certified ones. Check if the shop has any certifications from car manufacturers.

Check for Complaints with BBB
You can check with the local Better Business Bureau to ensure that no complaints are filed against the repair shop. Whether the repair shops are part of BBB or not, they can still have complaints about the shop and their services.

It is important to take care of the above mentioned points and search for the right auto center in the new city. Even though it may take time, but a little patience and some effort will help you find the right auto repair shop much before you need it.