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It feels like daily tasks have become automated by technology. Machines help build our products, chatbots assist customers online, and cars are now capable of driving themselves. If you’re a healthcare professional looking to take advantage of this advancing tech, medical dictation apps are a great way for you to automate your workflow.
Medical dictation software uses speech recognition to automatically record and transcribe live audio, and you can even use it to dictate directly into an electronic health record (EHR).
While more extensive and feature-rich medical dictation software exists on PC, using a medical dictation app on a phone or tablet can prove to be much more versatile, as you’ll have an easier time carrying them around the practice or hospital (and between appointments).
Today I’ll cover the best medical dictation apps and software and demonstrate how they can be used to expedite the healthcare process.
Medical dictation is the process of verbally recording and documenting a patient’s information. This is usually done by a doctor or nurse and is used to create a patient’s medical record. It allows clinicians to accurately record a patient’s health information, such as their medical history, diagnosis, and treatment plan. The day-to-day operations of a medical practice or hospital are extremely fast-paced, dictating a patient's information helps doctors and nurses recall any details that they might otherwise forget.
While dictation has traditionally meant simply using a recording device, modern means have allowed healthcare professionals to use medical speech recognition and medical dictation software to automatically document a patient’s information. Manually entering and transcribing info for dozens of patients a day can be time-consuming and laborious, but by using medical dictation apps you can dictate information directly into an EHR.
While this technology is convenient, there have been concerns about privacy and security (medical information is naturally sensitive).
As a result of these concerns, there are now medical dictation apps for iPhone and Android that immediately recognize speech or send audio files to a speech recognition platform in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner.
There have also been many regulations put in place (see below) that ensure that the information on medical records is protected on the apps.
Medical dictation apps are a great way to enhance your routine as a healthcare professional. There’s a good amount of medical dictation apps for iPhone and Android, so I’ve gathered some top choices, taking into account their features, accuracy, ease of use, and compatibility across systems.
Best for medical dictation on iPhone & Android
Notta is a great choice for a medical dictation app as it has a friendly, easy-to-use interface while boasting an impressive 98.86% accuracy rate. As a busy doctor or nurse, you don’t want an app that is more complicated to use than it is helpful, and Notta does a good job of staying simple while still providing useful tools for medical transcription, which will properly detect and transcribe any terminology that you use.
104 transcription languages: Notta supports transcribing audio from English, Spanish, German, French, and more. As a doctor, using Notta could allow you to better care for and understand patients who aren’t quite fluent in your own language.
Multiple security regulations: All data stored in Notta is encrypted with AWS’ RDP and S3 services. This means you won’t have to worry about the safety of your patient’s information.
Cross-device synchronization: A medical practice can be synced across your Notta account no matter whether you use a PC or mobile device. Notta also supports multiple import file types (MP3, M4A, AVI, MP4, MOV, and more) and can be exported in multiple formats (Audio, TXT, DOCX, and more).
Team Cooperation: Excellent functionality for working with colleagues on the same transcript. Hospital staff can cooperate with doctors, nurses, and others to ensure that patients’ info is properly documented.
Automated Summary: Generate summaries of your transcriptions in one click and improve your productivity by eliminating busy checking and summarizing work.
Pricing: Notta offers a Free plan where you can access a limited number of features. Notta Business is intended for teams working together (such as in a hospital) and starts at $44/mo per 2 seats.
Notta is a cutting-edge medical dictation app designed to simplify and enhance the process of transcribing medical notes and records. With Notta, medical professionals can speak their patient notes, diagnoses, and treatment plans, allowing for efficient and accurate transcription, saving time and reducing the burden of manual data entry.
Best for medical proficiency
Fusion Narrate is a popular choice among medical professionals for its accuracy and recognition of medical terminology. With Fusion Narrate, doctors can record voice memos, and the speech recognition software recognizes any medical terminology from a vocabulary of over 300,000 terms.
Another benefit of this medical transcription app is its ability to integrate with EHR systems. Not only does this allow staff to store and access a patient’s information quickly, but it also makes it easier for clinicians to provide a more personal experience in patient care (the app can document patient information for you during appointments).
Shortcut builder: A doctor can create custom voice commands or shortcuts to make their routine and workload easier.
EHR compatible: Using a wireless microphone, you can easily use to app the dictate to an electronic health record on a computer.
No device limits: A medical practice can operate Fusion Narrate on an unlimited number of devices.
Pricing: You can start Fusion Narrate today with a 14-day free trial, after which you’ll pay $76 monthly or $850 for a full year.
Best-in-class file encryption
Philips Dictation Smartphone App is reliable and efficient for medical dictation and also offers a feature-rich interface for documenting patient info.
I found the most impressive part of Philips’ app to be the file storage system. The app allows you to assign properties to various voice recordings in order to manage your workflow. One of my favorite features is the “priority function”, which can allow doctors to signify to transcriptionists that a certain dictation is urgent.
Not only is the storage system efficient, but it’s also best-in-class when it comes to filing encryption via SSL technology, and you’re even able to encrypt your recordings.
Best-in-class file encryption: One of the best apps when it comes to protecting patient information.
Customizable and Organization-Friendly: The Philips Smartphone App makes it easy to label and organize recorded voice memos (ex., Filter by patient name or provider who made the dictation)
Priority function: It enables doctors to mark voice recordings as urgent.
Pricing: Philips offers a 14-day SpeechLive trial that includes the mobile app. The Basic plan for small teams and individuals starts at $15.90/mo per user, while the Enterprise plan for large teams is $24.90/mo per user.
Best attention to sound quality
Olympus Dictation is known for its attention to sound quality. The app offers tools such as custom microphone sensitivity and even voice activation to record audio, and these features can come in handy in an environment such as a medical practice.
It also has a dedicated system for sending files via email or through the Olympus Dictation Delivery Service servers, making it easy to integrate the app into your practice or hospital’s workflow.
Customize audio quality: This tool can make it a lot easier for transcriptionists to interpret and document from recordings, and it can also come in handy in situations where you have to step away from your microphone during an appointment.
Store files securely: The app allows you to encrypt files directly on your phone, which makes this step incredibly convenient for providers.
Workflow integration: Olympus’ system makes it incredibly easy to integrate the app’s functions into the everyday operations of your practice or hospital.
Pricing: The app can be tested for free for 60 days, after which a full license is required ($99/year).
Best-in-class machine learning
Amazon Transcribe Medical is top-tier and allows healthcare providers several impressive features that can be integrated into their work.
Amazon uses state-of-the-art machine learning to recognize and transcribe medical terminology, including procedures, diagnoses, and medications. Their service is offered alongside speech-to-text applications and does a good job of protecting patient information privacy and security. Their platform is HIPAA-eligible and follows security guidelines.
Best-in-class machine learning structures: That can identify medical vocabulary and terminology.
Automatic archive generation: This makes it easy for clinicians to search for past media.
Powerful transcription and editing tools: It helps further document patient information.
Pricing: Amazon Transcribe Medical allows 60 minutes for free for 12 months, and afterward, will charge a rate based on the number of minutes you use.
Medical dictation software has evolved in many ways over the past decade, and it’s now possible for speech recognition technology to allow clinicians to instantly dictate into their clinical systems.
Dictation software for PCs is typically much more feature-rich than the app counterparts, the downside being that a computer is less portable than a mobile device.
If you’re looking to integrate medical dictation software into your practice or hospital, you’ll want to look for software that’s easy to use, reliable, secure, and packed with features.
Here are some great options that are easy to fit into your budget:
Best free and simple-to-learn medical dictation tool for Mac.
Navigate to the “Tools” option on the toolbar of Google Dos and look for “Voice typing”. Although Google Docs Voice Typing is not as feature-rich as some paid software, it’s still a practical and easy-to-use application that providers can use to record patient information.
Supports multiple languages: English, Spanish, French, German, and more.
Easy to use: It includes the standard document editing features.
Voice commands: It's easy to edit, navigate, or add to the record.
Pricing: It is free to use for any medical professional, making it a great choice if you’re not looking to spend on dictation software.
Best convenient speech-to-text tool in the Microsoft Office suite
If you run a medical practice or hospital, you’re probably working with Microsoft Office to some degree. You’ll be able to access Microsoft Dictate with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Simply locate the dictate icon in a Word document and use a connected microphone to dictate directly into the document.
Voice Recognition: Microsoft Dictate can recognize over 20 languages.
Integration with Microsoft Apps: If your practice uses Microsoft Office for documents, using Microsoft Dictate will allow you to easily apply dictation software to your files.
Pricing: Microsoft Dictate is free to use if you’re subscribed to Microsoft 365 (common for most medical practices). You can buy Microsoft Office Business starting from $6/mo per user.
Best online dictation tool with a speech-enabled notepad
Instead of having to download any applications, Speechnotes can be used right on your browser. Personally, I like how Speechnotes includes productivity features in their software, including auto-saving and automatic capitalization at the beginning of each sentence.
It also protects the privacy of patient information. Your information is not spread with any third parties, and they adhere to Google’s strict privacy policies.
Simple user interface: This makes it easy for healthcare providers to learn and utilize.
Cutting-edge speech-recognition technology: Ensure the accuracy of the info.
Cloud saving feature: auto-saves documents and edits securely.
Pricing: Free to use.
Best for integration with most clinical systems
It is easy to start using Dragon Medical with the documentation systems that you already have in place. One thing I like about Dragon Medical is that it’s easy to use across multiple devices, meaning that any number of staff members can work on transcribing and editing dictations simultaneously.
Works with most clinical systems: This makes it very easy to integrate into any practice.
Cloud-based software: Makes it easy to use across multiple devices with multiple staff members.
99% accuracy: Ensures patient info is correct.
Pricing: They are currently offering a 30-day free trial to use the dictation software. You’ll need to submit a request to get a quote for further pricing.
Best AI-powered medical scribe with a large database of clinical conversations
DeepScribe offers medical speech recognition that automatically transcribes any dictations. It also utilizes AI technology to identify and transcribe medical terminology with high accuracy. It is also compatible with EHRs making it extremely easy to sync notes to your records. This feature alone will save you hours of typing over the course of a week.
AI/Machine Learning: Identifies medical terminology with high accuracy.
Automatic transcription capability: Allows you to automate time-consuming work.
EHR integrations: Allow you to sync notes with fields in your EHR.
Pricing: DeepScribe requires a consultation before providing pricing options and does not offer a free trial.
My Recommendation: Notta
Notta stands out as a clear favorite for medical dictation apps for a few reasons:
Notta’s interface makes it extremely easy to not only use but incorporate it into your practice’s routine.
Along with being easy to use, Notta is extremely accurate and is adept at picking up and transcribing any medical terminology that you may use while documenting a patient’s information. You can record audio and even dictate directly into an EHR, and Notta will properly input the information for you.
Office workers at a medical practice will also love Notta for its accessibility, as the information stored in Notta can be accessed from multiple devices, and worked on by multiple people simultaneously. Several file and audio formats are compatible with Notta, and you’ll find a number of different formats for exporting.
If you’re looking to implement medical dictation software into your routine or workflow, Notta will probably be your best option in both affordability and productivity.
With Notta's accurate transcription on any device, spend more time with patients instead of charting. This allows you to create an accurate electronic health record.
An Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s medical record. EHRs contain information such as medical history, diagnoses, and medications. These allow doctors to instantly access and review patient information and provide more detailed care.
While dictating information can help doctors log notes about patient information or diagnoses for later use, transcribing the information can help providers share and store these records.
Dictation is naturally faster than transcription, but by using medical dictation software you can combine the two. The speech recognition software in a medical dictation app allows you to automatically dictate into the EHR, and the information will be automatically transcribed.
Yes, especially if you frequently need to dictate and document info and are looking to speed up your routine during appointments.
Medical dictation apps are designed with medical professionals in mind. They recognize medical vocabulary, support several audio formats, have a cross-device application, and can easily export and share patient information safely.
Medical dictation apps continue to improve in accuracy, with apps like Notta boasting a 98.86% accuracy rate. Many of these apps are designed with the medical world in mind and are programmed to correctly identify medical terminology and vocabulary.
Not all dictation apps are HIPAA compliant, and to determine whether a medical dictation app is HIPAA compliant you should review their privacy and security policies, as well as any additional certifications they may have.
Medical dictation helps providers to ensure accuracy in documenting a patient’s information, and using medical speech recognition allows doctors to provide a more engaged form of care, as they’re able to let the software automatically document for them.
Medical dictation apps and medical dictation software have revolutionized the routines of healthcare providers. The versatility and accuracy of these programs have enabled doctors and nurses to make their routines and operations more efficient, which leads to better care for patients.
Whether you’re looking to automatically dictate in your EHRs or just looking to optimize your method of dictation, medical dictation software is an easy and efficient way to improve the operations of your medical practice.
You can access medical dictation software for free with Notta, which may be a good choice if you’re interested in seeing how the technology can improve your day-to-day.