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Amazon Launches Medical Transcription Service that Might Be Faster than Anything on the Market

The online destination that makes buying your scrubs and stethoscopes a cinch now claims it can help your EHR documentation go much faster.

That’s right. On Tuesday, Amazon announced that it has launched Transcribe Medical, an extension of its existing transcription service for software developers and designed to meet the needs of health professionals. The inspiration, according to the press release, was the average 6 hours per day physicians spend entering data into EMRs. (Imagine if someone told Amazon how much time nurses and APPs devote to administrative tasks…)

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Its creators say Transcribe Medical converts speech to text “in real time without any human intervention,” and clinicians can use natural speech. This means you don’t have to call out “full stop” when a sentence ends. The service can also automatically input the text into the EHR. All it requires is a device with microphone.

For any admins reading, take note: the release says there are “no upfront fees for costly licenses,” and the service is HIPAA eligible. Modern Healthcare reports that Amazon charges $0.0004 per second of Transcribe Medical.

Amazon provided a demo of Transcribe Medical at work — take a look:

According to Modern Healthcare, health IT company Cerner Corp. is already a user of Transcribe Medical and is building a tool that can transcribe provider-patient conversations and insert them into the EHR. Development is in initial stages, Amazon revealed in a statement.

The tech giant doesn’t make any promises about how much time the service can save or how it compares to what’s on the market, but we can make some educated guesses. According to TechCrunch, it could be the only real-time, medical transcription service that doesn’t require clinicians to articulate punctuation.

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In addition, CNBC reports that Amazon collaborated with transcription start-up Suki on the product. Suki’s AI-enabled voice assistant is already in use as part of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Health IT Innovation Project, and according to Medscape, it cuts EHR documentation time in half.

Of course, new technology brings new potential for error and another tool that clinicians must learn to use. What’s more, the product is only “HIPAA eligible,” meaning customers are responsible for making sure the service complies with the law when its in their hands, according to CNBC.

As much of EHR documentation falls to nurses and advanced practice providers, we want to know what you think about Amazon throwing its hat in EHR ring. Do you think the service could save you so much time that you’d put in the effort to learn to use it? Or does it seem like another EHR hack making false promises?

Share your thoughts in our poll!

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