Today's Debate: Will you use electronic records if they talk?

Would you use electronic medical records if they talked to you?

Dictaphone webinars promoDragon, now part of Dictaphone, a unit of Nuance Communications, sent out a press release today which asks an intriguing question:

Would you use electronic medical records if they talked to you?

That's what Dragon and Nuance are now offering. The company admits that only 20% of physicians now use EMR technology. So Dragon Naturally Speaking Medical 9, an application of Dragon's speech technology aimed at the medical community, now speech-enables EMR applications.

Read the whitepapers, the company says. Come to a Webinar. Give it a chance.

Yes, I'm sure you can have the voice customized. You won't be working with Stephen Hawking here. Want a manly voice, a womanly voice? Take your pick.

The trouble, as always, is the pitch is being made to "healthcare provider organizations," hospitals and chains of clinics, rather than directly to doctors, who are most resistant. All the downsides of EMR technology, which we've discussed here for weeks, remain.

But what if it sounded like Halle Berry? David Justice? Arnold Schwarzenegger? "The patient lives in Cal-ee-forr-nya. And he'll be back."

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