The Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam has become the first public hospital in Tanzania to use voice recognition technology.
The new technology will help doctors to encode patients’ information as well as help decrease report turnaround time and increase patient satisfaction with quality reporting as well as maximising patient care.
MNH Executive Director, Prof Lawrence Museru said the new technology will reduce processing of patients’ information. “We can’t say, with certainty the time it would take, but it will definitely take a shorter time now to process the images,” said Prof Museru when briefing reporters on the new facility at the national hospital.
“We used to have a situation where patients had to wait long to obtain results. This technology will also ease the burden on our staff because they had to move back and forth in trying to process such imaging tests,” he added.
The speech engine is capable of showing the cardiology report template occupied with the name of the patient and other essential, demographic data. By dictating the cardiology report narrative, the computer recognises the narrative context and intent and condenses a complete, correct, and structured data-based document.
Prof Frank Minja from Yale School of Medicine in the US helped facilitate the installation of this technology at the MNH.
He said: “We realised doctors are not good at typing, but they can speak. So, this technology helps a doctor in recording patients’ information by simply speaking through a voice recorder which then transmits the info into an image through a computerized system as the diagnosis is being made.”
Author: Fundisiwe Maseko