Experts speculate on the future of healthcare IT

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Physicians and healthcare IT vendors at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Las Vegas have been discussing how developments in modern technology could shape the future of medicine, reports Information Week.

Several experts in the medical informatics field speculate that natural language processing capabilities in voice recognition software will play a substantial role in the healthcare of the 21st century. Glen Tullman, chief executive officer of clinical informatics vendor Allscripts, outlined his vision for the future of healthcare IT at the event.

“Your iPad, your voice and your hands will be the new input devices for the [electronic health record] of the future,” said Tullman, as quoted by the news source.

Tullman said that voice recognition functionality in mobile medical informatics solutions has the potential for physicians to access patient health information and data from clinical trials, and make treatment recommendations without ever having to physically touch their devices.

Juergen Fritsch, co-founder of M*Modal, said that in addition to providing doctors with improved tools for accessing information, voice recognition software using natural language processing algorithms could transform the way that medical data is entered into clinical informatics solutions, enabling physicians to spend more time diagnosing and treating patients.

Medical informatics developer ChartLogic recently unveiled its own voice recognition solution, known as Stella. Using similar natural language processing algorithms as Apple’s Siri, Stella is compatible with all major clinical informatics products, as well as major mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones.

Officials from ChartLogic say that Stella enables physicians to dictate and review patient health information using advanced voice commands and a substantial database of medical terminology. Healthcare facilities can implement Stella without the necessity of changing or updating their current clinical informatics solution due to the overlaying nature of the software’s system architecture.