Amazon launches medical transcription service

Amazon has launched a medical transcription service for clinical documentation, allowing doctors to transcribe conversations with patients into electronic health records.

The new machine learning service, Amazon Transcribe Medical, accurately transcribes medical consultation between patients and physicians, physician-dictated notes and tele-medicine. The speech-to-text technology transcribes to clinical documentation applications.

The service builds off Amazon Web Services’ Amazon Transcribe, which launched in 2017 and offers speech-to-text services. The new service aims to disrupt other medical transcriptions, which are expensive, time-consuming or disruptive to patients, according to Amazon. In some cases, doctors record their conversations and send them off to a third party for transcription.

The new offering adds to the growing initiatives by the technology behemoth in the healthcare space. Amazon has continually inched into healthcare, including through speech recognition technology with its Alexa AI tool. Its new Transcribe Medical is HIPAA eligible and can be integrated with clinical documentation applications and any microphone-enabled device.

Under Amazon’s transcription services, doctors can transcribe their conversations with patients, enter prescriptions in the EHR and send the prescription orders to the pharmacy. The system is trained to understand medical terminology and clinical language. Because the service can work with any device with a microphone, doctors could use a mobile applications to transcribe their conversation with a patient and send it to a natural language processing service such as Amazon Comprehend Medical, which uses machine learning to extract the medical information from the transcription.

“With Transcribe Medical, physicians are able to better focus on their patient and provide a more attentive experience instead of interrupting the conversation for note taking,” reads Amazon’s announcement on the service.

Cerner has already been exploring the use of the service.

"Extreme accuracy in clinical documentation is critical to workflows and overall caregiver satisfaction. By leveraging Amazon Transcribe Medical's transcription API, Cerner is in initial development of a digital voice scribe that automatically listens to clinician-patient interactions and unobtrusively captures the dialogue in text form," said Jacob Geers, solutions strategist at Cerner. "From there, our solution will intelligently translate the concepts for entry into the codified component in the Cerner EHR system."