The HIMSS13 Conference in New Orleans, one of the biggest gatherings of Health Information Technology professionals of the year, was host to speakers, panel discussions, and one pretty large announcement from some of the big names in the electronic health record industry.
My August 20th post (read it here) noted that Dragon voice recognition software has been quietly gaining acceptance as a mainstream solution to hefty transcription costs and EMR integration. 10% of the healthcare providers in the United States are currently using Dragon Medical.
At least one doc is unhappy that Nuance has blocked the use of Dragon Naturally Speaking with EMRs in Version 10. Nuance states “…we found that some large hospitals were using the consumer editions of Dragon and not getting the accuracy, quality and manageability that would be achieved when using Dragon Medical.”
Nuance responded on HISTalk via comment, saying in part:
“Nuance has made a significant investment in building, tuning and distributing Dragon Medical for exclusive use by the health care industry. The integration and engineering required to deliver the ease-of-use of Dragon Medical with all major EMR vendors, including Allscripts„¢, Epic, Misys®, GE® Healthcare, NextGen®, Siemens, eClinicalWorks, Meditech, McKesson®, Cerner and Eclipsys®, requires a Herculean effort, comprising thousands of man hours in developing and testing. As one would expect, there is a premium associated with the delivery of this capability and the resources devoted to further hone and evolve the product to meet the specific needs of the medical end user.”
Nuance also points to the Microsoft model of charging differently for enterprise/professional software and consumer software offerings.
I don’t dispute a vendor’s right to charge accordingly for a product that has taken a lot of R & D to bring to the market, but like everything else that has a place in the medical world, it will cost much more based on the healthcare application. A set of plastic drawers for home costs $9.99 at your local store and lists for $99.99 in a medical catalog.