Amazon Introduces Medical Transcription Service at re:Invent
As an Amazon blog post pointed out, doctors used to spend hours collecting handwritten notes or using voice recorders for manual transcription of important medical records. Fast forward to today, they turn to computers and tablets to record patient information, but studies show that primary care physicians in the US still spend an average of six hours per day logging medical reports into electronic health record (EHR) systems. That precious time could be used for more in-depth meetings and less time in waiting rooms for patients. And Amazon seems to think they know a way to make that happen.
At Amazon Web Services’ re:Invent conference this week, we’ll catch a glimpse of Amazon Transcribe Medical. The service will allow physicians to dictate notes for speech-to-text conversion without the need for human intervention. Amazon is now two years into the transcription game having launched Amazon Transcribe in 2017, and they claim that Transcribe Medical is accurate, and physicians won’t even need to announced commas or other punctuation—the service will automatically pick them up.
After the physician speaks into the compatible device, those notes can be automatically sent to EHR systems or to AWS language services like Amazon Comprehend Medical, which was introduced at re:Invent 2018. Matt Wood, vice president of artificial intelligence at AWS, says the two services are meant to be used together.
“Our overarching goal is to free up the doctor, so they have more attention going to where it should be directed,” said Wood “And that’s to the patient.”
But as with all advancements in medical record keeping, many people are worried about their privacy. Wood made sure to address these concerns, and assured everyone that Transcribe Medical is HIPAA compliant. Ensuring the highest level of accuracy in the transcription was also important to avoid misdiagnoses that might lead to dangerous outcomes and liabilities. The machine learning service required much time and effort to program “domain specific language and abbreviations” native to the medical field.
Amazon Transcribe Medical is available now in the US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) regions. Amazon says they won’t charge any upfront fees or licenses for the services, and physicians will only pay for what they actually use. To start users will get 60 minutes for free for 12 months and after that, they’ll be billed monthly at a rate of $0.00125 per second. So basically, each hour of transcription will cost $4.50.