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Nuance Acquires Philips Speech Recognition Systems

October 1, 2008 News 11 Comments

Nuance announced this morning that it has acquired Philips Speech Recognition Systems of Vienna, Austria, a European leader in healthcare in speech recognition, for $96.1 million in upfront and deferred cash.

“Nuance has been disciplined and focused in our pursuit of the healthcare opportunity in North America, a strategy that has paid dividends both in our rapid growth and the broad adoption of our solutions,” said Paul Ricci, chairman and CEO at Nuance. “PSRS provides a solid foundation of customers, partners and European language-solutions as we expand our business in Europe and enable broader geographical leverage for Nuance’s portfolio of healthcare products and services.”

HIStalk reader EMR Wannabe predicted the sale last week, saying, "Within the next ten days, Philips will announce divestiture of its SpeechMagic division. Conjecture is that SpeechMagic is getting resistance from large inpatient vendors because Philips competes in areas where GE, Siemens, and others make big money (radiology and PACS systems). SpeechMagic is about to take another run into the U.S. market, starting in 2009, but it does not fit into the Philips technology portfolio." 

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Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. Oh, the monopoly that Nuance has on the speech recognition market can’t be good. It’s getting very expensive to be a Dragon user.

  2. Expensive compared to …
    …Paying for transcription?
    …Typing at 1/2 to 1/3 of the speed of speech recognition?
    …Wasting time typing (or dictating) repetitive phrases instead of using templates?
    …Taking calls from colleagues who are waiting for your report to come back from transcription?

  3. Hey Dragon Love,
    How expensive is it to be a Dragonuser? Is it more expensive than transcription? Did you not get any ROI? Stop being a DragonWhiner. Either keep your old Dragon program and don’t pay a cent, or write the check and get the very best program available. Like I wish I had said before, show me a program with equivalent continuous improvement and I’ll buy the company!
    The DragonWhisperer

  4. Whoa, cool your jets, DragonBrothers, I’m not going to hurt your Dragon reselling business. All I’m saying is that competition is good and creates a more competitive environment. Do you disagree?

    There’s a huge ROI with Dragon. It saves TONS of money. But just because I save money using Microsoft Word over handwriting doesn’t mean I want to pay a huge premium because Microsoft can force me to.

  5. Jets are cooled. Just for the record, although I might sound like a reseller, I am user in a large physician group tasked with helping the group transition to a giant EMR with the assistance of Dragon. Every improvement in DNS makes my job easier. After spending BILLIONS on the EMR, Dragon costs pale.

  6. I hear you. It is incredible how far it’s come since Dragon 7. Are your physicians using Philips speechmikes, or has anyone gone and tried to use the built-in microphones on tablets?

  7. Funny you should ask about tablets. I keep experimenting with little bluetooth mics and tablets. I am getting a loaner from Lenovo of their new x200t with promised noise canceling dual array mic and will pair that with DNS10 when I get it. I have a SpeechMic for demo reasons but no one else except radiologist use them. My people are ED(emergency department) and we don’t seem to want to hold any microphone in our hands we want to have our hands free space for little bit of typing and/or mousing. Right now, I am dictating into a new HP2710P with a parrot bluetooth microphone with mixed results. Another user has used a jawbone 1 successfully with the tablet, and older HP. BTW, the unit I am using has only a 1.2GigaH. dual core processor.

  8. Re speech recognition / tablets & mics:

    High end tablet CPU packages (Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo & others coming) should have enough power; Motion C5 seems a little underpowered, especially running other apps with speech recognition. I’m hoping they will upgrade CPU in the near future, would like to see this platform more broadly used.

    Some new choices for Bluetooth starting to come available, based on a more robust Bluetooth stack. Bluetooth’s original goal (compression) is antithetical to best performance with speech recognition. I’m testing a new mic right now — small Bluetooth device with a boom arm that puts the mic element in the right place — does very well with DNS9, testing with 10. When it comes to array microphones, I’m from Missouri — doubt they will perform in anything but the most optimal situation with minimal background noise.

  9. That leaves Nuance and M*Modal in the marketplace. Nuance has a range of engines from different acquisitions (Dictaphone, Commisure, eScription..) and M*Modal has quietly captured many of the transcription service organizations and recently announced integration into GE’s solution.

    The M*Modal solution is interesting since it offers speech understanding which according to their web site
    >>> offers a unique combination of speech recognition and natural language understanding that captures a physician’s meaning….encode clinical facts……Meaningful Clinical Documents are built on HL7’s Clinical Document Architecture (CDA)<<<<

    So I would say there is still competition in the marketplace

  10. I usually shed tears when Microsoft blasts another company out of the water. In this case though, I really won’t feel so terrible when Nuance gets a dose of its own medicine. Nuance sees the writing on the wall, which I’m sure is why they offered Dragon Preferred at $50 recently. Not me. I will not give them a dime. I’ve wanted Dragon Professional features for years and now many of them are here with Microsoft’s speech recognition. It’s coming; Nuance actually selling Professional for a reasonable price…

  11. To Cristobal,
    I’d be interested in how Microsoft’s SR will work in Epic and other EMR’s. Will you be using it or are you still waiting for a cheaper Dragon Professional?

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