Voice-Activated Dental Charting Systems: Do They Really Work?

I was out and about last week talking as usual about WinTerra Dental’s new voice-activated 3D dental-charting system, SmartChart™, when I ran into a hygienist who was far from convinced.

She actually rolled her eyes.

We tried a system like that, she said. The voice didn’t work, and we had to repeat and repeat ourselves to the point where we just stopped using it and went back to paper. We were not at all impressed.

She is partially correct. Yes, there have been other voice-activated dental-charting systems on the market that – let’s just say – have not been well-received because of their weak voice engines. And yes, there was a lot of frustration on the part of clinicians, particularly hygienists.

Voice-recognition software is getting better and better.

Voice-recognition software is getting better and better.

The reality is, however, that voice technology has come a long way. Look at the popularity of Amazon Echo, Google Home and Microsoft Cortana. Voice recognition is so good now that we’re not always aware that we’re talking to computers.

With SmartChart™, our first step was to choose a strong voice engine with a very high rate of accuracy in recognizing the voices of the general population. To make our system even better, though, we went further. We incorporated customized voice-training for all users. This means that each user spends a few minutes, following a very simple process. This enables SmartChart™ to capture the uniqueness of individual voices. The result is that SmartChart™ has a very high rate of accuracy for voice recognition, including users with accents.

Another thing to note about SmartChart™ that makes it better and different than any other solution on the market is that it is voice-activated for both hard and soft-tissue charting.

As I was winding up my conversation with the hygienist, it occurred to me that I had a further big piece of evidence. Even global practice management software companies that have voice-activated charting recognize the superiority of SmartChart™ and have come knocking on our door. We are in discussions with several about how SmartChart™ will significantly improve the charting experience for their clients globally.