Nuance Communications has released the latest version of its Dragon Medical 10 speech recognition software for the healthcare sector, in the UK and Ireland.

The firm says the new software is nearly twice as fast as the previous version and offers improved accuracy.

Dragon Medical 10 allows doctors to create medical documents and e-mails, search the internet and control their PC entirely by voice, saving time and boosting productivity compared with typing and mouse navigation alone.

The speech recognition software enables doctors to rapidly and completely document patient consultations using their voice.

The software enables doctors to dictate directly into their word processing or clinical reporting application and rapidly edit and sign reports, accelerating data input, reducing mouse clicks and the need for typing. Streamlined documentation processes result in significant cost savings and efficiency gains in healthcare administration.

Dragon Medical 10 also provides a set of new features such as new medical vocabularies, hidden mode, extended mobile dictation support, as well as advanced voice shortcuts and templates. Nuance says Dragon Medical 10 can speed up healthcare documentation, and help improve efficiency and available of medical documentation.

“The NHS Improvement Plan of 2004 called for the waiting time between a patient’s referral and the start of treatment to be no longer than 18 weeks. Dragon Medical 10 can help reduce referral to treatment times by allowing for instantaneous document creation,” said Marcel Wassink, vice president of EMEA Healthcare of Nuance Communications, Inc.

The latest version of the software also offers new macro capabilities, enabling clinicians to create customised voice shortcuts for common phrases or larger blocks of text that can include embedded fields. Abbreviated voice commands such as “patient history,” speeds up documentation and associated desktop, Web search and navigation tasks.

Dragon Medical 10 supports more than 75 medical disciplines, from family medicine and internal medicine to orthopedics and cardiology with proprietary medical speech recognition vocabularies. With these specialised vocabularies.