Continuous speech recognition in MR imaging reporting: Advantages, disadvantages, and impact

Mohan R. Ramaswamy, Gregory Chaljub, Oliver Esch, Donald D. Fanning, Eric VanSonnenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Our objective was to describe our experience with a commercially available continuous speech recognition system, highlighting the advantages, disadvantages, and costs compared with those of conventional transcription for MR imaging reports. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Data from 5072 reports generated in our MR imaging section during a 9-month period after the implementation of a commercial continuous speech recognition system were compared with 4552 reports produced during the same period 1 year earlier. Information pertaining to the use of continuous speech recognition, report turnaround time, word recognition rate, report appearance, and equipment costs was collected. RESULTS. After its system installation, continuous speech recognition was used to dictate 81.8% of all reports. The mean report turnaround time decreased from 87.8 to 43.6 hr, and report availability at 24 hr increased from 10.5% to 62.5%. The system was found to have an average word recognition accuracy of 92.7% for spontaneous dictation. Mean report length declined from 95 to 60 words, with an increase in spacing errors from 0.3 to 8.0 per 1000 words and a decrease in spelling errors from 3.0 to 0.8 per 1000 words. Initial hardware and software costs were approximately $10,000, compared with a yearly cost of $12,000 for human transcription. CONCLUSION. Although the technology is still evolving and was evaluated in its earliest implementation stages, continuous speech recognition nonetheless markedly improved report turnaround time and proved cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-622
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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