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Amazon expanding its speech recognition tool to the healthcare industry

(Image credit: Image Credit: Flickr / Best AI Assistant)

Doctors will soon be able to dictate things to their computer and have the dictation be transcribed into written content, full medical thesaurus included, courtesy of Amazon.

During the AWS re:Invent conference which is currently taking place in Las Vegas, Amazon announced an expansion to the Amazon Transcribe service, called Amazon Transcribe Medical.

The doctors will first record audio through a microphone and send the PCM audio to a streaming API on the WebSocket protocol. The API will return a JSON blob which includes the transcribed text, word-level time stamps and punctuation.

Users will also have the option of storing the text to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

According to Amazon, doctors and other users will not need to dictate things like punctuation – they'll just need to talk as they usually do. Being HIPAA eligible means the service would be fully scalable, doctors will get to use it only in amounts needed, with no upfront fees.

Amazon is increasingly investing in the healthcare industry, and Transcribe Medical is just the latest in a string of moves. The company recently launched a medication management tool for Alexa, allowing users to request refills and set medication reminders via voice.

However, it's not alone in the space, as Google is tapping into the market with Google Brain as well. Microsoft and Philips also have a strong presence in the industry.