London 21 June 2022 – With an open API and fast integration, Augnito’s AI-powered speech recognition engine makes Hexarad’s radiology reporting platform faster, easier to use and more accurate.
With widespread NHS staff shortages and increased pressure to provide fast, error-free imaging reporting, the technology that supports radiologists is constantly evolving. Now, Hexarad – one of the UK’s leading radiology platform providers – has adopted Augnito: an innovative, AI-based medical speech recognition solution.
With Augnito’s proven speech recognition in the cloud, Hexarad’s speech-enabled platform empowers radiologists with a faster, more flexible way of reporting.
Developed in partnership with clinicians, Augnito gives radiologists fast, easy ways to capture live clinical data on any device with 99.3% accuracy. This is made possible by a sophisticated, AI-driven engine that intelligently and accurately captures patient data in any accent, including medical and clinical terms. Available in the cloud, adopting Augnito is quick, easy and requires no on-premise hardware or in-house support and maintenance.
Crucially, Augnito understands the way radiologists need to work and the importance of speech recognition that’s deeply integrated with other clinical systems.
“Beyond our user-suite of applications, Augnito includes a comprehensive API and SDK, allowing clinical systems to easily become speech enabled,” says Shiraz Austin, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Scribetech (UK) Ltd. “It’s important to us that the time-saving benefits of speech recognition are accessible to as many healthcare professionals as possible, even in the familiar systems they’re already using. Our partnership with Hexarad is a great example of two best-in-class technologies working seamlessly together.”
The Augnito API allowed Hexarad to replace an existing speech recognition solution and embed accurate, real-time speech-to-text data entry into its radiology reporting platform, Optirad. The API also provides better support for integrating voice commands, saving radiologists time every day.
For Hexarad, Augnito offered the right blend of accurate technology and fast, flexible integration.
“Augnito did exactly what we needed it to do, seamlessly and efficiently,” says Dr Jaymin Patel, Chief Operating Officer for Hexarad. “The integration provided a rapid deployment and roll-out for us, taking a total of just 12 weeks. The API was outstanding and entirely customisable to our needs.”
Today, Hexarad is using Augnito to support all 60 of its radiologists, enabling them to spend more time on the detailed analysis of patients’ scans as well as increasing the number of scans and reports they complete, without compromising on accuracy. This creates a better way of working, decreases the pressure from growing workloads and, ultimately, helps patients get the diagnoses they need sooner.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information, interview opportunities or accompanying graphics please contact: Georgina Pavelin, Mixed Media, [email protected]
About Scribetech and Augnito
Scribetech (UK) Ltd is a clinical voice solutions innovator, fusing 20 years of transcription and digital dictation services to the NHS, speech-to-text and clinical coding solutions for the healthcare sector, and its own speech recognition engine and advanced voice AI technology.
Augnito is Scribetech’s secure, cloud-based and AI-driven clinical speech recognition product suite. It offers fast, easy ways to capture live clinical data on any device with 99.3% accuracy, support for multiple medical specialties, and no need for voice profile training. Augnito brings seamless speech recognition to daily workflows and third-party clinical systems, turning medical information into clinical documentation and making healthcare intelligence securely accessible, everywhere. www.scribetech.co.uk/augnito-speechrecognition
Hexarad is a leading radiology platform based across the UK and Ireland. Its bespoke built-in workflow management software solution, Optirad, helps hospitals manage their own radiology resources better, improve productivity and efficiency allowing team leaders to deliver patient -centred service with timely and accurate scan reporting to streamline departments and existing resources. They also provide a full service teleradiology solution to ensure fast, accurate diagnosis for everyone, everywhere.
18 May 2022 – The developers of Augnito a secure, cloud-based and AI-driven clinical speech recognition product suite, have recorded dramatic Q1 growth in the UK following the launch of its new flagship solution.
Clinical speech recognition (SR) solutions developer, Scribetech, has recorded rapid sales growth for its recently launched secure and portable AI-driven clinical SR product suite Augnito, which offers fast, effortless ways to capture live clinical data, on any device, with 99.3% accuracy.
Augnito was launched in late 2021 with active sales taking off in Q1 2022, its first UK trading quarter. The company has already secured in excess of 150 implementations in healthcare environments across England and a number of live pilots with NHS Trusts are also underway. The uplift has been driven by demand for its solution in the radiology sector, which has soared as the health service deals with the backlogs in imaging and reporting created by the pandemic.
The developers of Augnito are now setting their sights higher, aiming for sustained sales growth in its next financial year and is determined to continue to disrupt the clinical SR healthcare market. To help drive that, the business has also launched a dedicated channel program looking to sign up value-added resellers and managed service providers that have a healthcare focus and the technical skills necessary to deliver IT solutions for the market.
Shiraz Austin, Co-Founder for Augnito & Managing Director at Scribetech (UK) Ltd, said: “From the outset, Augnito was built in close partnership with clinicians, using human-centred design, to create a Natural Language Processing engine to fit their needs – not the other way round. As a result, Augnito offers excellent support for a wide variety of clinical vocabulary and workflows and this is what has driven market interest in, and sales of, our voice-AI solution.”
Since the beginning of the year Augnito has also been signed up by a number of strategic technology partners where its API and SDK product is augmenting workflows with cutting-edge technology to transform healthcare institutions to improve patient care across all departments.
Partnerships already underway include a leading supplier of specialist clinical information solutions Wellbeing Software, Cimar, a cloud-native health information medical imaging platform, and Hexarad, a UK leading teleradiology service provider and one of the UK’s fastest growing start-ups.
“We are extremely pleased with our performance. It’s really a strong validation of our vision and product capabilities; customers are increasingly looking to solutions such as ours which address a number of core issues that confront those on the healthcare frontline, such as improving efficiency and accuracy, as well as optimising clinical workflows,” added Austin.
Augnito is a secure and portable AI-driven clinical SR product suite that offers fast, effortless ways to capture live clinical data, on any device, with 99.3% accuracy. The SaaS cloud-based solution is proven to create highly accurate clinical records, improving the timing on everything from patient diagnosis to patient hospital stays in delayed transfers of care. Radiology departments have been the earlier adopters and pioneers of speech recognition technology to accommodate the ever-increasing levels of a wide variety of diagnostic reporting and the ever-expanding modality spectrum. Augnito now offers this sector an improved, more efficient way, to deliver their service using the benefits that voice-driven AI technology has to offer.
Developed as a cloud-based technology by Scribetech and based on 20 years of hands-on-experience delivering transcription and digital dictation services to the NHS, Augnito removes the need for healthcare IT teams to support the solution with additional hardware and/or software. Product application enhancements are also delivered in the cloud as soon as they are ready for release, without the need to upgrade locally installed versions. This reduces dependency on IT resource teams, potential associated product downtime, delays, and costs.
Austin concluded: “The investment we have made year-to-date represents the biggest outside of our Indian market. Furthermore, we have made additional investments in growing our UK channel footprint, with new management expertise now in place specifically to develop those partner relationships.”
“As we enter our new financial year, we have our sights on further international expansion powered by the growth in sales and revenue. It is our intention to add to a global Augnito team with our eyes firmly on the USA, APAC and Midle Eastern markets in the immediate term building on our successes here in the UK and India.”
9 May 2022 – Augnito’s five-point guide for those healthcare organisations looking for an optimal radiology SR solution to improve workplace efficiency, morale and staff retention.
The Royal College of Radiology (RCR) reports unprecedented shortages across diagnostic radiologists – those who enable accurate treatment – and interventional radiologists who treat via non-invasive procedures. By RCR estimates, approximately 2,000 more consultants will be needed just to keep up with pre-pandemic demand for scans and surgery. According to Scribetech (UK) Ltd, a clinical voice-AI solution and disruptive technology provider, this shortfall shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. In fact, it’s expected to grow to 44% by 2025. It’s a concerning situation and the number of demoralised radiologists looking to work less and leave the NHS is even more worrying.
Shiraz Austin, Co-Founder and Managing Director for Augnito, stated: “Without staff, patients face longer waits for radiology services and treatment, missing out on crucial early diagnoses and life-saving image-guided surgery. While the pandemic exacerbated the problem, the radiology shortage isn’t new or unique to radiology.”
“To address staff shortages, new ways of working are critical. Without more consultants in training, improved staff retention and recruitment, expanding budgets and better staff support, the way things are done needs to change.”
Scribetech has developed a five-point ‘product’ checklist for radiologists looking for an effective SR solution to halt the decline in staff retention while boosting productivity:
- • Accuracy: to avoid mistakes and errors in data entry – a solution that understands radiology vocabulary, even when spoken with the strongest of accents.
- • Efficiency: to allow reports to be compiled easily and instantly.
- • Simplicity: to enable the user to ‘speak and report’ – a solution that works securely out of the box, without the need for typing, copying parts of documents, or sending files for transcription. And a solution that is cloud-based to keep the IT burden low.
- • Costs: that provide scalability and flexibility – a solution that works within departmental budgets without high investment in user training, hardware, software, or infrastructure.
- • Time: to create instant reports, invest in patient care, and invest in the future of radiology – without having to spend hours searching patient records and notes, or contacting technical support to assist with system downtime and workflow issues.
“Ensuring that diagnosis and reporting are both as accurate and timely as possible is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, we are left with the growing alternative – delays that create a rapid decline in patient care standards. This impacts treatment outcomes and lives, which in turn creates a domino effect of impacts,” continued Shiraz.
Technology is not a cure for the NHS and radiology, but it can help. AI-powered clinical speech recognition solutions empower practitioners and save time. Cloud-based applications let radiologists, clinicians and healthcare staff report and enter patient data whenever and wherever it’s needed. The right technology helps staff do more in less time, more accurately, and without the location and connectivity constraints of older legacy systems.
Shiraz continued: “Speech recognition technology is not new to radiologists. But not everyone has access to the latest benefits that cloud, and AI voice-driven clinical SR solutions deliver. Speech recognition has changed in the last 15 years and continues to evolve. Today’s solutions equip radiologists to tackle the heavy lifting of reporting – and address backlogs – while mitigating the increase in reporting demand.”
Augnito provides a speech-enabled reporting solution that bolsters the capabilities of radiology teams and lets them be deployed where they are needed the most. Instead of restructuring specialists to cover radiographer or reporting tasks, Augnito allows radiologists to diagnose and report on patient cases directly. This means faster reporting, enriched patient data, and reduced clinical risk.
“Radiology staff should feel confident in the technology that is available to support them, so they can deal with the demands of their day-to-day as easily and efficiently as possible. Secure cloud-based speech recognition is the key – and Augnito is a good start,” concluded Shiraz.
28 April 2022 – During the last two COVID-19 pandemic years, 63% of radiographers reported an increase in their workplace-related stress levels due to a combination of demand, low capacity, major changes to routine departmental protocols and redeployment. However, according to Scribetech (UK) Ltd, a clinical voice-AI solution and disruptive technology provider, the strain the discipline is under was already reaching breaking point prior to the pandemic – and now more than ever – solutions are required to bring back confidence in the profession.
The CQC’s 2018 Radiology Review, which measured slow reporting times across the NHS, already highlighted then, a backlog of 33,400 unreported images at one Foundation Trust alone, despite attempts to recruit more radiologists and reverting to the use of outsourced support at great expense.
Both in that same year and in 2020, the Clinical Radiology UK Workforce Census Reports highlighted a severe lack of radiology consultants. Three quarters of radiology clinical directors didn’t feel they had enough radiology consultants to deliver safe patient care in the working environment. In addition, the 2020 report also found that while Trusts moved to remote/home and hybrid ways of working, this came with an additional set of issues and risk for radiologists and radiology reporting, owing to an increase in IT and technological challenges. Even where the most forward thinking Trusts had already embraced voice/speech recognition applications, few were equipped to make these available for remote access and efficient in connectivity. As a result, most radiologists reverted back to typing their reports or sending audio files for manual transcription.
Shiraz Austin, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Scribetech, stated: “Efforts to improve radiology across the NHS are emerging. The UK Treasury’s 2020 Spending Review earmarked £325 million for investment in new diagnostic imaging equipment. However, radiology remains critically understaffed – by as much as 33% and forecast to increase to 44% by 2025.”
With rising demand for radiology year-on-year, adding more equipment and more staff simply isn’t enough. Existing radiologists need support to work efficiently and accurately today – without adding technology challenges and compromising on attention to detail and risking reporting errors or mistakes.
“In part, replacing outdated equipment and improving connectivity to clinical systems will help reduce errors, drive accuracy and improve patient outcomes. Technology beyond imaging equipment also has an important role to play in helping radiologists feed accurate information into the diagnostics process; cloud-based solutions are the key” added Austin.
Radiology Information Systems (RIS) and Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) are undergoing a transformation. Innovations like speech recognition are helping radiologists interpret and report on images faster. And, crucially, they are designed to preserve accuracy in a way that simply wasn’t possible a decade ago. Meanwhile, NHS Trusts are moving toward a Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) – a way to store medical images in a standard format and make them accessible to professionals across a range of systems.
“In recent years, speech recognition (SR) solutions have advanced significantly. With SR the radiologist can dictate the case, edit it (if necessary), and complete the report all at once, which makes the final file available almost immediately. In turn, the clinician can review this report sooner than would have been possible in the traditional reporting method. This leads to better patient care, since they [the patient] can move onto the next step in their workup and diagnosis, or begin treatment sooner.”
“It also leads to a more accurate and informed report as it’s completed while the radiologist is reviewing the images, before details and notes of the case might be forgotten. Plus, there’s less chance of the report getting misfiled or lost in the system. One final consideration is that this type of speech-enabled radiology reporting process can lead to a more satisfied referring clinician, since each report is available sooner, as well as a more satisfied radiologist, due to a sense of completion in knowing that each report will not have to be reviewed again.”
“With reports instantly transcribed and fed into clinical systems, AI driven cloud-based SR solutions such as Augnito, can significantly reduce the burden on radiologists even more. Many users report time savings, but what radiologists really need is secure technology they can feel confident about, knowing that its level of accuracy is such that it is “right first time” – a way to guarantee that information is not only fast to capture, but accurate to the highest standards,” concluded Austin.
4 April 2022 – Shiraz Austin, MD, and Co-Founder of Augnito, a cloud-based voice AI technology, discusses why speech recognition is vital for radiology today.
The scope of radiological imagery has come a long way since 1895 when the first x-ray scanning processes were used for patient diagnostics. Today, radiologists have access to a continuously growing number of imaging techniques and methods that have been introduced over time, including magnetic resonance imaging, molecular techniques, and ultrasound, amongst others.
Yet where the clinical radiologist’s primary function is to diagnose and monitor the progression of some of the world’s most complex diseases and injuries, their findings need to be documented accurately and precisely to ensure their patients access the most efficient care. Of course, healthcare professionals in this field create highly complex reports, often with multiple images and comprehensive studies of each one making up just one report. It is no wonder that radiology is one of the most highly skilled and highly paid healthcare institutions. Yet, at the same time, they are often open to litigation if mistakes or errors are detected, meaning absolute accuracy, precision, and reliability are of critical importance in radiology reporting.
The challenge of finding time for patient care
At the heart of every healthcare professional’s working day is their need to deliver the highest level of care for each patient. The healthcare professional must record relevant and timely information and detailed and accurate descriptions that make up the patient report. A more precise diagnosis and documentation will enable doctors to spend more time with the patient, doing what they do best.
Yet the challenge widely held by all radiologists is finding the right amount of time available to carrying out and finishing tasks, such as completing clinical reports or documents and waiting for transcription, which takes a lot out of their already pressured schedule. Over time, this challenge intensifies as workflows become more complex, which adds to the ever-increasing pressure radiologists face across the country today.
So, how can these needs be met to ensure the priority of direct patient care is not compromised?
Speech recognition software for effective healthcare
Modern speech recognition (SR) software allows radiologists to create documents in real-time and faster than traditional manual transcription. The software can record dictation and stream the audio as the speaker dictates the words. This technology has already proven to put an hour back into a healthcare professional’s working day, every day, limiting the risk of errors and misinterpretations. It has also been proven that SR software can directly impact reducing lengthy patient admissions and post-treatment, thus seeing the patient’s return to the community become a smoother and faster process due to the reduced turnaround time.
However, it is essential to note that this technology has advanced over many years. Traditional SR relied on a more straightforward process, being installed on premise / on device, resulting in a slower and less accurate transcription level, causing the radiologists to re-read, check, and double-check before signing off the completed report. For example, when frequent errors were made by traditional on-premise / on device SR technology, the author consistently tried to correct an individual word or phrase. This would often lead to user profile corruption due to previous pronunciation attempts, meaning that the author would need to re-create the profile again.
In addition, the technology historically also relied on the author speaking coherently in a quiet environment, often using an out-of-date workstation PC located far away from the hospital’s limited IT resources. When a healthcare professional is up against a hardware system that is both outdated and limited in its use with newer software, it can often be an obstacle for advancement.
These challenges have now been overcome with the arrival of AI-driven, cloud-based SR solutions. Of critical importance to radiologists, recent advancements to this technology have significantly improved clinical notetaking and the development of patient records, including accuracy in voice dictation and the impact of accents or dialects on word recognition, which also reduce the clinical risk in errors and misinterpretations previously encountered.
Using AI-driven voice transcription, the healthcare professional can drive software, applications, or devices that provide quicker outputs with fewer compromises. Gone are the days of outdated workstations and limited hospital IT resources which have largely dictated workflow. Thankfully, today’s technologies are becoming increasingly visible, and constantly evolving, with voice dictation set to be our standard primary method of interaction with computers.
The benefits of AI-driven speech recognition in radiology today
Radiologists are in short supply, with the NHS cited to be short of almost 2,000 professionals in this field. According to census stats by the Royal College of Radiologists, it is feared that the figure could hit around 6,000 by 2030. As such, the involvement of speech recognition in this field has a crucial role.
Radiologists spend around a third of their working week reporting, and juggling departmental requirements with this likely to increase in the future, as medicine naturally advances and the aging population lives longer with a better chance of successfully living with chronic diseases or surviving illnesses such as cancer. Examinations will grow more complex, as will the ongoing issue of limited resources and hiring new staff.
To manage their time more effectively, radiologists need dependable technology that’s out of the box ready to support medical vocabularies. They rely on robust, quantitative documentation, which needs to be fast and accurate to meet deadlines. More importantly, documentation needs to adjust to the way a radiologist works. For example, it needs to integrate seamlessly into an existing workflow, even in the busiest and noisiest of working environments. This is where AI-driven, cloud-based SR solutions can be a real game-changer.
Software available to healthcare professionals has been purchased on a tight budget, but the future is a growing concern. With the increasing costs in image technology and a slow uptake into the profession by the current generation of radiologists, SR technology needs to be prepared to ride the wave of demand, meaning speech software engines must perform as well as the market expects. To do this, it needs to be continuously improving its accuracy. Such technology can only contribute to a greater chance of a work-life balance for those coming into the profession and, in turn, offer a more efficient and productive care to those who need it most.