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AI Speech Recognition: Easing the Burden of Radiology Workforce Issues

Augnito director of global expansion, Jonathan Whitmore explains how cloud-based AI speech recognition technology can aid faster reporting, enriched patient data, and reduced clinical risk. Moreover, he outlines how the partnership with OpenRad is essential to address workforce shortages and improve staff retention and recruitment in radiology. 


📖   Author: Jonathan Whitmore | Augnito, UK


The significant workforce challenges facing radiology have been further heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last few years. According to the Royal College of Radiology (RCR), this unprecedented shortfall shows no sign of abating and is projected to rise by 44% by 2025. In fact, the RCR predicts that merely keeping up the pre-pandemic demand for scans and surgery will require around 2,000 more consultants.

These workforce shortages are further exacerbated by issues such as low pay, extended working hours, outdated IT equipment, poor connectivity and an ever-growing workload. Staffing shortfalls are also affecting other specialty technologists such as ultrasound, radiation therapy, MRI and CT.

This has a potentially devastating effect on patient care with longer waits for radiology services and treatment causing crucial early diagnoses and life-saving image-guided surgery to be missed.


New ways of working

Delays create a rapid decline in patient care standards – in turn impacting treatment outcomes and lives. This has a domino effect – causing suffering not only to the patient but also to their families, businesses, communities, and the economy. Accurate and timely diagnosis and reporting are necessary to prevent this downward spiral.

New ways of working are essential to address workforce shortages and improve staff retention and recruitment. One important aspect of this is ensuring that radiology reporting equipment and technology are up-to-date and fit for purpose.

Consultants need to receive the right information, at the right time to be able to diagnose and supporting staff are also affected by the extra workloads that any delays in reporting cause.

Although technology is not a cure-all, it can help staff work more efficiently and accurately. Cloud-based applications allow radiologists, clinicians and healthcare staff report and enter patient data without the location and connectivity constraints of older legacy systems.


The power of AI speech recognition technology

AI-powered clinical speech recognition (SR) offers the opportunity to empower practitioners and save time. Although this technology is not new to radiologists, many do not have access to the latest benefits delivered by cloud and AI voice-driven clinical SR solutions.

In the UK, Augnito provides voice-AI speech recognition technology through a selective network of specialised radiology and clinical reporting solution providers. The firm has a strong track record in dictation and transcription, gained through a 20-year long partnership with the NHS.


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Radiology remote reporting specialist OpenRad and Augnito have partnered to integrate the API/SDK capabilities in Augnito Voice Services into the OpenRad platform. This provides a higher level of accuracy across more platforms and has the potential to reach a wider range of radiologists who can provide a variety of specialised skills.

This partnership addresses multiple legacy technology breakdowns experienced in the past, by overcoming the challenges faced by clinicians as a result of inadequate, non-interoperable and disparate technologies which are not capable of working together cohesively.

This collaboration between OpenRad and Augnito now provides the secure interoperable cloud-based SaaS technology needed to help clinicians deal with their increasing payload, whilst ensuring the patient care continuum remains unhindered.

Accuracy, security and speed are the standard definitions used within the diagnostic profession to ensure that accurate transcribed reports are generated and shared within a secure environment.

Speed is needed to shore up a severely understaffed and overworked profession and this partnership delivers a speech-enabled solution that provides enhanced value, increased efficiency and true clinical data accuracy to OpenRad’s thousands of reporters.

The integration of Augnito into OpenRad’s platform will augment existing support to radiologists in both the public and the private healthcare system across the UK – enabling the provision of high quality and accurate imaging and reporting workflows across the continuum of care.


About the author

Jonathan Whitmore Augnito director of global expansion | partner with OpenRad | explains how AI speech recognition can help to ease the burden of radiology workforce issues

Jonathan Whitmore
Director of Global Expansion for Augnito Solutions Scribetech (UK) Ltd.

Jonathan joined Scribetech (Augnito’s developer) in May 2021, bringing a wealth of relationship management skills to the leadership team, along with over 20 years’ experience in establishing business growth strategies for dictation and AI speech recognition solutions, within major global technology providers and independent software vendors.

His brief is to globally expand the presence and adoption of Augnito, the company’s easy to integrate speech recognition product suite, offering a faster route-to-market that benefits both clinicians and clinical systems developers/integrators.

Jonathan’s objective is to grow the existing network of Augnito healthcare business and technology partnerships across the UK, Middle East and Asia Pacific, to ensure Augnito succeeds, not just as a cloud-based voice-AI technology, but, as a trusted and strong health-tech solution that adds efficiency and value to end-user organisations and solution vendors alike.

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