Speech recognition in dental software systems: Features and functionality

Jeannie Yuhaniak Irwin, Shawn Fernando, Titus Schleyer, Heiko Spallek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Speech recognition allows clinicians a hands-free option for interacting with computers, which is important for dentists who have difficulty using a keyboard and a mouse when working with patients. While roughly 13% of all general dentists with computers at chairside use speech recognition for data entry, 16% have tried and discontinued using this technology. In this study, researches explored the speech recognition features and functionality of four dental software applications. For each system, the documentation as well as the working program was evaluated to determine speech recognition capabilities. A comparison checklist was created to highlight each program's speech functionality. Next, after the development of charting scripts, feasibility user tests were conducted to determine if performance comparisons could be made across systems. While four systems were evaluated in the feature comparison, only two of the systems were reviewed during the feasibility user tests. Results show that current speech functionality, instead of being intuitive, is directly comparable to using a mouse. Further, systems require memorizing an enormous amount of specific terminology opposed to using natural language. User testing is a feasible way to measure the performance of speech recognition across systems and will be conducted in the near future. Overall, limited speech functionality reduces the ability of clinicians to interact directly with the computer during clinical care. This can hinder the benefits of electronic patient records and clinical decision support systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event12th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2007 - Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Duration: Aug 20 2007Aug 24 2007


Other12th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2007
CityBrisbane, QLD


  • Dental
  • Dental Informatics
  • Medical Informatics Applications
  • Practice Management
  • Speech Recognition Software
  • User-Computer Interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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  • Cite this

    Yuhaniak Irwin, J., Fernando, S., Schleyer, T., & Spallek, H. (2007). Speech recognition in dental software systems: Features and functionality. In Studies in Health Technology and Informatics (Vol. 129, pp. 1127-1131)