Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Software firm in big UK project

Police pictured at drink drive check point after the Rugby World Cup final in Auckland. Winscribe's software was used by polic to help spend more time in the field. Photo / Glenn Taylor
Police pictured at drink drive check point after the Rugby World Cup final in Auckland. Winscribe's software was used by polic to help spend more time in the field. Photo / Glenn Taylor

An Auckland-based software company is involved in rolling out one of Europe's largest speech-recognition services, which will be used by 1300 doctors when completed next year.

Winscribe, which develops digital dictation systems to help users save time on paperwork, has over 3500 customers across 25 countries.

The company is involved in rolling out a speech-recognition project to teaching hospitals in the English city of Leeds.

The first stage of this project - which mostly involved digital dictation - was completed two months ago and the next step involves setting up speech-recognition systems.

While the speech-recognition offering is not 100 per cent accurate, Winscribe's marketing and communications manager Florian Stroehle said the technology had improved in recent years.

The Leeds venture was begun by a company which Winscribe acquired last year. The contract to roll out the service was reported to be worth more than £1 million ($1.95 million) and the largest of its kind in that part of the world.

Winscribe's core dictation service allows its customers - which include police, hospital staff, lawyers and insurance workers - to fill out reports or other documents faster using smartphones, landline telephones and other devices.

The information to go into a report is recorded and then typically sent to a typist who enters it into the document.

The service also allows users to scan information, such as patient or medication details, from barcodes using an iPhone or Android device and automatically enter these into a document.

Winscribe's software is used by 18 of New Zealand's 20 district health boards and was rolled out nationwide to 6800 police officers last year.

Winscribe's marketing and communications manager Florian Stroehle said some police officers found the service meant they could spend 25 per cent more time in the field.

"It allows more time for police officers to be out on the road and do their duties...they can stay out in their car and do whatever they need to do," Stroehle said.

The system was also used by police as an intelligence-gathering tool during last year's Rugby World Cup and helped authorities decide where staff should be deployed.

Winscribe's software is used by regional law enforcers in parts of the United Kingdom and United States and hospitals in both of these markets.

Winscribe was founded in 1995 as a subsidiary of a call centre solutions company, Amtel Communications.

- NZ Herald

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