Invox Medical, the voice software that makes doctors’ lives easier | companies
Ribonucleic acid, urothelial carcinoma, osteoarthropathy, hyperpyrexia, spondylitis… are some of the medical terms you may have heard poker-faced at one time and which you would hardly be able to transcribe from scratch.
Nor is it easy for professionals when it comes to filling out tedious reports, not because they are unfamiliar with these and other words difficult for laymen, or because they do not know their meaning, but because in their daily bureaucracy it eats up their precious time.
They need technological tools that streamline these basic tasks, such as filling out reports and medical records, but more or less mechanical tools that save them time and help them in their daily activities. Invox Medical is an advanced medical report transcription software that can be used in 20 specialties and is already used in 500 medical centers and hospitals in 19 Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries.
Vócali sells the product in 20 countries in Spanish and Portuguese
This software is the star product of Vócali, a technology company from Murcia founded in 2007 by Pedro Vivancos and Juan Salvador Castejon, two computer engineers who specialized in the field of natural language processing (NLP) and language technologies.
Based in the Murcia Science Park, Vócali was born as a result of a coincidence, “but not so much”, clarifies Vivancos, current director of strategy and innovation for the SME, because “I already had experience and had done research on artificial intelligence questions, voice recognition and language technologies in particular’. In short, it’s sort of like “taking that ability that humans have to communicate and understand human language and transfer it to machines.”
The system has been implemented in over 500 hospital centers
As a result of this research – he continues – “it occurred to us that we could take these technologies to the street, to concrete products that would make life easier for people and professionals.” They seek funding and manage to get into CDTI’s (Center for Industrial Technology Development) Neotech program. They are starting to “develop language technology products aimed at voice recognition, for example for home control, before Alexas, Siris, etc. to exist,” recalls Castillon, the company’s CEO.
In addition, they are developing a “semantic search engine that has the ability to interpret what the user is looking for. Unlike Google, which searches by words, our search engine interprets the user’s query in very specific fields and contexts such as legal, where the citizen is not very familiar with the terms,” adds Vivankos.
This tool saves doctors time and improves the quality of reports
The economic crisis “forces us to reinvent ourselves and we found an opportunity in healthcare. A market that consumes voice technology and there is only one American company that makes this product and not with very good results; we decided to compete with them,” says the strategy director. In 2012, the first version of Invox Medical was born.
During this process, they realized that after the introduction of the electronic medical record (EHR), the amount of documentation that the doctor had to fill out increased, creating two major obstacles that limited efficiency in the hospital. The first challenge is to give more time to doctors. Documentary pressures cause physicians to spend more time completing clinical history than serving and connecting with the patient.
The second is to improve the quality of the reports, although more data is required.
In addition, they also realize that “terms and words vary from one specialty to another. There are specialties such as radiology where voice recognition technologies are widely used, but in others they work poorly because they are not adapted,” Castejon explains.
And that’s where they see their opportunity. “We are looking for a verticalized solution for other specialties that also require a lot of this voice recognition technology, such as pathological anatomy or oncology, which has allowed us to be very competitive, valued in the medical sector and grow at a very, very high success rate,” surpassing Nuance, the leading US multinational in the sector, recently acquired by Microsoft.
Pioneers in Spain in this business, also present in Latin America. Vócali had a turnover of 1.15 million euros in 2021 and started developments to mass-enter the Portuguese and Brazilian markets with a new language, Portuguese. Both in this version and in the Spanish software, they adapt to the peculiarities of the accent and words of each country.
Slowly but surely they are preparing to finalize Invox Medical in English, French and German.
Data at a glance
Results. Vócali billed 1.15 million euros in 2021. A figure they hope to increase this year to between 1.5 and 2 million euros. This figure is forecast to triple in 2023. Between 30% and 40% of turnover comes from sales in the Portuguese and Latin American markets.
Customers. More than 500 medical centers and hospitals, including the Health Service of Galicia (Sergas), the Health Service of Andalusia (SAS), Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha or Castile and Leon (Sacyl); major hospitals such as Gregorio Marañón, Vall d’Hebron, Clínic de Barcelona and La Paz. They also work with networks of private centers such as Quirónsalud, Grupo Ribera, Grupo HLA (Asisa) and other clinics, diagnostic centers and pathology laboratories.
An advantage. Dictating a report through Invox Medical is three times faster than typing it; Using this tool reduces the time doctors spend on bureaucratic tasks by 35% and has a success rate of more than 95%.
Challenges. Adding improvements and new functionalities to the software and developing versions in new languages such as English, French and German are the main challenges for the next five years. In the medium term, they plan to enter other sectors such as legal and legal.