News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 18, 2008

Terre Haute company to test dictation software

InfraWare Inc., a medical transcription software company, announced Thursday it soon will begin beta testing its new dictation recognition engine aimed at increasing the speed and reducing the cost per line of medical transcription through intelligent back-end automation.

The Terre Haute-based software developer and transcription ASP provider will marry its existing InfraWare 360 transcription speech recognition platform and its newly developed artificial intelligence engine to generate more accurate and less expensive first-draft text versions of physician audio dictations. Of the $1.2 million project budget, $871,000 was supplied by a grant from the state’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund.

The marriage of the company’s two technologies accelerates the rate at which medical transcriptionists can process a physician’s dictated reports and represents a significant increase in accuracy over previous attempts by the industry to incorporate speech recognition into transcription. The InfraWare technology incorporates a punctuation component that determines proper punctuation placement within the generated text, a feature not included in most word-processor-based programs.

InfraWare will begin releasing the software to test markets in the fourth quarter of 2008, and anticipates fully launching the product in 2009 to markets across the nation. The company expects to create up to 100 new jobs over the next five years.

“While InfraWare has been innovating since our beginning, this new advancement positions us to provide our customers with leading-edge technology that completely changes their cost structure, increases transcriptionist productivity and decreases turnaround time,” said Nick Mahurin, chief executive officer of InfraWare. He founded the company in 2003.

Traditionally, medical transcriptionists produce written records of a physician’s audio-recorded reports by typing the recording in its entirety. Past efforts within the industry to incorporate speech recognition technology have met poor results, as transcription is highly interpretive and many transcriptionists find it faster to type a report than to edit a poorly constructed first draft, Mahurin said.

Linguistics researchers from Indiana University assisted in the conceptual development of InfraWare’s technology along with software engineers from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, who assisted in developing the platform’s software infrastructure. The Terre Haute Innovation Alliance, an economic development and education partnership between Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute and the city of Terre Haute, provided consulting services to InfraWare, and associates from ISU’s Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation assisted InfraWare with grant procurement services.

“We are pleased to be able to provide commercialization services to technologically innovative companies such as InfraWare that will bring high-paying jobs and investment to Terre Haute,” said Richard Pittelkow, interim director of the Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation.

InfraWare is one of 58 businesses awarded a 21st Century Fund grant since January 2006. During that time, the fund has invested more than $74 million in high-tech Indiana entrepreneurial companies with the potential to create more than 6,000 new jobs.