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J Biomed Inform. 2009 Feb;42(1):53-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2008.08.001. Epub 2008 Aug 12.

Improving language models for radiology speech recognition.

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School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA.


Speech recognition systems have become increasingly popular as a means to produce radiology reports, for reasons both of efficiency and of cost. However, the suboptimal recognition accuracy of these systems can affect the productivity of the radiologists creating the text reports. We analyzed a database of over two million de-identified radiology reports to determine the strongest determinants of word frequency. Our results showed that body site and imaging modality had a similar influence on the frequency of words and of three-word phrases as did the identity of the speaker. These findings suggest that the accuracy of speech recognition systems could be significantly enhanced by further tailoring their language models to body site and imaging modality, which are readily available at the time of report creation.

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