An investigation into the feasibility of spoken clinical question answering.

Academic Article


  • Spoken question answering for clinical decision support is a potentially revolutionary technology for improving the efficiency and quality of health care delivery. This application involves many technologies currently being researched, including automatic speech recognition (ASR), information retrieval (IR), and summarization, all in the biomedical domain. In certain domains, the problem of spoken document retrieval has been declared solved because of the robustness of IR to ASR errors. This study investigates the extent to which spoken medical question answering benefits from that same robustness. We used the best results from previous speech recognition experiments as inputs to a clinical question answering system, and had physicians perform blind evaluations of results generated both by ASR transcripts of questions and gold standard transcripts of the same questions. Our results suggest that the medical domain differs enough from the open domain to require additional work in automatic speech recognition adapted for the biomedical domain.
  • Author List

  • Miller T; Ravvaz K; Cimino JJ; Yu H
  • Start Page

  • 954
  • End Page

  • 959
  • Volume

  • 2011