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Automated Transcription Services – What should you consider?

Automated Transcription Services – What should you consider?

Automated speech to text transcription services are starting to gain more attention. They offer rapid turnaround time at a low cost. This can be attractive to clients that have audio or video files that need to be transcribed. When you don’t have the time or expertise to type the recordings yourself, an automated transcription service seems like a logical solution. But what should you consider before you upload your files through a web portal for transcription?

Transcription Data Security

If your recordings contain sensitive patient data, criminal justice information or confidential research, it’s imperative to take time to vet the speech to text transcription company. For instance, have they taken into account HIPAA, CJIS, and GDPR? Are they willing to sign a Business Associate Agreement? Do their transcriptionists undergo background checks? Who will have access to your data? Will it be encrypted in transit and while at rest? If the transcription company doesn’t have qualified answers to these questions, proceed with caution. Data mishandling and security incidents could put you and other stakeholders at risk.

Speech to Text Accuracy

When you’re a reporter facing a tight deadline or a university with a large transcription project, uploading your video or audio files for processing through an automated speech recognition engine can seem like a great solution on the surface. But what about the output? How accurate will the final transcript be? Transcripts produced by human typists are often upwards of 99% accurate. However, automated speech recognition technology can’t match this level of accuracy. Although speech recognition technology has improved over the years, it still leaves much to be desired. For example, speech engines make contextual errors that human transcriptionists are professionally trained to avoid.

Transcript Editing Time

 If you decide to use an automated speech to text transcription company, and you receive back 25 or 100 or 1000 pages of material, will you have the time to review every line of text carefully? Will you realistically be able to spend the hours necessary to compare the computer-generated text against the original audio file? Depending on how busy you are, this may not be realistic. When using an automated transcription service, it’s essential to factor in additional time to review the transcripts because speech engines are prone to making errors.

While it’s natural to want things rapidly, inexpensively, and of excellent quality, automated transcription companies are unable to deliver on all three objectives. And, if security is a consideration for your data, using an automated transcription service may be too risky. You can undoubtedly get your documents quickly and at a bargain price with an automated transcription service, but you will still need to budget extra time to review the transcripts carefully to ensure accuracy. After all, if you depend on quality transcripts to inform your decision making, inaccurate data can lead to adverse outcomes.

About Athreon Transcription

Athreon’s speech to text transcription services combine advanced speech recognition technology with the expertise of professional human editors. Our hybrid approach to speech to text conversion and our stringent security and quality standards ensure that transcripts are produced quickly, accurately, and securely. For more information about Athreon’s transcription services, contact us at 800.935.0973.



Are You Being Safe Online?

Are You Being Safe Online?


Cyber attacks happen daily all over the world. Sadly, all of us are potential victims. This cyberthreat map, which is updated in real-time, helps to illustrate this reality. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to protect against unauthorized access to our sensitive data. Athreon strongly recommends that computer users take the following 3 precautions to help safeguard against cyber threats:

  • Use updated antivirus (AV) software. All the AV solutions below are reputable:
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN). If you are unfamiliar with the privacy and security benefits that VPNs offer, we encourage you to watch this video. Likewise, if you ever work at a location away from your home or office, you should use a VPN. Athreon recommends the VPN solutions below:
  • Use a password manager. Complex passwords can be difficult to memorize, but they’re also more difficult to hack. A password manager can help make managing strong passwords much easier. Athreon recommends the password manager solutions below:
    • LastPass: The free and paid versions are reliable.
    • DashLane: The premium and up versions are reliable. The free version is okay for just perusing, but it is not advisable for long-term use.

Cyber threats are not going away anytime soon. They will only become more prevalent. The best way to protect against a data breach or identity theft is to be proactive. We all need to be vigilant about taking precautionary measures. Remember, the investment you make in cyber security will have a cost, but it will be far less expensive than the costs and potential penalties associated with a data breach.

Athreon goes to great lengths to secure and protect all sensitive data entrusted to its care. Whether your organization must comply with CJIS or HIPAA or other security requirements, we’re prepared to assist. Athreon’s rigorous security protocols can complement any speech to text initiative. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.