Voice Dictation

Why type it when you can say it?

Damian Funnell avatar
Written by Damian Funnell
Updated over a week ago

Voice dictation allows you to enter text using the spoken word rather than your keyboard.  It can save you a lot of time when entering consult notes and you'll be surprised at how accurate it can be.
Currently voice dictation is in beta, so we're still perfecting it and it's only available when entering medical notes in the consultation screen.  Expect it to improve and become available in more text fields over time.
Voice dictation uses Google's artificial intelligence engine, so it's always learning and improving.

You'll Need a Microphone

To use voice dictation you'll obviously need a microphone.  If you're accessing Panacea via a laptop, tablet or smartphone you've probaby got a microphone built-in to your device already.  If you're using a desktop computer, or if you want the added quality and accuracy that goes with an external microphone, then you may need to connect an external microphone to your device.
An external microphone can be particularly useful in noisy clinics, as they're much more accurate in these settings.

Just Click the Microphone and Start Talking

To use voice dictation simply click the microphone icon in the 'medical notes' section of the consult screen.  Ths icon appears when you hover the mouse over this section, or if you select this section on your mobile device.

Google Chrome or your device may ask you to confirm that you want voice dictation to be able to use your microphone if you're using it for the first time.  When voice dictation is active the microphone icon turns from grey to green.
When the icon is green simply start talking and you'll see your dictation appear, as if by magic!
You will notice that the AI engine will often change sentences one or more times as it tries to figure out what you are saying.  This can be a bit disconcerting at first, but it's perfectly normal and it demonstrates the power of the AI engine - it's not just interpreting words as you speak, it's also interpreting context to make the results as accurate as possible.
To top voice dictation either click on the microphone icon to toggle it off, or just press 'tab' to move on to the next field on the page.  Voice dictation will automatically turn itself off.


Voice dictation supports basic punctuation - below are some examples that you can try, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.  The AI engine is always learning, so keep trying various punctuation commands - even if one doesn't work today, you may find that it works the next time you try.

Common Punctuation Commands

  • Fullstop

  • Semicolon

  • Comma

  • Question mark

  • Exclamation mark

  • Open bracket/close bracket

  • New line


Voice dictation uses the latest in machine learning and artifial intelligence, so it's always learning.  Unlike competing products it does not need training, but you will find it gets better and better the more you use it.
Do remember that this feature is still in beta so, althoguh we do think you'll find it useful, it doesn't yet have quite the maturity and polish of other Panacea features.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Speak loudly and clearly.  You may have to speak a bit more slowly than usual if you find it has trouble understanding you.  You will find a comfortable cadence in no time.

  • Use an external microphone if possible.  A decent USB microphone can cost as little as $20, but you'll be amazed at how much more accurate it makes your dictation.

  • Try a few times.  Voice dictation won't always get it right first time, particuarly when using punctuation, so feel free to try a few times.  You're actually training yourself at the same time as it's learning from you.

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