Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Author - Beth Stapleton
In 2009, Apple coined the phrase “There’s an app for that”. Never has this statement been truer. In December 2011, the Android Market surpassed the 400,000 app mark, and the Apple App Store now advertises over 500,000 apps for its widely popular iPhone.1,2
The budding availability of different mobile applications also parallels the growth in mobile device usage, as a whole. In fact, Gartner predicts that global smartphones sales will surpass 630 million units in 2012 – up from 472 million units sold in 2011.3,4 While much of this growth is consumer-driven, many organizations are now finding great benefits in the increasing variety of mobile devices and applications that are available to support their mobile workforce. The 2011 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report showed that nearly 88% of lawyers now use a smartphone for law-related tasks while away from their office.5
Attorneys can now practice from anywhere and at any time with the dramatic improvement in mobile technology. Today's mobile devices are e-readers, mobile law libraries, scanners, and time and billing managers. Applications for mobile devices even allow you to create and manage your office documentation, spreadsheets, and presentations. But, perhaps, there's not a more natural progression than merging your mobile device with a voice productivity tool such as digital dictation.
Historically, attorneys used analog tapes or digital handheld recorders to capture their dictations. These methods worked for decades, but using analog and digital handheld recorders have their limits. With analog dictation, tapes can be lost and can break - resulting not only in rework, but also loss of secure client information. Tapes also hold up the document turnaround process, as often a single tape contains multiple recordings, none of which can be transcribed until the tape is full and given to the transcriptionist - who then has the challenge of trying to identify how much work is on that tape, what jobs are there and which ones need priority attention. Moreover, tapes require physical delivery to support staff for transcription, which also affects the timeliness of document turnaround.
While digital dictation via digital handheld recorders solves many of the issues that occur with tape-based dictation, it can also have its own drawbacks. Using a digital handheld recorder, the user typically captures dictations on the device, docks or plugs the device into a PC using a USB cable, and then uploads the audio files to be emailed for transcription or uses a digital dictation workflow system to route the uploaded audio files to support staff. This setup requires attorneys to be in their office or at a computer before they can send their dictations to be transcribed. With mobile dictation through smartphones and tablet devices, this isn’t the case.
Dictation through mobile devices is one of the latest progressions in voice productivity technology. In a digital world, mobile legal professionals can now not only capture dictation while in transit - making productive use of formerly non-productive time, but they can send that work back to the office for completion before ever returning there themselves. Legal professionals can dictate case notes, task directions to support staff, time for billing, etc. and send those recordings instantly to support staff for transcription or follow-up, without requiring the device to be docked or connected to a computer. This allows for a more efficient delivery of information, saving legal professionals energy, time and money.
There are several other advantages to mobile dictation, including:
Furthermore, some mobile dictation applications work with speech recognition (SR) engines to allow for even greater efficiency gains. With the accuracy of SR engines now averaging 95% or greater, mobile dictation with SR capabilities can enable even quicker document turnaround and client responsiveness, as speech-recognized dictations usually only require minor edits before delivering a final document.
In the fast-paced world, where the dynamics of legal practices are changing, legal professionals are becoming more mobile, and many firms are under competitive pressure to deliver information quickly, wouldn’t it be great to have a tool to make your work more efficient. Mobile dictation could be that tool, and it can certainly help to satisfy your appetite for efficiency.
1 Paul, Ian. "Android Market Tops 400,000 Apps." PCWorld. A List Apart Mag., 4 Jan. 2012. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. <http://www.pcworld.com/article/247247/ android_market_tops_400000_apps.html>. 2 "iPhone: From the App Store." Apple.com. Apple, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. <http://www.apple.com/ iphone/from-the-app-store/>. 3 “Gartner Says Android to Command Nearly Half of Worldwide Smartphone Operating System Market by Year-End 2012.” Gartner Newsroom. Gartner.com. 7 Apr. 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. <http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1622614>. 4 “Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Soared in Fourth Quarter of 2011 With 47 Percent Growth.” Gartner Newsroom. Gartner.com. 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. <http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1924314>. 5 ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. “2011 Legal Technology Survey Report: Mobile Lawyers (Volume VI).” 2011 Legal Technology Survey Report. PDF. July 2011.
Reprinted with the permission of the Law Bulletin Publishing Company®
View the full article in Law Bulletin's Legal Technology Update 2012 here.
3:50 PM Thursday, April 12, 2012
Great post. Looking forward to learning more about this topic.
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