Arm and hand pain: Voice recognition software

Arm pain, Chronic pain, Hand pain, Repetitive strain, Repetitive strain injury (RSI) / Friday, April 30th, 2010

Voice recognition software may be necessary for those who have sustained a damaging Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Effective treatment soon after arm and hand pain symptoms appear can prevent a long lasting chronic pain condition, but since this injury is increasing alarmingly with the widespread everyday use of computers, voice recognition software may become more necessary for the average person. It is also more marketable now with the popularity of new uses, like talking to your car! You can even make your grocery list by voice now and do computer searches without touching your computer. It’s inevitable that it will become common.

Considered “young technology,” both MS and Apple are getting involved. Dragon was the first to get serious attention, but their software was difficult to use. Redstart Systems took Dragon to the next level, it’s innovative owner creating macros to sidestep and correct those difficulties. A journalist with RSI, Kim Patch developed the macros for herself so she could continue to write without touching the computer. What she came up with was so efficient that she said she could work faster than when she could type! Utter Command software has attracted the attention of the major corporations interested in the future of voice in conjunction with computers. With it you can “do everything by speech that you can using the keyboard and mouse, usually faster.” Here’s the link.

On the personal level, those who have arm and hand pain would benefit from using the computer less. Voice activated software like Redstart Systems is a good place to go. Better to catch repetitive stress before it gets serious and prevent further injury. The added benefit is that you start early on the new wave of speech technology and get ahead of the pack by being fluent in using it.

2 Replies to “Arm and hand pain: Voice recognition software”

  1. Hi Christina,

    This is a great point. My dad recently started using Dragon Speaking Naturally for doing all his patient note taking.

    He found it much faster and more streamlined. I think these technologies can be so liberating both for people with RSI and people who simply want to work more efficiently.

    On important point though – the software is only as good as the hardware you use – so it’s important to have a good quality microphone.

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