In 2009, Apple coined the phrase “There’s an app for that”TM. Never has this statement been truer. As of May 2015, Statista reported that Android users were able to choose between 1.5 million apps, and Apple users have access to 1.4 million apps.
The budding availability of different mobile applications also parallels the growth in mobile device usage, as a whole. In fact, Gartner reported that global smartphones sales reached 336 million units, an increase of 19.3 percent during the first quarter of 2015. 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 2014 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report showed that 91 percent of US lawyers now use a smartphone for law-related tasks, and 49 percent of lawyers are also using tablet devices.
Lawyers 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 speech technology tools such as digital dictation and speech recognition.
Historically, lawyers 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. This results not only in rework, but also the loss of secure client information. Tapes also hold up the document turnaround process as often a single tape contains multiple recordings, and tapes require physical delivery to support staff for transcription.
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 speech productivity technology. Imagine having the ability to capture dictation at a client’s site or in transit, and being able to immediately send work to your assistant or back to the office for completion ? before ever returning there yourself. Mobile dictation helps to make productive use of your valuable time. Legal professionals can dictate case notes, tasks or 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:
- Improved productivity
- Improved document turnaround time
- Better client responsiveness
- Reduced hardware costs and maintenance, as mobile dictation users no longer need to carry and maintain both a smartphone or tablet and a handheld recorder
Furthermore, some mobile dictation applications work with speech recognition engines to allow for even greater efficiency gains. With the accuracy of speech recognition engines now averaging 95 percent or greater, mobile dictation with voice-to-text 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, lawyers are becoming more mobile. Moreover, 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 speech technology could be that tool, and it can certainly help to satisfy your APPetite for efficiency!