Evaluation of Google’s Voice Recognition and Sentence Classification for Health Care Applications

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Engineering, Computer Engineering, Other Computer Engineering


This study examined the use of voice recognition technology in perioperative services (Periop) to enable Periop staff to record workflow milestones using mobile technology. The use of mobile technology to improve patient flow and quality of care could be facilitated if such voice recognition technology could be made robust. The goal of this experiment was to allow the Periop staff to provide care without being interrupted with data entry and querying tasks. However, the results are generalizable to other situations where an engineering manager attempts to improve communication performance using mobile technology. This study enhanced Google’s voice recognition capability by using post-processing classifiers (i.e., bag-of-sentences, support vector machine, and maximum entropy). The experiments investigated three factors (original phrasing, reduced phrasing, and personalized phrasing) at three levels (zero training repetition, 5 training repetitions, and 10 training repetitions). Results indicated that personal phrasing yielded the highest correctness and that training the device to recognize an individual’s voice improved correctness as well. Although simplistic, the bag-of-sentences classifier significantly improved voice recognition correctness. The classification efficiency of the maximum entropy and support vector machine algorithms was found to be nearly identical. These results suggest that engineering managers could significantly enhance Google’s voice recognition technology by using post-processing techniques, which would facilitate its use in health care and other applications.