Automation of long and complex transcriptions is not trivial. Inscripta is on this mission to free doctors time and increase dictation transcription quality with AI

CompanyInscripta

Started playing:  Q2/2016

Joined the band:  Q3/2017

The global speech recognition market is expected to grow from USD 3.73 Billion in 2015 to USD 9.97 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 15.78%, while the voice recognition market is expected to grow from USD 440.3 Million in 2015 to USD 1.99 Billion by 2022. Inscripta aims to become the leading automated voice to text solution for long and complicated use cases.


Inscripta Interview



Simo wanted to widen his perspective while studying cognitive science, so he took a part-time job as a medical transcriptionist to learn more about the industry. Eventually, this job gave him the spark to reform the old practices by integrating new technology and his own practical experiences to the process. This is when Inscripta was founded.


 

Icebreaker (IB):

Hey, Simo! How are you doing at the moment?  

Simo:

I'm doing very well! I think I have it better than startup founders on average. Usually, people at my age are having children, etc. which can be quite stressful I’ve heard. My main concern is that my company thrives!  

IB:

Hah hah, sounds nice! Could you share a little bit about your background?  

Simo:

I have a very colourful background, to be honest. I've worked in the banking and finance sector, but also as an elementary teacher for a while. For the last seven years, I've been involved with different medical support functions like data processing, database handling, contracts and so on. On top of that, I studied cognitive science, which is often generalized as psychology. More specifically cognitive science is actually the field of study for any intelligent information system, whether it is biological or artificial.  

IB:

Quite a comprehensive resume! How did you go from cognitive science to medical transcripts then?  

Simo:

Well, during my studies I wanted to get a peek of the medical industry as well, so I applied for a part-time job as a (medical) transcriptionist. It was a somewhat easy and flexible task to do, but it taught me a lot about different practices and processes of the trade. After a while, I got a chance to take part in establishing a new office in Spain. I practically had to set up everything from recruiting to legal matters by myself, from scratch, in a foreign country, far away from home. This experience gave me the push towards independent work and finding solutions with limited resources.  

IB:

Wow, that sounds muy difícil! What happened after the venture at Spain?  

Simo:

After I returned to Finland, I got frustrated about some of the standards and practices the medical industry has that I got to follow very closely through my job. I knew I could organize things more efficiently, and so I gathered a team around this vision.  

IB:

Who are in the Inscripta's team then?  

Simo:

I recognized early on that I needed software development skills as well as legal and strategic perspectives to form the best possible team. Luckily, I had already met these people through school: Valentin Golovanov, a corporate lawyer, who I knew from high school, joined the team as a legal and strategic advisor. Joni Aaltonen, who I'd met during my later studies, completed the team as a well experienced full-stack developer. We're also currently hiring, especially on the speech to text technical side – please feel free to spread the word!  

IB:

How does Inscripta differ from the existing transcription solutions?  

Simo:

The core idea revolves around a somewhat simple need. There is information in audio form, that needs to be transformed into text so it can be used and stored appropriately, as most of the analytic tools are based on text-only data. Although there are speech-recognizing applications that might be useful for this purpose, their confidentiality is very questionable especially when patient records are at stake. Another problem is human errors, like phonetic misspellings. For example, the doctor could say "synoviitti" instead of "sinuiitti". The program won’t recognize the problem, which decreases the usability of the transcript. In this particular case, the difference in diagnosis is crucial. Our service uses speech recognition and specialized transcriptionist to achieve faster results without sacrificing accuracy or confidentiality.  

IB:

If the service requires a specialized transcriptionist, is this type of business possible to scale then?  

Simo:

The existing solutions often require hundreds of employees that will have to listen to the audio files and write every word down by themselves. What we do is that we speed up the process and make it efficient, so in the end, we can increase speed and ensure higher quality with a much smaller number of employees.  

IB:

How about internationalization?  

Simo:

Language barriers won't be a problem for our services, as the speech recognition application acts like a young child; throw it into a new linguistic environment, and it adapts swiftly. This is the beauty of our service when we don’t need to have hundreds of transcriptionists speaking tens of different languages.  

IB:

Would you say you have become a doctor based on your experiences and working in the medical industry?  

Simo:

Well, one could say I became a "fake doctor" through all the non-official doctoral training I've got! And I think I could manage as one for a while before getting caught. All jokes aside I did go through a lot of live examples and cases while working as a transcriptionist, so maybe I should give it a go after the current venture!  

IB:

Do you think your primary education will play any role in Inscripta's future?  

Simo:

I'm confident that we can integrate the cognitive science aspects into our product over time. As the technology develops artificial intelligence will enable more and more ways to perform faster and more efficiently, and our industry won't be any different.  

IB:

You're an eager learner, as it seems. What kind of lessons has Inscripta given to you?  

Simo:

We had a few business ideas in the past, but the timing hasn't been right, and maybe we have also been a bit too inexperienced. With Inscripta things are more legit, and we're all in this wholeheartedly. It feels like all the pieces in this puzzle are exactly where they're supposed to be.  

IB:

What role has Icebreaker played in Inscripta´s journey?  

Simo:

We're able to make the first major investments in speech recognition and mobile applications now that we are properly funded. In addition to that, there has been a lot of help in finding some of the essential services which a new startup needs. And then, of course, the networking and peer support from other entrepreneurs in the same situation has been valuable in many ways.  

IB:

Any last advice for others that are thinking of taking that leap of faith?  

Simo:

Firstly, if you're not a risk taker in financials, I'd advise seeking the financing before founding a company. Our bootstrapping approach required us to invest our money into this project during tough times, which can be a bit stressful. Secondly, think long and hard what type of business concept are you working with. The idea itself might be brilliant, but you must ask yourself can it be commercialized and internationalized, can you attract the investors? The fact is that not every idea can be commercialized, which eventually is the ultimate prerequisite for building a successful business.


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