Health sector demand fuelling 
growth at voice recognition firm

Sonja Brown and Vicky Humberstone of VoicePower in Harrogate are expanding their firm as demand for their voice recognition and digital dictation software grows.
Sonja Brown and Vicky Humberstone of VoicePower in Harrogate are expanding their firm as demand for their voice recognition and digital dictation software grows.

A Harrogate-based technology company which is helping NHS departments to reduce waiting times is preparing for further growth in the next 12 months.

VoicePower supplies speech recognition and digital dictation software which enables businesses and organisations to work more efficiently.

With growing pressure on NHS services, GP practices and other healthcare groups across the North have used the company’s recommended software to make savings on both time and costs.

Director Sonja Brown said: “We have worked with NHS trusts whose departments were running significantly behind targets and were struggling to keep up with their workload.

“By introducing speech recognition software, enabling consultants to have their comments transcribed instantly rather than waiting for recordings to be transferred to and processed by a secretary, several departments have reduced their turnaround times for results and letters to just a few hours.

“In cases such as pathology departments, where patients are waiting for their results before being given the treatment they need, this is particularly rewarding.”

Founded by Colin Wormald in 1993, VoicePower was taken over by Ms Brown and business partner Vicky Humberstone when he retired in 2010. Since then, they have spent time developing its services and expanding its client base, and new opportunities have helped to fuel demand.

The company now has a team of eight working across the North and is now expecting to take on two new employees in the next 12 months.

Ms Brown, who has been accepted onto the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, said: “This is an ideal time for VoicePower to develop and grow.

“People are becoming much 
more familiar with speech recognition and related technology, because it is available in their existing environment: on phones, in cars, via games consoles and so on. Suddenly, they are realising the potential for its application in business – and the savings of time, money and effort that can be achieved as a result.”