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IVR - TMCnet IVR Week in Review
September 22, 2012

TMCnet IVR Week in Review

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

A lot has been going on in the interactive voice response (IVR) space. From new releases to the latest trends and insights, this is all of the most interesting IVR-related news of the week!

Kicking off the week is news of the Acapela text-to-speech (TTS) voice app for Android (News - Alert), which reportedly brings authentic, customized elements for Android users – ranging from traditional aspects including wallpapers, ringtones and widgets as well as other, more advanced features – all incorporating the user’s voice. Now available on Google (News - Alert) Play, the app allows users to listen to any of 50 available voices in 26 languages, as well as be able to purchase as many voices as desired for as little as US$5.00, this article explains. Languages currently available on the app include everything from Arabic to Czech to Spanish and Swedish.

In other news, Plum Voice posed a very interesting thought on one of its recent blogs regarding breaking down human speech barriers, possibly even suggesting a world one day consisting of futuristic and  humanistic IVR. An experiment conducted on random mice involving the human speech-associated “FOXP2” gene were injected into the critters, yielding impressive results. Not only did the humanized mice begin showing brain circuit changes known to be linked to human speech, but the genetically “mutated” mice babies were born with distinctly different vocalizations when compared to their normal counterparts. Another more recent account details a chimp being able to process and perceive speech as humans do.

These ultimately propose a new meaning to IVR systems as we know them, where breaking down the barrier of not only human speech would be involved, but also surpassing the binding restrictions of IVR only working to convert sounds into lines of code that are computer-comprehensive. This can point towards a path of truly admirable accomplishments in the (near?) future.

Wrapping up this week are some always-helpful tips and pointers on the financial benefits which IVR specifically brings to the healthcare industry. Included in the lineup is the importance of coding in hospitals, in which IVR plays a large role. “Coding in hospitals is also very important, as it not only tells other physicians and nurses what procedures were performed, but it also dictates how a patient (or insurance company) should be billed. IVR solutions work to address this by allowing health care professionals to reuse data from previous patients,” the article explained. “This reusable data within the IVR system can help hundreds of hospitals that might otherwise be penalized for their readmissions.”

The article adds that IVR is so heavily affecting the healthcare industry that some doctors are reporting an upward of one-third more patients due to integrating and relying on IVR solutions for their practices.

That’s going to do it this week for the latest IVR news. To see what’s new next week, be sure to check back in same time, same place – only here at TMCnet.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

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