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New Online Backup Programs

Using Online Storage for Backup is Now (July 2008) Quite Easy

by Edward Zuckerman, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist, Licensed in Pennsylvania
Proprietor, Three Wishes Press


Professional ethics, self-interest, and HIPAA all require health care providers to maintain their Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI) so that it is accessible and secure under all circumstances. Off-site backups using the internet are now an efficient and economical option to meet these demands but choosing one is a requires care. I have written this article to support deciding and taking action.

About 400 companies are in this business and in July 2008 I selected those below as suitable for a small mental health practice, with the most valuable features, and reasonably priced. All prices listed are calculated per month for 10 GB of storage because that seems typical but all of these companies will sell you more storage space.

Full Review    .
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Using Online Storage for Backup | Also by Dr Zuckerman: HIPAA Help | More HIPAA Help | The Paper Office

New Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10.0 Preferred

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is now owned by Nuance Communications, and claims significant improvements in speed and accuracy. My experience is that the improvements have been incremental, because of the greater system requirements that accompany each successive release. Nevertheless, I use DNS every day in my practice, after having used a transcriptionist for many years, and have found the accuracy to be comparable and the cost and convenience unbeatable

Below is a product information summary from Nuance...

Up to 99% Accurate and Three Times Faster than Typing
Most people speak over 120 words per minute, but type less than 40 words a minute. That means you can create documents and emails about three times faster with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon never makes a spelling mistake, and it actually gets smarter the more you use it!

Easy to Use
Dragon NaturallySpeaking installs quickly and requires no special script reading. New on-screen help and tutorials will make you an expert user in no time.

Use with Many Windows Programs
Use your voice to dictate, edit and control applications such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and AOL.

New Search the Web and Your Computer with Dragon Voice Shortcuts
Use Dragon Voice Shortcuts to quickly search for information on the Web or on your own computer. Need to find some information on the Web? Just say “Search the Web for global warming articles,” “Search Wikipedia for George Washington Carver,” or “Search eBay for Batman comic books.” Searching the Web or your computer has never been faster — or easier.

Bluetooth Support
Use Dragon NaturallySpeaking with Nuance-approved Bluetooth headsets.

Be Productive on the Go
Dictate into any Nuance-certified handheld device for automatic transcription when you synch with your PC.

Minimum Specifications
  • CPU: Intel® Pentium4® or later or AMD Athlon 64 1 GHz or later. (SSE2 instruction set required).
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM (1 GB RAM for Windows Vista™)
  • Free hard disk space: 1 GB (2 GB for localized non-English versions)
  • L2 Cache: 512 KB
  • Supported Operating Systems:
    • Windows Server 2000
    • Windows Server 2003
    • Windows XP SP2 or higher, 32-bit
    • Windows 2000 SP4 or higher
    • Windows Vista™ or Windows Vista™ SP1, 32-bit
    • 64-bit OS not currently supported
  • DVD-ROM drive (required for installation)
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6 or higher (free download available at
  • Nuance-approved noise-canceling headset microphone (included), Creative® Labs Sound Blaster® 16 or equivalent sound card supporting 16-bit recording, speakers (required for playback of recorded speech and text to speech features)
  • For Bluetooth wireless microphone support, please visit
  • A Web connection is required for activation

During the install process the software checks to make sure your system meets these minimum requirements. If you do not meet the requirements, the software will not be installed.

* This edition of Dragon does not support dictation directly into Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Systems. For EMR support, please use Dragon Medical Edition.

Recommended Specifications
  • CPU: Intel® Pentium4® / 2.4 GHz (1.6 GHz dual core) or equivalent AMD processor. (SSE2 instruction set required).
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • L2 Cache: 1 MB

Product Comparison Matrix: Compare Medical - Legal - Professional - Preferred - Standard

Buy through Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10

William E. Benet, Ph.D., Psy.D.
November 13, 2008

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7.0 & Accessibility Features

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7.0 is up to 15% more accurate than the previous version, according to ScanSoft, allowing one to dictate continuously and naturally at up to 160 words per minute with accuracy up to 95%+. It is Fully integrated with Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, and Corel Wordperfect, and can be used with virtually any Windows-based application.

DNS 7.0 is available in six Microsoft Windows editions (Professional Solutions, Legal Solutions, Medical Solutions, Preferred, Standard and Essentials), ranging in price (7/2004) from $695.99 to $59.99.  A side-by-side comparison of each edition's features is available at

The Preferred and Professional editions have a number of usability features that would generally make either of them better choices than the Standard or Essentials editions as assistive technology aids for students with disabilities. These additional features include Web browser voice link support, natural punctuation, text-to-speech, dictation playback, and text and graphics dictation shortcuts. However, only the Professional, Medical and Legal Solutions editions, which also include a macro recorder not available in the other editions, meets Section 508 standards, established by the US government, to make software accessible for persons with disabilities.

William E. Benet, Ph.D., Psy.D.
August 7, 2004

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 6.0

During an online discussion forum, a colleague wrote:

 “I read your reply on dictation and am fascinated. I’ve been told that the Dragon software is difficult to use, eats up a lot of memory, and thus is inefficient. Obviously this has not been your experience. A brief comment re: pros and cons and/or a suggested reference would be most appreciated. Also, is this compatible with Word?”

Another colleague replied that he was using DNS with a Micron 800 with 512 RAM, and that recent versions “work beautifully within most software, e.g., Outlook, Word, WordPerfect, etc.”

I prefer DNS’s native notepad, since it uses less system resources than Word, but that is probably unnecessary with today’s I GHz+ computers that come loaded with a minimum of 256 MB RAM.

There are also four hardware components which are very important to accurate voice dictation and transcription that I would rank in the following order:

  • CPU speed

  • RAM

  • Sound card quality

  • Microphone quality

I didn’t include disk space since today’s computers invariably have plenty.

DNS 6.0 recommends a Pentium II/400 MHz CPU and 128 Mb of RAM. For best results, you will want a CPU that’s twice as fast as that and has 512 Mb of RAM (256 Mb minimum). Each new version of DNS has had greater system requirements than its predecessor, and newer versions may not install on computers that are too slow. So, get all the speed and RAM you can so that you will be able to upgrade as well as obtain maximum performance (i.e., speed and accuracy).

Another important component for maximum accuracy is voice recognition training. Ten minutes is enough to get you started, but like CPU speed and memory, the more the better.

Accuracy is very good with training, but can vary depending on the other factors listed above. Don’t expect 100% accuracy; however--90-95% would be outstanding. That’s comparable to a professional transcriptionist. As for difficulty, DNS 6.0 has an intuitive voice command interface that couldn’t be easier to use. Not too long ago, I installed the latest version of IBM's ViaVoice (the other major program in the field of voice recognition) for comparison, and found it to be very close to DNS 6.0 in accuracy. But where DNS 6.0 excelled was in ease of use, and in particular, grammatical and syntactical awareness, in which ViaVoice’s performance was dismal, resulting in considerably more time needed to accurately format and edit text. Both products have received outstanding reviews, however, but my impression of some of these reviews is that they were based on very limited use. After using ViaVoice for 30 days, I went back to DNS. One other important consideration is product support. In this regard, DNS 6.0 wins hand down, mainly due to its very active, informed and helpful online user forum, something that IBM does not offer.

DNS’s online user forum is open to all and available at

DNS 6.0 is available in four basic editions (Professional, Preferred, Standard and Essentials) which all have the same dictation engine, but different supplementary usability features that may or may not be needed depending on your specific needs. For a side-by-side comparison of each edition's features, see the Feature Comparison Matrix at

William E. Benet, Ph.D., Psy.D.
March 5, 2003

IBM ViaVoice

IBM ViaVoice is now distributed by Nuance Communications, Inc., which distributes Dragon NaturallySpeaking. For product information, see ViaVoice is available in four editions for Windows (Pro USB, Advanced, Standard, and Personal) and two editions for Mac (Mac OS X and Simply Dictation Mac OS X), ranging in price (1/2008) from $189.99 to $29.99. For a side-by-side comparison of the Windows editions, see the Feature Comparison Matrix at

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