Softnet Systems, Inc. Speech Recognition Specialists

Which Version is Right for You?

Recommendations and suggestions for Nuance® Dragon® Medical Practice Edition prospects

There are many versions of Dragon Medical software for North American English.

Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 (not called Release 12... but effectively it is Dragon Medical Release 12 if you count releases) This is the only product currently sold to private practices with 1-24 physicians. We do not offer up-to-date information on the other Dragon Medical products which include:

  • Dragon Medical Enterprise Network Edition 10.1
  • Dragon Medical Enterprise (10.1)
  • Dragon Medical (10.1)
  • Dragon Medical Small Practice (10.1)

There are Dragon 360 products deployed in hospitals and clinics with over 25 physicians. We do not sell Dragon to these accounts. Before September 2011, Dragon Medical Enterprise, Dragon Medical and Dragon Medical Small Practice were delivered with multiple packaging, license, and maintenance options. Sale of these products to practices with fewer than 25 physicians ended in September 2011.

In some medical applications, use of Dragon Professional can be appropriate. These are typically non-clinical applications as may be encountered in research, patient communications, insurance, etc.

Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2

This was released in June 2013. For practices of 24 or fewer doctors, it is the follow-on to either Dragon Medical Practice Edition, Dragon Medical Enterprise, Dragon Medical, or Dragon Medical Small Practice.

Dragon Medical Practice Edition

This was released in September 2011. For practices of 24 or fewer doctors, it is the follow-on to either Dragon Medical Enterprise, Dragon Medical, and Dragon Medical Small Practice.

Dragon Professional (non-Medical)

    Historically, some doctors have used the non-medical versions of Dragon since its inception in 1997. I've got customers that started then who still use Dragon Professional. So those products can be used for medical dictation. BUT--these doctors paid their dues, learned to have word lists, learned to quickly do vocabulary analysis upon new releases, and have learned the Dragon means of dictation.

    Starting with Release 10 (August 2008), dictation with the non-Medical versions of Dragon fails when dictating into many EMR's. Even if an EMR that you use for dictation works with Release 10 or DMPE, there is no guarantee that it will work with subsequent releases of Dragon Professional.

    If using an EMR with these restrictions, then your choice will be Dragon Medical Practice Edition.

If you do not use an EMR and do not plan to be using an EMR, then you can do further analysis. Is your writing “medical” in style and vocabulary?

  • If you have thousands of reports you have written available to you on your computer system:
    • You will get BEST results with Dragon Medical Practice Edition, choosing the appropriate vocabulary for your practice, plus enhancing your vocabulary using the "Add Words from Documents" or VocTools.
    • You will get EXCELLENT results with Dragon Medical Practice Edition, choosing the appropriate vocabulary for your practice, and adding new words and phrases as required.
    • You will get GOOD results with Dragon Professional IF you use the Vocabulary Builder.
    • You won't use Dragon Professional if you don't use the Vocabulary Builder (Add Words from Documents) because you'll have too many errors.
  • If you do not have thousands of reports you have written available to you on your computer system,
    • You will get BEST results using Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition.
    • You will be probably be very frustrated and spend lots of time making corrections if you use the Professional, Premium, or Home without a medical language model. If you collect word lists, Internet material, other writing in your field, etc. then you may alleviate this frustration but you will spend many hours doing so.
    • If you are in a field of medicine where your primary documentation consists of describing activities of daily living, relationships with other persons, and/or behavior then you may be a candidate for Dragon Professional if you are not using an EMR.
Specialty Vocabularies

Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition includes multiple different medical vocabularies. This list now includes almost all recognized medical specialties and many subspecialties.

Large Organizations

Are you part of a large organization? If so, we can help you create custom vocabularies that can be distributed to other users of Dragon Medical products. Alternately, contact us regarding other development methodologies whereby we can create custom commands that can be used with ANY version of NaturallySpeaking or with Dragon Medical.


The Competition: Alternatives to Dragon Medical

IBM ViaVoice

Once a competitor to Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the IBM ViaVoice product is essentially defunct.


Microsoft has speech recognition included with Office-XP, Office-2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

With Windows 7 and 8, many report good accuracy for ordinary prose. Some aspects of the program, such as web surfing, are very good. But the user interface lacks the refinement of NaturallySpeaking. Without a medical vocabulary, accuracy for clinical work is poor. Specialized vocabulary is available from at least one vendor, but in the last 5 years I've not seen a single doctor publically praise it.

Since this is "free" software, some use it to experiment and learn. For clinical reporting, it should still be considered experimental. One company, nVoq, seems to have products based on this that they are marketing to the medical community.


Since 2012, this company has expanded its product offerings to include specialized products that primarily support transcriptionists.

Nuance "Cloud" Offerings

Dragon Medical One is available from a few dealers. This is an excellent cloud offering for Medical dictation. It is available for Windows-only.

There are similar offerings provided by several different EMR companies but using Nuance technology. Some of these offer dictation on iOS and Android in addition to Windows.


Philips had continuous speech technology most often working with high-end software/hardware suppliers to embed their technology into other products. These were mainly aimed at speeding up the transcription process where one person dictates and another person reviews/edits/corrects the document. Nuance acquired these products.

Current Philips offerings are using Dragon technology in conjunction with their SpeechExec and other product offerings.

Need Help?

We're also happy to discuss your needs with you to help ensure you get the products and accessories best suited for your particular needs.

If you are ready to purchase, Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 is available through our online store.


Hints, Recommendations

New to Speech Recognition
User Profiles
Dragon Medical User Hints


Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition
Dragon Medical Upgrades
"Dragon Medical Supplemental Training" DVD
Scripting for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11


Training, Consulting
Sales and Support


Ordering Options

Home » Hints » Which Version?