Should I Upgrade to Dragon Medical Practice Edition 4?

Overview of the Dragon Medical 4 Software Upgrade

As a healthcare provider, you may already be familiar with the Dragon® Naturally Speaking medical software from Nuance®. If you’ve upgraded to Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2, you might also be wondering where version 3 is.

In fact, Dragon Medical Practice Edition 3 is a European version of the dictation software, and its functionality roughly matches that of version 2.

That means that this 2018 release is the next version after Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2. In this article, we want to help you answer two questions:

  1. Should I buy Dragon Medical Practice Edition 4?
  2. Where can I purchase the software?

We’ll spend the rest of the article on the first question, but if you’re ready to get the Dragon dictation app, we’d love to help you find a certified reseller. Click the button below to get started.

Dragon Medical Practice Edition 4 System Requirements

Before we go much further, let’s make sure that your computer has the hardware and software specifications needed to run v4.

Component Requirement
Operating system Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (32 and 64-bit)

Windows Server 2008R2

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2016

Processor 2.2 Ghz Intel® dual core / AMD equivalent
RAM 4 GB (We recommend 8 GB)
Available storage space 4 GB if installing from disc / 8 GB if downloaded


Benefits of Dragon Medical 4

We’re going to concentrate on the benefits of version 4 over version 2, so if you’re new to Dragon Medical, check out our version 2 overview. Otherwise, here are some of the major reasons why you might want to upgrade to Dragon Medical Practice Edition 4.

EHR Compatibility Updates

Clinicians (and their IT staff) will probably find that the most important updates to Dragon Medical v4 are the newly-supported text field edit controls. If you dictate into EHR fields that are encoded with these controls—and you previously had to use the Dictation Box—you may discover that you can now dictate without it.

Here are the affected EHRs:

  • Sage®
  • Henry Schein® / MicroMD®
  • Cerner®
  • Epic® 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
  • McKesson® Paragon 11.1.775, 11.2.413, 12.0.665

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Added Text Control in Chrome and Internet Explorer

What does text control mean, you ask? Essentially, if the Dragon software has full text control in the field where your mouse is clicked, you can dictate, make corrections, and use auto-text commands.

There is a new Dragon Medical v4 web extension available for both Chrome and Internet Explorer, which could add full text control functionality for your EHR, if it uses either of these browsers. No guarantees, though.

Increased Dictation Accuracy

Because Nuance is tapping into the power of artificial intelligence on multiple fronts, the Dragon dictation software now incorporates deep learning as the foundation of its speech and language processing. You may see some significant benefits, including:

  • An overall accuracy boost of 14%
  • An increase in contextual accuracy, based on the robust new language model Dragon Medical v4 uses when analyzing your phrases as you dictate
  • Training individual words leads to better recognition more immediately.

Easier to Use

  • Overall, you’re going to see some updates to the user interface, including a redesigned and optimized DragonBar and a reorganized options menu.
  • When creating a new profile, you don’t need to do any reading.
  • You can set a default profile to open when you open Dragon. If you have multiple profiles on one computer, this is a nice time-saver.
  • Dragon Medical v4 now uses less of your computer’s processor, so you may find that your computer runs better than when using Dragon Medical v2.
  • You are now prompted to choose a microphone from the ones you have plugged into your computer—instead of having to manually add them to your profile.
  • Automatic gain control keeps you from having to focus on how loudly you speak, or whether you’re holding the microphone at an ideal distance.
  • Internal microphones are now supported, which means you can dictate directly into your laptop or tablet—though a physical microphone is usually more dependable and accurate.

Transcribe Other Voices

Though the new Dragon dictation app can’t transcribe multiple voices in one recording, it does allow you to transcribe other people’s voices without having to create a new profile for each one. You may even decide to record and transcribe patient stories this way.

Be sure to review the software licensing agreement for limitations. In the scenario described above, for instance, you would require an additional license if you wanted to dictate and transcribe patient voices.

Supported Applications and Environments

Here’s a list of applications and environments that are now supported in Dragon Medical v4:

  • Microsoft® Server 2016
  • Citrix® XenApp / XenDesktop 7.6 up to 7.15
  • Corel® WordPerfect X8
  • Skype® for Business 2016


You Should Be Aware Of…

There are a few items you should take note of before purchasing version 4:

  • Auto-punctuation has been removed.
  • The Dragon Remote Microphone is no longer supported.
  • Firefox is no longer supported.
  • The release notes do indicate some known issues. Be sure to review them with your reseller.
  • Separate transcription sources have been removed, so if you need to pair the Dragon dictation software with another supported application, use this workaround.
  • Philips® SpeechExec Pro does not currently support Dragon Medical 4. Once it does, we’ll make an announcement on our Twitter and Facebook pages.


Who Can Upgrade?

If you have Dragon Medical Practice Edition v2 or v3, you can purchase an upgrade license for version 4 at a discounted price. Once you have the software, you can install it right over Dragon Medical v2.

Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase a full license, uninstall your existing Dragon software, and install version 4.