NC State Research Advances Voice Security Technology

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ATLANTA, this site March 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Two of the nation’s largest healthcare information networks, one health Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), cure the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, and Surescripts®, The Nation’s E-Prescription Network™, today announced an agreement to pioneer the formation of an integrated service to make laboratory and prescription information broadly and easily accessible to physicians. The collaboration is designed to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes.

Quest Diagnostics tests approximately 150 million patients each year and has 150,000 physicians connected to its Care360™ platform. Surescripts processed nearly 600 million e-prescription messages in 2009. The company supports approximately 170,000 active prescribers.

“In recent years, Surescripts and Quest Diagnostics have each committed to pioneering advancements in healthcare technology solutions,” said Richard A. Mahoney, Quest Diagnostics’ Vice President, Healthcare Information Solutions. “Now, we are working together to support our nation’s goal to achieve a National Health Information Network (NHIN), with an aim to make it possible and realistic for physicians to use technology meaningfully toward optimal and efficient patient care.”

According to Harry Totonis, Surescripts’ president and CEO, “Surescripts built the nation’s e-prescribing network and the ecosystem to support it, based on the foundations of neutrality, efficiency and quality. This strategic alliance will leverage the strengths and experience behind our laboratory and prescription networks with an intent to form an information-rich, interoperable service that helps to lower costs and transform patient care throughout the healthcare system.”

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

About Surescripts

Surescripts operates the nation’s largest e-prescription network and supports a rapidly expanding ecosystem of health care organizations nationwide. Surescripts was founded on the principles of neutrality, transparency, interoperability, efficiency, collaboration and quality. Surescripts connects prescribers in all 50 states through their choice of e-prescribing software to the nation’s leading payers, chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies. Available during emergencies or routine care, The Nation’s E-Prescription Network gives health care providers secure, low-cost, electronic access to prescription and health information that can save their patients’ lives, improve efficiency and reduce the cost of health care for all. For more information, go to www.surescripts.com.

The statements in this press release which are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they are made and which reflect management’s current estimates, projections, expectations or beliefs and which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and outcomes to be materially different. Risks and uncertainties that may affect the future results of the company include, but are not limited to, adverse results from pending or future government investigations, lawsuits or private actions, the competitive environment, changes in government regulations, changing relationships with customers, payers, suppliers and strategic partners and other factors discussed in “Business,” in “Risk Factors,” “Cautionary Factors that May Affect Future Results,” “Legal Proceedings,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” in the company’s 2009 Annual Report on Form 10-K and other items throughout the Form 10-K and the company’s Current Reports on Form 8-K.

Quest Diagnostics Contacts:  
Barb Short (Media): 973-520-2800  
Kathleen Valentine (Investors): 973-520-2900  
   
Surescripts Contacts:  
Rob Cronin: 917-414-5289, [email protected]

Most people are familiar with security technology that scans a person’s handprint or eye for identification purposes. Now, viagra approved
thanks in part to research from North Carolina State University, recipe
we are closer to practical technology that can test someone’s voice to confirm their identity.

“The big picture is speaker authentication by computer,” says Dr. Robert Rodman, professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a new paper on the subject. “The acoustic parameters of the voice are affected by the shape of the vocal tract, and different people have different vocal tracts,” Rodman explains. “This new research will help improve the speed of speech authentication, without sacrificing accuracy.”

Rodman explains that speech authentication could have a host of applications in this age of heightened security and mobile electronics. “Potential users of this technology include government, financial, health-care and telecommunications industries,” Rodman says, “for applications ranging from preventing ID theft and fraud to data protection.”

Current computer models that are used to compare acoustic profiles, effectively evaluating whether a speaker is who he says he is,  may take several seconds or more to process the information, which is still too long for the technology to gain widespread acceptance. “In order for this technology to gain traction among users,” Rodman says, “the response time needs to improve without increasing the error rate.”

To address this problem, Rodman and his fellow researchers modified existing computer models to streamline the authentication process so that it operates more efficiently. “This is part of the evolution of speech authentication software,” Rodman says, “and it moves us closer to making this technology a practical, secure tool.”

The research was co-authored by NC State’s Rodman; Rahim Saeidi, Tomi Kinnunen and Pasi Franti of the University of Joensuu in Finland; and Hamid Reza Sadegh Mohammadi of the Iranian Academic Center for Education, Culture & Research.

The research, “Joint Frame and Gaussian Selection for Text Independent Speaker Verification,” will be presented at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP)  in Dallas, March 14-19. The research was funded, in part, by the Centre for International Mobility.

NC State’s Department of Computer Science is part of the university’s College of Engineering.

Martin Swinney

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