Dragon Medical One review

The world's best-selling speech recognition solution

(Image: © Nuance)

TechRadar Verdict

Nuance Dragon Medical One is an AI assistant for clinical settings. It offers customizable features, high uptime, and global usage. Benefits include reduced documentation time, improved accuracy, and enhanced security. It eliminates the need for scribes and provides continuous support. However, it has occasional transcription quality issues. Despite this, it remains popular for computerized voice recognition.


  • +

    Choice of support options

  • +

    Conversational AI

  • +

    Uptime maximized

  • +

    Transparent pricing


  • -

    User complaints of transcription errors

  • -

    No live transcribers

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The Nuance Communications-developed Dragon Medical One functions as both a conversational AI workflow assistant and documentation companion, specifically crafted for clinical settings. Its origins trace back to 1975, when Dr. James Baker created the foundational "Speech Understanding System," which he and his wife brought to market in 1982 under the Dragon Systems banner. Over the years, Dragon's corporate ownership has changed several times, ultimately leading to its current position within the Nuance brand. While the speech recognition products from Dragon are undoubtedly a core part of the Nuance portfolio, the company also offers a diverse range of additional products across sectors such as AI and biometric security.

On a global scale, Nuance takes pride in the fact that an estimated 10,000 healthcare organizations utilize Dragon Medical One for medical transcription, along with the distinct achievement of capturing 80% of the radiologist market within the United States. Notably, renowned healthcare institutions such as Banner Health, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Rochester Medical Center all leverage Dragon's advanced technology solutions.

Dragon Medical One: Features


Medical professionals did not endure years of rigorous medical school and advanced residency training solely to spend their days fixated on computer screens. However, the burdensome reality of extensive paperwork has now been replaced by the constant documentation requirements of electronic health records (EHRs) for most clinicians.

Some have turned to employing medical scribes as a means to alleviate this burden, thereby allowing clinicians more time with patients. However, this solution is costly and less than ideal, as unlicensed individuals attempt to keep pace with the clinician's dictation, ultimately hoping that information is entered accurately. This conundrum has led astute clinicians to explore alternative options.

Nuance Dragon offers a range of medical transcription solutions, with Medical One being a popular cloud-based offering. It is specifically designed to ensure both security and efficient completion of EHR documentation. Medical One is powered by cutting-edge "Conversational AI" technology, which enables clinicians to maintain their natural workflow. In essence, the software adapts to the clinician's working style, rather than the clinician being forced to adjust to the software. This is exemplified by the fact that no voice profile training is required, as Dragon Medical One achieves 99% accuracy from the outset.

Dragon Medical One incorporates numerous features to enhance physician satisfaction and minimize frustration. These include the ability to generate customized vocabularies and templates, and then not only utilize them, but also share them with colleagues across a diverse range of devices. Additionally, it offers a single cloud-based profile that is automatically established upon initial use, leveraging advanced AI algorithms.


(Image credit: Nuance)

A cloud-based system offers certain advantages, such as eliminating the need for end users to perform updates or undertake complex software installations. However, the effectiveness of such a system is ultimately dependent on the underlying infrastructure upon which it is built. Dragon Medical One boasts an impressive 99.5% uptime, powered by Microsoft Azure servers that are strategically distributed to maximize both uptime and data security. Moreover, the system is fully compliant with HIPAA regulations, hosted on HITRUST CSF-certified infrastructure.

Dragon Medical One goes above and beyond to ensure exceptional accuracy in its transcription process, delivering a remarkable 99% accuracy right from the start, without any prior training. Furthermore, a personalized voice profile is developed for each clinician and stored securely in the cloud. The accuracy is further enhanced through an automated process that incorporates microphone calibration and accent adjustments, with the aim of achieving even higher accuracy and reducing the word error rate.

Dragon Medical One: Drawbacks

Although Dragon is the most experienced voice recognition software, it is not without flaws. Users have reported issues with the quality of transcriptions, including a lengthy initial learning period for the user's voice. Additionally, despite the name "Naturally Speaking," users have complained that they need to speak unnaturally to improve voice recognition, which can lead to errors. These errors are more common for users with heavy accents but have also been reported by American-born speakers.

However, it is important to consider that Dragon Medical One is a computer-driven process, without any live transcription input. This can make it difficult to maintain a high level of accuracy on more challenging transcriptions, where a professional transcriptionist could produce a higher-quality result.

Dragon Medical One: Support

We note the support options readily accessible within the Dragon platform. Nuance generously provides support through an intuitive online support portal, a direct chat interface with a live agent, and a dedicated toll-free support line. The phone number serves as a convenient avenue for addressing product and sales inquiries, activation processes, licensing matters, registration procedures, and return-related concerns. It is operational from Monday through Friday, within the time frame of 9 am to 8 pm, adhering to the Eastern Standard Time (EST) or Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) time zone. The support line can be reached by dialing the following number: (800) 654-1187.

On the self help side, there is a robust Knowledge Base. It has plenty of content, including multiple user guides, cheat sheets, workbooks and whitepapers. We also note that this database is searchable for convenience.


(Image credit: Nuance)

Dragon Medical One: Pricing

Here are the key details about Medical One’s pricing:

Dragon Medical One operates on a subscription basis with the option to choose from 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year terms.

The standard monthly cost for Dragon Medical One is $99 for a 1 year contract. This subscription fee allows you to use the service and benefit from regular updates and improvements. The price drops to $89/month with a 2 year contract, and $79/month with a 3 year commitment.

Finally, there is a one-time implementation fee of $525 that covers installation, training, and ongoing support. It also includes PowerMic Mobile, a secure, wireless microphone app.

Dragon Medical One: Final verdict

Nuance Dragon Medical One is an AI workflow assistant for clinical settings. It offers customizable features, such as vocabularies and templates. With a 99.5% uptime, it is used by 10,000 healthcare organizations globally. Benefits include reduced documentation time, improved accuracy, and increased security. It eliminates the need for medical scribes and provides ongoing support. However, it has some issues with transcription quality. Users with heavy accents may experience errors. Overall, for those looking for a computerized voice recognition solution, we can see why it is a market leader. 

We've listed the best medical practice management software.

Jonas P. DeMuro

Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.