News broke recently that Nuance—the company behind Dragon and other speech to text solutions—has been facing a cyberattack that has wreaked havoc with their product offerings for the past few days. A more detailed analysis can be found here, but the main takeaway is that a virus known as Petya has been dispatched by persons unknown in the aim of disrupting services and destroying important data. Nuance is still working diligently to restore services, remove the intrusion, and ensure that their system remains protected from other such attacks.
At mTuitive, we have multiple customers that utilize Nuance in conjunction with our synoptic reporting solutions. In addition to raising awareness of this issue and condemning such cowardly attacks on vital processes in healthcare, this message is meant for all Nuance users who incorporate the service with our surgery and pathology reporting products. If You Are a Nuance User, Please Note: It is of vital importance that you contact your IT department to make sure they are aware of the situation and are currently working with Nuance and others to resume normal usage.
For mTuitive users, there are alternatives to fill in the gap—for OpNote users, they can use speech to text on their mobile devices (though navigation will need to be manually driven); for pathology customers, windows also offers a speech to text option free with their OS that can be used with mTuitive products. In the meantime, failing those options, customers are encouraged to use the manual entry process of keyboard & mouse/touchscreen navigation to enter in the necessary information for their sensitive medical reports.
Petya (also, oddly enough, known as NotPetya) presents itself as ransomware. That is malicious software that holds data hostage until payments have been made to the attackers. HIMSS has been closely following the situation, and has advised all facilities affected that NotPetya is NOT ransomware, but instead a devastating virus intent on throwing a wrench into services and destroying the data that has been captured. Any Nuance customers should be aware that they should NOT engage in paying the ransom or dealing with the perpetrators in any capacity; this is just a ploy for further disruption. For more on the HIMSS response and their advice on how to deal with it (including excellent insights for how IT departments are currently dealing with it), please go to this site here.
Furthermore, Nuance has made an offer to clients affected by these attacks:
The company is offering Dragon Medical One or Dragon Medical Network Edition as an option for these customers. And officials said customers may also choose to implement an alternative dictation service.
Presumably, the best way to get these alternative solutions is to contact the local Nuance rep with whom the facility works, or by visiting Nuance's website.
For any mTuitive customers also using Nuance, please be sure to remain vigilant and have your IT department stay on top of the latest news and make sure all data is secure. If there is anything mTuitive can do to help you during this time, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have, and we'll do everything we can to help you maintain continuity of care and help you get through this unfortunate incident.