Captioning and Transcription for Medical Content

April 20, 2018 BY PATRICK LOFTUS
Updated: June 3, 2019

Whether it’s a hospital marketing video, instructional surgery video, recorded medical course lecture, or any other kind of medical multimedia content, adding captions and transcripts is a must.

Videos without captions are not accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. In fact, deaf medical students have taken legal action in the past when their courses featured videos that did not include captions.

But, captioning also just makes sense in the medical field. The US has a growing population with hearing loss and 1 in 2 adults over 65, who need medical treatment the most, experience some degree of it. And in medical school, lecture recordings and surgical instruction videos need to be made accessible to aspiring deaf medical students, like those who belong to the Association of Medical Professions with Hearing Loss.

So, when it comes to captioning or transcribing medical content, here’s what to keep in mind:

What’s most important to medical content publishers?


  • Word-to-Word Accuracy: The medical field is full of complicated, difficult language and jargon. Getting those industry-specific terms correct is a top priority when it comes to transcribing medical content.
  • Workflow Tools: Hospitals and other medical centers are busy enough, so anything that can help make the captioning process easier is highly desirable. Video player platform integrations that automate the captioning workflow are critical to saving time and effort. Easily navigable captioning vendor account systems are also a must.
  • Accessibility: US accessibility laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act require certain medical content to be accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. That means accurate, readable captions are essential for medical media content.
  • Privacy: Some medical content may be confidential, or protected by laws like HIPAA. Any medical content like this needs to be protected and transcribed by responsible individuals.

What are the common challenges?

  • Difficult Terminology: Even with current technology, transcribing medical content is no easy task. In the past, hospitals and doctors’ offices employed certified medical transcriptionists to take down patient notes. Today, we have automated speech recognition (ASR) technology. Still, without significant human editing for spelling and punctuation, ASR cannot be relied upon alone — especially when it comes to transcribing complex medical terminology.
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  • Speakers with Heavy Accents: The medical field is full of people from diverse backgrounds and not everyone is a native English speaker. For a transcriptionist, listening to a medical course instructor with a non-native accent may require some extra time to understand what word was just said. For computerized transcription software, there’s a higher chance it will get the word wrong entirely.
  • Difficult Workflows: Whoever is tasked with getting medical content transcribed or captioned probably doesn’t have any interest in learning a complicated captioning workflow. There are many ways to caption content but some methods can involve a lot of time and effort.

Which vendor features are important to medical content publishers?

  • Accuracy: Our thousands of professional transcript editors all go through a rigorous certification process. At 3Play Media, we guarantee a 99% accuracy rate, even when the spoken audio includes difficult medical terminology.
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  • Legal Compliance: Our captions comply with ADA Title III and Title II requirements, and standards established in Sections 508 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 3Play Media is also HIPAA compliant and takes great care to protect sensitive customer information. We ensure that our business associates and contractors who handle PHI fully comply with HIPAA and have business associate agreements when required to do so.
  • Video Player Integrations: We want your captioning workflow to be as simple as possible. That’s why we offer one-click solutions for most major video players and platforms to completely automate your captioning process.
  • Intuitive Account System: Our easy-to-use account system was designed for fast onboarding so you and your marketing team can start captioning your videos right away.
  • Caption Editor: Although it’s rarely necessary, after your media files have been processed, you can easily edit your captions and translated subtitles using the editing interface in your account.
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  • Interactive Transcript: Interactive transcripts are extremely helpful as a learning tool. Students watching a video in university medical courses can search for terms in a transcript, play the video from that point in the transcript, and retain more information.
  • Competitive Pricing: We combine speech recognition technology with two levels of human editing and multiple turnaround options to provide high-quality captions at a low price point.

Medical Content Publishers Who Use 3Play Media

Harvard School of Public Health
Sutter Health
Florida Hospital

Get started captioning and transcribing your medical video content today!


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