• jonwahrenberger
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  • Name Jon Wahrenberger, MD
  • About Me: My passion for speech recognition began about 10 years ago when my institution thought it would be a good idea to turn doctors into typists. I quickly learned the benefits of Dragon over typing and a few years later, believing there should be more choice in the selection of speech recognition software and accessories, began Speech Recognition Solutions. I remain a full time cardiologist and continue to use Dragon daily for my medical documentation.
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Product Update: Dragon Medical One

Dragon Medical One

For the medical provider seeking the best possible accuracy while doing medical dictation and not needing some of the extraneous features of the full Dragon Medical Practice Edition, you should have a look at Nuance’s cloud-based medical product – Dragon Medical One.

Although in existence for 3-4 years, this product was initially called “Dragon Direct”.  It’s based on an entirely different speech engine than the one used in DMPE2 and in many ways is medical speech recognition built from the ground up.  I’ve been using Dragon Medical One (and its predecessor) for several years now and with my home institution in New Hampshire switching to it a month or so ago, I am seeing how wonderfully the product is being received by medical providers.  In a nutshell, users are absolutely astounded at how good it is.

My take on DMO?  It is unequivocally the best speech recognition product out there.  I have used DMPE2 for years.  I have used the Medical Network Edition for years.  I have trialed Fluency Direct.  Dragon Medical One is far and away the most accurate and every bit as fast as the other. 

The most important reasons to consider switching to DMO are the following:

  • Accuracy: Most accurate medical speech recognition available
  • Speed: Despite being on cloud, similar to prior Dragon versions in terms of speed
  • Cloud-based: Minimal impact on your computer, but the power of a massive server doing the work
  • Simplicity: Much greater simplicity compared to older versions of Dragon; no need for user reading or training; automatic adjustment of microphone volume; automatic detection of accents and dialects
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Automatically updates: You will always have the most current version.

These are some of the more detailed features:

  • Small application size, facilitating quick installation and rapid updating
  • Auto-updating features
  • Highly level of accuracy (better than seen with traditional versions of NaturallySpeaking)
  • Speed almost identical to that seen in the full Dragon Medical Practice client-side software
  • No need for user training
  • Automatic adjustment for user accent and dialect
  • Automatic microphone gain adjustment
  • Seamless integration with a variety of microphones including the PowerMic III, Philips SpeechMike Premium, and others. If your operating system sees it, DMO can use it!
  • Availability of versions for use with applications on a local computer and for virtualized (Citrix based) applications; both versions are included with a subscription
  • Ability to create text commands (“Auto-Texts”) to allow insertion of large segments of pre-defined text with a single verbal command
  • Ability to create step-by-step commands for computer control and other complex tasks
  • Full “text control” to allow navigation, selection, and correction of text
  • Unique ability to anchor upon a document and place dictated text in this document even when computer focus has changed
Compatibility:

The list of compatible windows, applications and electronic records with which Dragon Medical One is constantly growing. Here is a quick list as of October of 2017:

Text Entry Windows:

  • TX TextControl .NET for Windows Forms in versions 17, X8, X9, X10, X11, X12 and X13
  • TX TextControl .NET for Windows Forms in versions 17, X8, X9, X10, X11, X12 and X13 when embedded in 64-bit applications

General Applications:

Electronic Health Records:

  • AthenaClinicals
  • interWORKS
  • Azalea EHR
  • Better Day™ Health
  • PrognoCIS
  • Care Thread
  • PowerChart Touch
  • Cerner Millenium
  • Cerner RadNet
  • Clario Smart Worklist
  • CSpeak
  • ACUMI
  • DrCloudEMR
  • GE Centricity
  • eClinicalTouch and eClinicalMobile
  • McKesson Paragon
  • Nuance Speech for Haiku and Canto
  • Nuance CLU for Epic (v2014)
  • EZDERM
  • Easy NG
  • Epic Hyperspace
  • gEHRiMed
  • Hippo Manager
  • SwiftPayMD
  • Nimble
  • MCIS Clinicals
  • MDlog
  • EMA
  • NexSpeak
  • OneTouch EMR
  • iNOTZ
  • Opake MD
  • Origin Speech
  • Sense.ly
  • ChartPad
  • CareIntelligence, CareHistory, CareSynergy

To learn more about Dragon Medical One, consider visiting a few of these links:

Product Review: LiveMIC2

Product Review:  LiveMIC2

Turn any microphone into a wireless mic


Forum members may be interested to learn of a new device which can add flexibility to your use of speech recognition software.  The LiveMIC2, a wireless mic and transmitter made by Alead Inc, is on the market and has some interesting characteristics which might make it worthy of your consideration:

  1.  Wirelessly connects with any Bluetooth equipped computer (Mac or PC), mobile device, speaker, or sound system
  2. Includes on-board unidirectional and omnidirectional mics
  3. Contains an “external mic jack” to allow connection of any analog headset
  4. Not much bigger than your thumb, charges in 2 hours, 8-hours of talk time, 100 hours of standby time, and a 66 ft. range

While the initial draw of this product was the ability to turn any analog headset mic into a wireless microphone, it can also be combined with a short, snub nosed microphone such as the SpeechWare TabletMike to make it a well performing hand-held mic small enough to fit in your breast pocket.

LiveMIC2Options_w450.jpg 

Here are a few of the LiveMIC2 features:

  • Bluetooth connection using A2DP, Headset and Handsfree profiles
  • Two on-board microphones – one configured as an omnidirectional mic (broad range of pick-up) and one set-up to be used as a unidirectional (narrow range of pick-up) mic.  Both are very sensitive.
  • Use of broad-band Bluetooth audio which spans the range of usual voice frequencies
  • Use of advanced technology to minimize latency (almost no detectable delay and no echo)
  • External microphone jack for attachment of most common microphones using a 3.5 mm jack
  • User selectable microphone gain control
  • Charging using included mini-USB cable which can access power via any USB charger or available USB port
  • Two user-selectable pairing modes including Type A (audio receivers, speakers, PA systems and headphones) and Type B (iPhones, iPads, Android phones, other smartphones, tables, personal computers (Windows and Mac)
  • Control to allow mic muting
  • Hinged clip for attachment to shirt, or laptop lid
  • Included lapel microphone

The figure below gives you a good picture of the LiveMIC2 functionalities:

LiveMIC2_w400.jpg 

Specifications:

  • Rechargeable Li-Polymer battery with up to 8 hours of talk time and 100 hrs of standby time
  • Size: 5.5 cm x 2.8 cm x 1.7 cm (LxWxD)
  • Weight: 21 gm (0.8 oz)
  • Mic frequency range:  50-20KHz; sensitivity 55dB± 2dB
  • Charging: using included USB to micro-USB cable; 2 hrs to maximum charge
  • Wireless range:  up to 20m (66 ft.)
  • Supported Bluetooth profiles:  Headset, Handsfree and A2DP

Included in the box:

  • Transmitter
  • Charging cable (length about 2 ft.)
  • Accessory lapel microphone
  • User Guide

Links:

A few closing comments:

  1.  I was surprised at the simplicity and functionality of this device.  Set-up with a compatible Bluetooth device takes only a few minutes.  It works beautifully with a range of products.  After paring it with my MacBook Pro running Windows 10 via Bootcamp, I find it connects without fail whenever both are on and in range. I have tested it with a variety of Andrea analog mics, Audio Technica 8HEmW, SpeechWare TabletMike, SpeechWare FlexyMike DEC, SpeechWare SEC, Sennheiser ME3.  In fact, I have not tested it with a microphone with which it didn’t work fine.  The onboard microphone is entirely usable and accurate in a noise -free environment, but I recommend a more substantial external microphone for the best results.  I have used it with Dragon Medical Network Edition, Dragon Medical One, and Dragon Professional 15 Group – it seems to work perfectly in all software environments.
  2. Bluetooth products come with issues, including potential latency (delay in transmission of signal), slower sampling rates, and connection issues.  This having been said, I haven’t experienced these issues with the LiveMIC2.  I’ve connected it to my MacBook Pro, a work-station running Windows 10, an older work station for which I had to use an accessory dongle to add Bluetooth, my iPhone and my iPad (yes, I’m an Apple geek) and with each it connected simply and worked perfectly.  Seeing is believing, so if you want to see and hear the LiveMIC2 in action, check out the demos in the links above.
  3. No item is perfect.  Here is a short list of what I consider downsides of the LiveMIC2:
    1. On some levels, I wish there was an alternative with a dedicated dongle that would allow bypassing the Bluetooth driver issues … or perhaps the ability to use a pre-paired mini-dongle OR a separate Bluetooth device.  Maybe someone will make such a device? 
    2. The buttons are small
    3. We wish there was a dedicated mute button that would respond with a single click.  In the current arrangement, it takes a several second push of the gain-down button to mute the mic.  This is too slow.  Thankfully, only a single push of the gain up button releases the mute.
Dragon 13 not working with some text boxes
Rob-  Thanks for providing this helpful reply.  It looks like you've developed a great set of utilities for Dragon.  And for $25, it sounds like a bargain.  Expect an order from me soon!
Microphone for new Macbook Pro
Thanks for reporting your findings.  We are delighted to hear that that the TravelMike integrates smoothly with your new MacBook Pro using the Apple USB-C to USB adapter.  This opens up lots of possibilities for Mac users. 

I, too, enjoy using the TravelMike in a handheld manner.   Beyond being lightweight, it is so small that it can easily fit in a breast pocket.

For other readers, we now carry the Apple adapter and it can be found at this link:  

https://store.speechrecsolutions.com/apple-usb-c-to-usb-adapter-p377.aspx

Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Jon
Microphone for new Macbook Pro

If used with an audio extension cable and plugged into an audio jack, you might be able to use the TabletMic as a hand-held microphone.  Since we don't own one, we don't know if the new MacBook Pros have an audio jack.  If so, it's likely a jack that deals with both sound in and sound out. The TabletMike includes an adapter that splits this integrated jack into separate sound-in and sound-out jacks.   In general, though, use of analog microphones with a Mac are problematic, since they are built to expect a "line-in" product and not "mic-in", so we're not sure if this would work.  

A safer alternative would be to use the "TravelMike", along with a USB extension cable and the previously mentioned USB-C to USB-A adapter from Apple.  The TravelMike consists of a an extremely high quality external USB sound adapter and includes the exact microphone element that comes with the TabletMike.  This scenario would involve this sequence of connection:

Computer USB-C port > Apple USB-C to USB adapter > USB Extension Cable > USB MultiAdapter > TabletMike 

The TravelMike includes the MultiAdapter and TabletMike element.  You can see these items on our site at these links:

  • TravelMike:  https://store.speechrecsolutions.com/speechware-travelmike-p144.aspx
  • USB Extension Cable:  https://store.speechrecsolutions.com/half-meter-usb-extension-cable-p344.aspx
  • Apple USB-C to USB adapter:  http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MJ1M2AM/A/usb-c-to-usb-adapter
Let us know if you have additional questions.

BTW, you mentioned in your original post that the TravelMike won't work for several reasons.  Do you have one and have you tried this?  If so, I'm curious to know what your experience was.  Or was it just a matter of it not being compatible with the USB-C port?

Jon
Sennheiser mic not working
The sudden failure of your set-up is a bit of a mystery.  The basic question is whether it is a failure of your system to recognize the USB adapter, a failure of the adapter, or a problem with the microphone.  Below is some information taken from our Microphone Set-Up and Troubleshooting Guide which can be read in its entirety at:

http://www.speechrecsolutions.com/assets/Microphone_Setup_Troubleshooting_Guide.pdf

Troubleshooting a Microphone Not Working at All

This is a rare situation, but one which leads to great frustration.  Keep in mind that Dragon will only use a microphone that is being recognized by the operating system.  So after visually inspecting the microphone to rule out obvious mechanical issues, you should take steps to assure that the operating system is recognizing the microphone.

Here is our basic protocol:

  1.  Visually inspect the microphone and cord (and external sound device if being used) to be sure there is no evidence of damage to the wire.

  2. Be sure your microphone doesn’t have a mute switch.  If so, be sure that the muting function is not activated

  3. If you are using a USB adapter, be sure that it doesn’t have a mute switch, and if it does, be sure the sound is not being muted.

  4. If possible, use the microphone with another application, either on your current computer or another to assess its integrity in another environment.  For instance, try your microphone with Skype or another audio application which uses a microphone.

  5. Confirm that your operating system is sensing the microphone:

    1. Windows 8:  Go to Control Panel > Sound > Recording tab.  You should see you microphone and when talking, you see green deflections in the sound magnitude scale.  If you search “sound recorder” on Windows 8 it will launch a sound recorder which can be used to record a sample recording for use in assessing microphone sound quality.

    2. Windows 7 & Vista:   Go to your Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound, and click on the recording tab.   You should see your microphone.  When talking, you should see deflections in the green sound magnitude scale.

    3. Windows XP:  Confirming a microphone is more difficult in XP than in 7.  Often, the simplest method is to try a sample sound recording.  This is done as follows:

      1. Click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recorder

      2. On the sound recorder Edit menu, select Audio Properties

      3. Under the Sound Recording section, be sure your sound device is correctly chosen (select your on-board sound card if using a microphone plugged into the mic and sound jacks; if using a USB microphone or device, select the name corresponding to the device – many USB sound adapters show up as AK5370 in windows XP)

      4. Make a sample recording by clicking on the record button.  If audio is being recorded you will see deviations in the green signal line in the center of the recording.

      5. Hit the rewind button to bring you back to the beginning of the recording

      6. Hit the play button and listen to the recording

  6. If you are using a laptop and have a microphone plugged into the sound-out and microphone jacks, it should be disabling the on-board microphone, but there are many examples of this not being the case.  It is possible that Dragon is taking the sound signal from the on-board microphone and not the microphone you have plugged in.  In this case you should attempt manually disable the on-board microphone.  This method varies from machine to machine and may not be possible.  As a last resort (but nonetheless an excellent solution), get yourself an external USB sound adapter and do away with the problem.  Dragon will be directed to take it sound signal from the USB device into which you microphone is plugged and the on-board microphone will no longer harass you!

If you are plugging your microphone into the sound and microphone jacks on your computer, confirm that you have these properly selected.  In general the sound jack is marked in green and the microphone jack in pink or red.  If you have more than one set of jacks (front and rear), try plugging the microphone into the other set.  If you know your microphone is otherwise working but not with your PC, consider the route of using an external USB sound adapter. 


Please let us know if this information doesn't get the problem solved or at least the culprit identified.  Worse case scenario, we are happy to inspect and test your USB adapter and microphone to see which (if either) is at fault.

Jon

powermic II dictation
Glad to hear it's working now.  If the problem comes back, I'm happy to do more trouble-shooting with you.

Jon
powermic II dictation
It's probably the case that your user profile was never set up with the PowerMic as the sound source.  You can check this by going to Tools > Options and looking to see if there is a dedicated tab for the PowerMic on your options menu.  If not, then you need to formally add the PowerMic as a "source" to you existing profile.  This is done by navigating to Profile > Open User Profile and then clicking on the source button on the right of the screen and then selecting "New".  At this point you can choose the PowerMic II as your source and follow the ensuing steps.  Once you've done this, you will see the PowerMIc tab in the Options area.  Typically the options are set such that the central red button is programmed to work in a "Press-to-talk" manner by default.  You can change this from the PowerMic tab on the options menu if you choose.  Please see our PowerMic II User Guide for more information. 
Creating a sound recording on a Mac
It is sometimes helpful to create a sound recording so you can assess the quality of your microphone and sound card.  This may be particularly helpful when you suspect a problem with a microphone or whenever speech recognition doesn't seem to be working well.

Here is a link to a brief tutorial on creating a sample sound recording on a Mac.

http://www.mactip.net/how-to-record-sound-on-a-mac/

Adding a new microphone to Dragon Dictate
We are fairly frequently asked how best to add a new microphone or sound source to Dragon Dictate for Mac.  We have a simple tutorial on this topic which can be viewed at the following link:

http://www.speechrecsolutions.com/assets/Adding_Microphone_Dragon_Dictate.pdf

Near the bottom of the tutorial is information on adding a Bluetooth mic to Dragon dictate.

Hope this is helpful!

question about Radio Shack Sennheiser knockoffs

The Radio Shack "Sennheiser Knockoff" comes with a 16 ft. extension cord which includes an on-off switch and which requires a small lithium battery.  We have always recommended against using the extension, since if the battery is dead (typically the case), the extension will actually stop the microphone from working.  If you need additional length, we recommend using a simple audio extension cable.  When Marty was selling these at eMicrophones.com he included a 6 ft. extension, as do we.

The other "Pod" which you had was probably an Andrea USB adapter, something which was often bundled with the Radio Shack mic by resellers.  This adapter plugs into a USB port on your computer and has standard 3.5 mm audio jacks into which you can plug the Radio Shack (or other) microphone.  This device takes the place of your on-board sound card and has a few advantages over the on-board sound device, including:

1.  It provides the right voltage needed for the traditional electret microphone and this assures compatibility
2.  It does the analog to digital conversion outside of the electrically "loud" environment of you computer mother board, theoretically shield the device from some interfering signals
3.  Since it serves as your sound card when using Dragon or another speech recognition product and is entirely portable, it allows you to move the sound card when you switch to another computer and therefore makes your entire profile more "portable".

Without the pod, you will simply plug the microphone into your computer sound jack and use it.  It will probably work fine.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  Let me know if you have additional questions.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13
New Release: Dragon 13

Last week Nuance Communications, Inc. announced the release of the latest iteration of their popular speech recognition application - Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13.  At this point in time the new version is available only in the Home and Premium versions.  Expect the Professional & Legal versions in the next month or two and the medical version (Medical Practice Edition 3) in the next 6 months or so.
 
What can we tell you about this new version?  After testing it for nearly a week, we have been extremely impressed.  Although it includes more than 100 new features and enhancements, we consider the following to be the most important:
  1. 15% higher accuracy.  Although hard to prove this objectively, we saw noticeable improvement in accuracy
  2. Improved speed
  3. Dramatically streamlined user enrollment which no longer requires reading of long passages of text.
  4. Enhanced functionalities in a number of software environments, including Gmail and Hotmail support, and improved use in Google Chrome and Firefox
  5. Ability to use the built-in microphone on a laptop computer (but expect better results with a dedicated microphone)
  6. Auto-collapsing DragonBar to keep it out of the way when not needed but automatically expanded when you hover over it.
  7. Improved handling of audio devices

Where to get it?  Don't tell Nuance we shared the link, but Dragon 13 can be purchased directly from Nuance on a deeply discounted basis through the end of September.  During this promotional period the full version of Premium costs just $99.99, rather than the usual $199.99. To  take advantage of this special promotion, click on the link below.

 

Purchase Dragon 13 directly from Nuance

  
Note:  Speech Recognition Solutions is providing the above link for your convenience and does not profit in any way from your purchase of Dragon 13 directly from Nuance.  Promotional pricing ends on September 30, 2014.
Product Review: SpeechWare FlexyMike Dual Ear Cardioid

We are delighted to announce the arrival of a new headset - the FlexyMike Dual Ear Cardioid (FMKDEC).  Designed by SpeechWare in Belgium, this new speakerless headset was conceived specifically for the speech recognition users and designed to be competition for our long-time favorite, the Sennheiser ME3.

 

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Key features:

  • Mounts around back of head rather than over top
  • Highly sensitive back electret condenser element
  • Unidirectional cardioid polar pattern (extremely directional in sound pick-up)
  • Frequency Range, 50Hz ~ 18,000Hz
  • Connector: standard 3.5 mm stereo gold-plate plug
  • Short 1 m/40" cable for notebooks, and an additional 2 m/80" cable extension for use with desktop computers

 

Testing results: 

 

During the last month or so we have extensively tested the FMKDEC and compared it with the other top contenders in our "best headset" category. Almost any microphone will work well in the absence of contaminating noise. The FMKDEC is no exception. While it clearly wins the "most expensive" award, it also wins the "most accurate" honor. Using a testing set-up which uses an "artificial mouth" as the sound source and using this source to create a new profile for any tested microphone and playing a pre-recorded reading of the "Rainbow Passage" in both a quiet setting and with 70-75 dB noise arising in front of the testing apparatus, this set-up provides a bit more objectivity to the testing process.


 R
esults for our top contenders:
 

 

FlexyMike DEC

Sennheiser ME3

AT Pro 8HEmW

Accuracy (no noise)

98.9

98.5

98.7

Accuracy (75 dB noise)

98.5

98.7

98.2

 

It's hard to award the honor of "best headset" since results are extremely good with all. In some respects this speaks to how accurate Dragon has become, and also, perhaps, to the extremely careful dictation used for the pre-recorded Rainbow Passage used for the testing above. Keep in mind that the above numbers used brand-new profiles created individually for each microphone and included no previous training or exposure to the Rainbow Passage. A trained and matured profile could be expected to do better.
 

Which microphone is really the best? Here are my two cents:

  • FlexyMike Dual Ear Cardioid: The lightest of the three, and most compatible with all sound cards. Highest accuracy, and almost the highest external noise rejection. Lacks slightly in comfort due to mounting style. A little bit "hot". The most expensive.

  • Sennheiser ME3-VR: Edges out in external noise rejection and the most comfortable. Not compatible with all sound cards, but works fine with Andrea Pure Audio (MA and SA versions), Buddy 7G, and the SpeechWare MultiAdapter. Extremely rugged and long considered the best. Intermediate in price among the three, but still expensive!

  • Audio Technica Pro 8HEmW: Least expensive of the three. Highly accurate and external noise rejecting, but edged out in both categories by the other two. Mounting a little too firm for some users. A little finicky when it comes to sound cards and sometimes needs to be used with the Andrea P-100 converter plug.

Summary: The bottom line is that it's great to have another option. The FMKDEC is beautifully engineered, provides superb results with speech recognition software, and is made to compete with the Sennheiser ME3.

 

For more information on the SpeechWare FlexyMike Dual Ear Cardioid, please visit our full product page at http://store.speechrecsolutions.com/speechware-flexymike-de-cardioid-microphone-p213.aspx or read our Full Product Review

"Key to Speech Recognition"
Whether new to speech recognition or a pro, we're all looking for more information and tricks to make it even better.  Speech Recognition Solutions has put together an extensive collection of speech recognition resources to assist you in your use of this amazing technology. 

Key Contents:
  1. Speech Recognition Software:  the Medical Provider's Guide.  This 90-page guide, aimed to users of Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2, is a broad overview of concepts helpful to all users of Dragon.  The guide comes in the form of PDF, which you are welcome to print.
  2. Dragon Medical Practice Edition New User Training Program:  This 90 minute video, produced and narrated by Speech Recognition Solution's founder and clinical cardiologist, Jon Wahrenberger, MD, takes a new user through basic use, best practices, and tricks needed to use Dragon Medical Practice Edition efficiently and effectively.  While oriented to medical users, most of the information will be helpful to any Dragon user.
  3. Commands for Downloading:  Intended for the medical user, we provide a series of Dragon commands useful to the medical practitioner, including commands related to exam, note templates, differential diagnosis, and general utilities.  Each command set comes  with a document describing the commands, an XML version which allows you to see the contents of the command set in a web browser, and the actual .dat file for importation to your version of Dragon Professional, Medical or Legal.
  4. Miscellaneous speech recognition resources:  this is a compendium of key documents, tutorials and other helpful information, available for free on-line, but put in one place for you.  Among the documents are the following:
  • Dragon User Guides (version 10 and onward)
  • Administrative Guides
  • Dragon Workbooks (versions 10, 11 & 12)
  • Some dedicated Dragon Dictate resources
  • Our original "Guide to Dragon 10 Medical"
  • Miscellaneous speech recognition resources, including our "Accuracy Guide", "Microphone Selection Guide", "Microphone Set-up& Troubleshooting Guide"
  • Lots, lots more

    For more information, please visit our dedicated page at:  http://store.speechrecsolutions.com/key-to-speech-recognition-technology-p217.aspx

 
Unable to program mouse keys
I don't understand the underlying hardware and software enough to understand why, but yes, a standard mouse click cannot be programmed with Octopus USB Controller.  If it were the case it would turn out that you would lose standard left and right mouse clicking capability with any plugged in USB mouse. 

Once you've used OUC for a while, I would be very appreciative if you would post some feedback on how it works for you.

Jon
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