Nuance unveils AI-powered virtual assistant solution designed for healthcare

Virtual Assistant capabilities enhance interactions between clinicians and patients

Building on a history of powering virtual assistants for many of the leading consumer and automotive brands in the world; Nuance Communications today unveiled its artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant solution designed specifically for healthcare providers.

Nuance’s new Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant will further streamline a wide variety of clinical workflows for the 500,000 clinicians that already rely on Dragon Medical every day for their clinical documentation.

Based upon the award-winning Nuance Virtual Assistant platform, the Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant will deliver sophisticated conversational dialogues and pre-built capabilities that automate high-value clinical workflows.

This solution directly addresses the belief by 80% of 10,000 US clinicians surveyed by Nuance that virtual assistants would drastically change healthcare by the end of 2018.

Building on decades of experience working with healthcare providers, an extensive market footprint, and its highly-scalable, multi-channel Virtual Assistant platform, Nuance has created a virtual assistant solution optimised for the healthcare provider market that includes:

  • Industry-leading voice recognition technology designed for healthcare: Dragon Medical is trusted by more than 500,000 clinicians to accurately create and communicate more than 300 million patient stories a year. This cloud-based offering enables any individual using specialised medical terminology to communicate naturally with high accuracy and no voice training across a range of devices and applications
  • Voice biometrics and text-to-speech: The solution utilises Nuance’s voice biometrics and text-to-speech capabilities for advanced security and clinician usability
  • Unparalleled integrations and strategic healthcare IT relationships: The offering contains embedded, unique and sophisticated workflow capabilities across major electronic health record (EHR) systems that clinicians use every day across mobile, web, and desktop platforms
  • Prototype smart speaker customised for healthcare provider settings and use cases: A prototype, specialised healthcare smart speaker connects to the Dragon Medical cloud and is optimised for clinical interactions and ambient speech clinical workflows
  • Secure and reliable platform: The solution leverages the HITRUST CSF certified Microsoft Azure cloud hosting platform to deliver the enhanced performance, security, and privacy today’s providers require

“Technology needs to be unobtrusive and support the process of providing high-quality patient care—not get in the way,” said David Y Ting, managing director and chief medical information officer at Massachusetts General Physicians Organization.

“Having Nuance’s AI-powered virtual assistant technology embedded into the EHR will help make a new generation of patient care a reality – for both clinicians and patients.”

According to new research from experts at the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association, primary care physicians spend more than half of their workday at a computer screen performing data entry and other tasks with EHRs.

This new virtual assistant will utilise Nuance’s proven conversational AI capabilities to optimise the experience healthcare providers have with their EHRs, freeing clinicians to focus on the patient and thereby providing higher-quality care, a better patient experience and lowering physician burnout.

According to Nuance’s Art of Medicine survey conducted in 2015, elements of a visit that are most important to patients are time for discussion, advice and recommendations, privacy and engagement. Yet 40% of patients feel rushed during their visit and physicians have less quality time to spend with them – about eight minutes on average per patient, or 12% of their time.

However, technology can help. The survey stated that 97% of patients are comfortable with the amount of technology being used by their providers, so long as it plays a supporting role and does not distract or interfere with their conversation time with their clinicians.

With Nuance’s virtual assistant capabilities and smart speaker innovation, conversational AI will not get in the way, but will help improve clinician productivity and overcome the pain associated with conforming to existing technology interfaces – providing clinicians and patients with a new level of freedom.

“Nuance is helping to create a world where clinicians can refocus on their patients without technology getting in the way,” said Peter Durlach, senior vice president of strategy in the healthcare division at Nuance.

“Our healthcare virtual assistant and smart speaker innovations are designed to enable the clinician to get back to why they went to medical school – to take care of people.

“By spending more time with patients, the quality of care will increase, patients will be more satisfied with their experience, and clinicians will be less burnt out.”

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