Today, Microsoft and Nuance Communications announced a strategic partnership to accelerate the development of Nuance's Ambient Clinical Intelligence (ACI) solution, announced at HIMSS earlier this year. Built on Microsoft Azure, the partnership will bring together the two companies' strengths in developing ambient sensing and conversational AI solutions in order to reduce the burden of clinical documentation, so doctors can focus more time on patients. Physician burnout is at epidemic levels. A recent study shows that primary care doctors now spend two hours on administrative tasks for every hour they're involved in direct patient care. Physicians reported one to two hours of after-hours work each night, mostly related to administrative tasks.
Tech giant Microsoft is teaming up with Nuance Communications to use technology to solve a big pain point for doctors--too much time spent on documenting and administrative tasks. The two companies are collaborating to use ambient technology combined with artificial intelligence, automation and cloud computing to create an exam room experience where the clinical documentation "writes itself," the companies said in a press release. Physician burnout continues to be a significant problem in healthcare. A recent study shows that primary care doctors now spend two hours on administrative tasks for every hour they're involved in direct patient care. Physicians reported one to two hours of after-hours work each night, mostly related to administrative tasks.
Conversational AI specialist Nuance and software giant Microsoft are partnering to help reduce the amount of administrative work associated with documenting patient care. The agreement will see both companies accelerate the delivery of ambient clinical intelligence technologies, which can help improve productivity by streamlining administrative tasks. ACI is built on Nuance's Dragon Medical One cloud platform and speech recognition and natural language understanding technology, enhanced by the company's domain expertise and healthcare optimized conversational AI solutions already in use around the world. The partnership between Microsoft and Nuance combines Nuance's expertise in conversational AI, clinical documentation and decision-support solutions for healthcare with Microsoft's strengths in delivering cloud and AI solutions. The two companies will also work closely in sync with their electronic health record partners to improve the clinician experience.
Physician burnout is one of the most serious conditions in today's medical profession. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines the condition as "a long-term stress reaction caused by emotional exhaustion [and] depersonalization," among other factors. According to the American Medical Association, physicians suffer from considerable stress caused by facets of their job that have little to do with actually providing personalized patient care. The AMA reports that physicians spend up to six hours daily working with electronic health records (EHRs) to adhere to government and hospital documentation requirements. That's six hours not spent seeing patients, and thus not having the time to listen carefully and diagnose, empathize, hold a hand, speak with family members, or explain conditions and next steps.
A surge of new healthcare products from wearable consumer health trackers to diagnostic algorithms promising to improve medical outcomes and costs with artificial intelligence (AI) is prompting physicians and hospital executives to ask a fundamental question: "Are these technologies solving the right problems?" Two ongoing developments add scale and urgency to this important question. The first is a virtual gold rush of technology vendors looking to stake a claim in the healthcare IT market, which is projected to top $390 billion by 2024 according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. The second is what the World Medical Association is calling a "pandemic of physician burnout," caused by a staggering workload of electronic paperwork to document patient care and which is required for insurance coverage, financial reimbursement, and medicolegal liability protection. More than half of clinicians report feeling burned out from the hamster wheel of documentation and reporting tasks that often require spending two hours at a computer for every hour spent in patient care.