Nuance Communications, Inc. announced today that Providence Health & Services is deploying Dragon Medical 360 Network Edition across its healthcare enterprise, making medical voice recognition available at 27 hospitals and 250 clinics for approximately 8,000 clinicians. According to a news release, Providence Health & Services is ranked by Thomson Reuters as among the top 20 percent of best-performing health systems in the country. The organization-wide use of Dragon Medical will help Providence roll out the Epic electronic health record (EHR) system by letting clinical staff document and navigate the EHR simply by speaking, saving time and allowing them to be more efficient and effective. Over the next year, Dragon Medical will be integrated with Epic and once fully deployed, clinicians will be able to use the just by using their voice, leading to faster EHR system adoption and improved physician satisfaction with EHR use, the press release claims. "Dragon Medical builds upon our current Nuance-driven background speech workflow through eScription and will give physicians more documentation options," said Laureen O'Brien, chief information officer, Providence Health & Services.
Enthusiasts predicted the plan would relieve the pressure on hard-pressed GPs. Critics saw it as a sign of creeping privatisation and a data-protection disaster in waiting. Reactions to news last month that Amazon's voice-controlled digital assistant Alexa was to begin using NHS website information to answer health queries were many and varied. US-based healthcare tech analysts say the deal is just the latest of a series of recent moves that together reveal an audacious, long-term strategy on the part of Amazon. From its entry into the lucrative prescription drugs market and development of AI tools to analyse patient records, to Alexa apps that manage diabetes and data-driven experiments on how to cut medical bills, the $900bn global giant's determination to make the digital disruption of healthcare a central part of its future business model is becoming increasingly clear.
Rx.Health is adding a suite of tools to prevent physician burnout. How do you keep physicians from being overwhelmed by a mountain of paperwork? Give them a voice assistant, similar to Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri. That's the thinking behind Suki, a Redwood City-based startup that recently struck a partnership with Mount Sinai Health System spinoff Rx.Health. Rx.Health curates digital tools for doctors, allowing them to prescribe digital therapeutics and care plans from electronic health record systems.
As part of re:Invent, today AWS announced Amazon Transcribe Medical, a new HIPAA-eligible, machine learning automatic speech recognition (ASR) service that allows developers to add medical speech-to-text capabilities to their applications. Transcribe Medical provides accurate and affordable medical transcription, enabling healthcare providers, IT vendors, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies to build services that help physicians, nurses, researchers, and claims agents improve the efficiency of medical note-taking. Today, clinicians can spend up to an average of six additional hours per day, on top of existing medical tasks, just writing notes for electronic health record (EHR) data entry. Not only is the processing time consuming and exhausting for physicians, but it is also a leading factor of workplace burnout and stress that distracts physicians from engaging patients attentively, resulting in poorer patient care and rushed visits. While medical scribes have been employed to assist with manual note-taking, the solution is expensive, difficult to scale across thousands of medical facilities, and some patients find the presence of a scribe uncomfortable, leading to less candid discussions about symptoms.
Amazon Web Services is rolling out an electronic health record-supported machine learning transcription service that uses speech recognition applications to ease physician documentation. The product is Amazon Transcribe Medical, which automatically translates audio streams into medical speech, enabling affordable, secure and accurate note taking for clinical staff, researchers and other stakeholders. Cerner, for example is using the product in an initial development of a digital voice scribe that automatically listens to clinician and patient interactions and captures the conversation in text form. The service enables developers to add medical speech-to-text capability to their applications. Amazon is positioning Transcribe Medical as a tool to ease physician and researcher burnout.