If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Clinical voice assistant developer Suki has created a new voice platform with improved artificial intelligence. The Suki Speech Service, referred to by the company as S3, makes Suki's voice assistant faster, more accurate, and flexible enough that it could be used by professionals outside of the healthcare sector. Suki's current voice assistant is built to reduce the amount of time and energy doctors spend on administrative tasks and records. The voice assistant records, transcribes, and organizes a doctor's conversations with a patients and any notes on the case. Suki can then automatically complete the data entry necessary for Electronic Health Records (EHR).
For doctors that are exhausted from long hours typing up patient medical records, it could be game-changing, says Punit Soni, founder and CEO of Suki AI, a virtual assistant app for clinicians. The startup just raised a $20 million Series B round from Flare Capital Partners, First Round Capital, and Venrock, doubling its total funding to $40 million since its 2017 launch. The premise of Suki AI is simple: It's Alexa for doctors. Similar to how people can order Amazon's voice-enabled digital assistant to set a reminder or tell them their schedule, doctors can use Suki to take notes during patient appointments and those notes will automatically fill out electronic health records (EHRs). That's increasingly important as doctors spend more time logging data and less face time with patients.
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.
Doctors practice medicine to deliver care, not do data entry. Yet in the era of electronic medical records (EMRs), for every hour spent with a patient, physicians spend nearly two hours on paperwork. What if technology could take care of the paperwork for us? Record-keeping systems in health care were built for back-office functions, not bedside medicine. Most EMR vendors started out building products to collect payments and schedule appointments.
One of the most interesting developments from last month's Google I/O event was the Google Duplex demo, where Google Assistant actually made a call on behalf of a human to make a beauty appointment... meaning Google Assistant called a human and had a conversation that led to an appointment being booked. Now that's a cool trick (some folks might not characterize it as such, but that's another story). It's not available right this minute, so it kind of has a feel of being a gimmick or party trick that grabs your attention for a while before we move on to the next thing. And that party trick theme came up last week when the subject of voice assistants came up at Pegaworld in Las Vegas -- the party trick capitol of the world. Read also: What is Google Duplex?
A new artificial-intelligence (AI) engine developed by Oregon Health and Science University can detect the cause of blindness in babies more accurately than doctors, in a step that promises automation of tasks often held back by shortage of qualified professionals. By reading images of eyes, the AI engine was able to diagnose the causes of blindness in babies with 91% accuracy, said the report by news agency IANS. For comparison, a team of doctors was only 82% accurate. "There's a huge shortage of ophthalmologists trained and willing to diagnose retinopathy of prematurity (RoP). This creates enormous gaps in care, even in the US, and sadly leads to many children around the world going undiagnosed," said co-lead researcher Michael Chiang at Oregon Health and Science University in the report.
When trying to figure out what to do after an extensive career at Google, Motorola, and Flipkart, Punit Soni decided to spend a lot of time sitting in doctors' offices to figure out what to do next. It was there that Soni said he figured out one of the most annoying pain points for doctors in any office: writing down notes and documentation. That's why he decided to start Suki -- previously Robin AI -- to create a way for doctors to simply start talking aloud to take notes when working with patients, rather than having to put everything into a medical record system, or even writing those notes down by hand. That seemed like the lowest hanging fruit, offering an opportunity to make it easier for doctors that see dozens of patients to make their lives significantly easier, he said. "We decided we had found a powerful constituency who were burning out because of just documentation," Soni said.
"Siri, where is the nearest Starbucks?" "Suki, let's get Mr. Jones a two-week run of clarithromycin and schedule him back here for a follow-up in two weeks." Doesn't sound that crazy, does it? For years, voice assistants have been changing the way people shop, get around, and manage their home entertainment systems. Now they're starting to show up someplace even a little more personal: the doctor's office.