In an announcement made at HIMSS 2018, Nuance Communications, Inc and Epic revealed that Nuance's new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant platform is integrated into Epic's EHR. With Nuance's new virtual assistant technology, Epic's EHR further improves caregiver productivity and efficiency across the continuum of care. The announcement comes as new CHIME survey data reveals that 70% of hospital CIOs surveyed would consider adopting virtual assistants with AI capabilities in the coming year.
"Technology needs to be unobtrusive and support the process of providing high quality patient care," said David Y. Ting, MD, CMIO of Massachusetts General Physicians Organization. "Having Nuance's AI-powered virtual assistant technology embedded into Epic will help make a new generation of patient care a reality—for both clinicians and patients."
Joint product innovations include the following:
• Epic Haiku: Thousands of physicians already rely on Dragon Medical embedded in Epic's mobile apps for creating voice-driven clinical documentation on the go. With Nuance's AI-powered virtual assistants, physicians using Epic Haiku will benefit from new virtual assistant-enabled workflows, such as asking for patient information, lab results, medication lists, and visit summaries. This enhanced functionality runs on iOS or Android-enabled mobile devices.
• Epic Rover: Beyond notes entry, nurses using Epic Rover will now also be able to use Nuance's virtual assistant to conversationally interact with flowsheets to enter and confirm patient information, including blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and other vitals. This enhanced functionality runs on iOS or Android-enabled mobile devices.
• Epic Cadence: Scheduling staff, including those with physical disabilities, will be able to converse with Nuance's virtual assistant, to check physician schedules and create, look up, and cancel patient appointments using voice and natural dialogue.
"Nuance's AI-powered virtual assistants with conversational AI functionality expand the ways that physicians and care teams can instantly capture and retrieve patient information," said Carl Dvorak, president of Epic. "These advancements represent a growing need for next-level conversational AI capabilities and we expect them to be a catalyst for changing how and what physicians are required to document in progress notes."
Virtual Assistant Technology Designed and Optimized for Health Care
Building on decades of experience in health care, its extensive market footprint, and applying Nuance technology that has supported many of the leading consumer, enterprise, and automotive brands in the world, Nuance's virtual assistant platform is optimized for the health care market by doing the following:
• building on Dragon Medical, which is trusted by more than 500,000 clinicians worldwide to accurately create and communicate more than 300 million patient stories a year;
• providing prebuilt skills delivered through conversational dialogues that automate high-value clinical workflows, including secure search and navigation of the patient chart, clinical and administrative tasks, place orders, facilitate communications, manage schedules, and unobtrusively capture clinical documentation across a wide range of general and specialty workflows;
• deeply integrating with EHR workflows that clinicians use every day;
• innovating a specialized smart speaker prototype that is connected to the Dragon Medical cloud and optimized for complex medical conversations and ambient speech use cases;
• utilizing Nuance's award-winning voice biometrics capabilities for advanced security and clinician usability; and
• leveraging the HITRUST CSF certified Microsoft Azure cloud hosting platform and the industry's first and only HITRUST CSF certified health care speech recognition platform for enhanced performance, privacy, and overall HIPAA compliance.
"Epic's EHR, integrated with our AI-powered virtual assistant technology, represents extensive product collaboration and strategic alignment between both companies on the importance of delivering greater clinician productivity and efficiency across the care continuum," said Satish Maripuri, executive vice president and general manager of the health care division for Nuance Communications. "Our new health care virtual assistant technology is a first step in a new generation of innovation that will empower care teams to work more naturally and reinforces both companies' beliefs that to improve the overall quality of care, we must enable clinicians and care teams to maximize time with their patients."
— Source: Nuance Communications, Inc