Home  |   Subscribe  |   Resources  |   Reprints  |   Writers' Guidelines

Industry Insight

AMA, Nuance Partnership Focuses on Documentation Burden

Nuance Communications and the American Medical Association (AMA) recently announced a strategic collaboration that will pilot test the combination of each organization’s respective technologies in an effort to reduce documentation burden that distracts from patient care and demoralizes highly trained physicians.

The collaboration will leverage Nuance’s expertise in ambient clinical intelligence (ACI)—which securely facilitates the transformation of clinical conversations between patients and physicians into reliable medical chart notes—with AMA’s expertise in physician burnout prevention and health care informatics in a shared exploration of innovations to empower clinical decisions, enhance the quality care, and boost physician well-being.

The organizations’ mutual goal is to assess their respective innovative solutions that work in tandem with EHR systems to prioritize time with patients rather than overload clinicians with data entry tasks. In particular, the collaboration will explore opportunities to optimize Nuance’s ACI solution working in tandem with IHMI’s clinical knowledge graph.

“Documentation overload interferes with patient care and contributes significantly to physician burnout. Our aim is to explore technology innovation that can reduce this burden and provide physicians more time with patients, not paperwork,” says AMA CEO James L. Madara, MD. “By working together with Nuance to leverage the incredible potential of our combined expertise and resources, we can more effectively address a major contributing factor to physician burnout.”

“Our collaboration with the AMA is another key step toward solving one of the most difficult and high-priority problems facing all of health care today—the challenge of reducing physician and other caregiver burnout so that providers can refocus on the patient,” says Mark Benjamin, CEO Nuance. “It’s also a great example of how Nuance is continuing to combine AI-powered technical innovation, domain focus, and close collaboration with trusted partners like the AMA, Microsoft, and our EHR partners to deliver solutions from which we can all benefit.”

The AMA-Nuance collaboration is one of the multiple efforts both organizations are taking to alleviate physician burnout caused by increasing administrative and documentation demands. An energized, engaged, and resilient physician workforce is essential to achieving national health goals and there is a strong economic case for prioritizing physician well-being. A recent study involving AMA experts shows that primary care physicians spend more than one-half of their workday keeping up with data entry administrative tasks, significantly cutting into available time for patients. Another recent study involving AMA researchers reported that physician turnover and reduced clinical hours are attributable to burnout costs of $4.6 billion, or about $7,600 per physician, in the United States each year.

— Source: American Medical Association and Nuance Communications


Microsoft Launches AI for Health to Accelerate Global Health Initiatives

Microsoft Corp recently announced AI for Health, a new $40 million, five-year program, a part of the AI for Good initiative, that will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technology to empower researchers and organizations to address some of the world’s toughest challenges in health.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges, like improving the health of communities around the world,” says Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “We know that putting this powerful technology into the hands of experts tackling this problem can accelerate new solutions and improve access for underserved populations. That’s why we created AI for Health.”

In a new era of tech intensity, in which technology is reshaping every organization and becoming embedded in the fabric of every aspect of our lives, digital advances will continue to reshape our world in profound ways. Artificial intelligence represents one of technology’s most important priorities, and health care is perhaps AI’s most urgent application. However, the talent and resources required to equip health researchers with tools to deploy AI and data science is unevenly distributed. Less than 5% of the world’s AI professionals today work in health and nonprofit organizations. It is crucial to provide these mission-driven researchers with the tools they need to accelerate and expand their work.

Through AI for Health, Microsoft will work to ensure that nonprofits, academia, and research organizations have access to the latest technology, resources, and technical experts to help implement AI to accelerate research, generate insights, and improve access to care. The AI for Health initiative will focus on the following three key areas:

Microsoft’s efforts will build on existing collaborations with organizations to help solve pressing issues, such as discovering the cause of sudden infant death syndrome, eliminating leprosy, detecting diabetic retinopathy to prevent blindness, and building an ecosystem that allows safe and secure sharing of biomedical data.

We are honored to announce the inaugural cohort of AI for Health grantees, including BRAC, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS), Novartis Foundation, PATH, and Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

“Countries like Bangladesh, where BRAC was founded, have made enormous strides in health equity in the last three decades. Unfortunately, at least half the world’s population still lacks access to essential health services. Across our outreach areas in Asia and Africa, we see massive potential in using advanced data analytics and AI to bridge the gap between ‘health for some’ and ‘health for all,’ and we welcome Microsoft’s commitment in making this happen,” says Asif Saleh, executive director of BRAC.

“Unlocking and sharing data is critical to discovering new ways to treat and ultimately cure cancer,” says Raphael Gottardo, PhD, scientific director of the Translational Data Science Integrated Research Center at Fred Hutch. “Working in close collaboration with Microsoft, we will be able to harness new advances in AI, machine learning, and cloud computing to spur innovation and open up new avenues for preventing and treating cancer and related diseases.”

“Diabetes is the leading cause of adult-onset blindness in the United States; however, 95% of vision loss is preventable due to modern therapies such as the diabetic retinal exam,” says Sunil Gupta, MD, founder and chief medical officer of IRIS. “We can make a huge impact on people’s lives through the early detection of sight-threatening disease and advanced technologies can accelerate these efforts.”

Steve Martin, CEO of IRIS, highlights that “through the use of AI, we can scale our diagnostic software to reach underserved communities and help end preventable blindness.”

“Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to humans, but today an estimated 2 to 3 million people are still living with the disease,” says Ann Aerts, MD, head of Novartis Foundation. “Around the world, we are working to accelerate efforts to eliminate leprosy by focusing on interventions that aim to interrupt transmission. The use of AI is transformative and a game-changer in how we can accelerate progress and scale our work to reach the people in need.”

“At PATH, we’re focused on using innovation to remove barriers so that everyone can receive the health care they need to thrive. Along with Microsoft, we believe there is tremendous power in using AI to help us see all communities, identify the diseases that affect them, and ultimately improve the way they deliver care. Only when every community has the opportunity to transform their health can all of humanity advance,” says Jeff Bernson, MPA, MPH, chief data officer and vice president of technology, analytics, and marketing innovation at PATH.

The new program is part of Microsoft’s broader AI for Good initiative, a $165 million commitment to empower people and organizations working to create a positive impact on society that address the world’s toughest issues. The initiative includes AI for Accessibility, AI for Cultural Heritage, AI for Earth, AI for Health, and AI for Humanitarian Action. More information is available at www.microsoft.com/aiforgood.

— Source: Microsoft


Health Catalyst Announces Agreement to Acquire Able Health

Health Catalyst, a provider of data and analytics technology and services to health care organizations, announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Able Health, a San Francisco-based company that is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of quality and regulatory measurement tracking and reporting to health care providers and risk-bearing entities.

The Able Health SaaS application will strengthen Health Catalyst’s existing quality and regulatory measures capabilities. By bringing a growing inventory of hundreds of out-of-the-box measures, along with a scalable and flexible measures engine, Able Health’s solution automates measures reporting, a key competency of health care providers and risk-bearing entities’ population health strategies. Health Catalyst’s DOS platform will further enhance Able Health’s solution by providing a world-class data sourcing and integration backbone for the measures engine, capable of ingesting data from hundreds of different data sources prevalent in health care today.

“Able Health is a mission-driven company with a best-of-breed SaaS application that will further enhance Health Catalyst’s Quality and Regulatory Measures capabilities. Able Health’s measures engine, powered by DOS, will bring great value to our customers by further relieving the massive burden of regulatory measures. Furthermore, this demonstrates Health Catalyst’s ability to integrate and scale software applications on top of our DOS platform,” says Dan Burton, CEO of Health Catalyst. “Of particular importance and excitement is the strong mission and cultural alignment with our respected colleagues at Able Health. We are thrilled to have Rachel Katz, Steve Daniels, and their talented colleagues join us. These colleagues bring an incredibly valuable diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to Health Catalyst, which will directly contribute to fulfilling our mission to be the catalyst for massive, measurable, data-informed health care improvement.”

“The combined Health Catalyst and Able Health solution will further reduce the administrative burden of quality reporting and allow care teams to focus on patient care, a key to making value-based care work for providers and patients,” says Rachel Katz, CEO of Able Health. “We are thrilled to join the Health Catalyst family to offer scalable, cloud-based solutions powered by DOS, and to continue to provide a world-class quality measurement platform to our valued customers. The culture alignment we have found between our two organizations has been heartwarming and gives us great confidence in Health Catalyst as a home for our team and customers.”

— Source: Health Catalyst