This week Nuance launched the Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant which aims to streamline clinical workflows for healthcare providers who already use its Dragon Medical solution. The virtual assistant will allow clinicians to record patient information in their electronic health record (EHR) systems on various mobile, web and desktop platforms with just their voice. Nuance states in its press release, “This cloud-based offering enables any individual, using specialized medical terminology, to communicate naturally with high accuracy and no voice training across a range of devices and applications.”
Improving Healthcare with Voice-First Technology
The average speed a person can type is about 40 words per minute. But with speech, that number dramatically increases to about 160 words per minute. By allowing physicians to use their voice to enter patient information in EHR systems, the Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant could significantly decrease the time a physician spend on data entry. In fact, a recent study from the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association found that over half of a typical primary care physicians work day is spent performing data entry with EHRs. Reducing that time would free clinicians to focus on the patient, increasing quality of care and preventing physician burn out.
Solving An Immediate Problem
As Peter Durlach, senior vice president of strategy in Nuance’s Healthcare Division points out, physicians did not go to medical school to simply do data entry, “Our healthcare virtual assistant and smart speaker innovations are designed to enable the clinician to get back to why they went to medical school – to take care of people. By spending more time with patients, the quality of care will increase, patients will be more satisfied with their experience and clinicians will be less burnt out.” While IBM’s Watson gets more of the headlines by focusing on larger scale issues like finding a cure for cancer, Nuance is tackling a practical problem for the over-burden healthcare system that can be solved today with artificial intelligence.