Breaking new ground in healthcare with the next evolution of AI

| Tom McGuinness, Corporate Vice President, Global Healthcare & Life Sciences, Microsoft and Diana Nole, Executive Vice President and Healthcare General Manager, Nuance

Doctor seeing young patient

Since the beginning of modern medicine, the arc of innovation has delivered previously unimaginable breakthroughs and treatments that have improved health outcomes and lengthened lifespans. We are now in an era where digital transformation is redefining the way organizations approach patient engagement, care team collaboration and the provider experience. From better access to patient data through electronic health records (EHR) to improved access to healthcare through telemedicine, technology has given providers solutions that enable greater productivity and, most importantly, improve the quality of care available to patients.

But there is an opportunity to do more. The healthcare industry still faces challenges that technology can play a vital role in addressing. Next-generation AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare by empowering clinicians to focus on personalized patient connections – strengthening the human interaction in medicine, reducing costs, and easing the administrative and cognitive burdens providers face. This is the reason that Microsoft and Nuance joined forces in 2022.

Today we are introducing a new solution, Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX™) Express, which represents the next breakthrough for healthcare and a major milestone in our journey to automate clinical documentation at scale. DAX Express is an automated clinical documentation application integrated into the workflow that is the first to combine proven conversational and ambient AI with the advanced reasoning and natural language capabilities of OpenAI’s GPT-4. Extending the proven Dragon Medical portfolio of solutions and building on the market-leading DAX ambient solution launched in 2020, DAX Express is the next milestone in Nuance’s long-standing mission to reduce administrative burden and empower clinicians to spend more time taking care of patients and less time on paperwork.

AI solutions at work in healthcare today
Physicians and nurses have been overwhelmed by the administrative demands that come with providing high-quality care. They must navigate complicated coding and billing requirements, manage the cognitive burden to accurately record and recall increasing amounts of patient data, and treat an aging and growing population. As a result, many organizations, including the U.S. Surgeon General and professional medical associations, are urging the development of comprehensive, secure solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into clinical workflows to reduce clinician burnout.

DAX Express tackles this head-on, with advanced automated clinical documentation seamlessly integrated in physicians’ workflows. It’s another proof point of how Microsoft and Nuance’s solutions, backed by industry-defining AI and amplified by the power of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, are reshaping care delivery with measurable and growing outcomes:

  • Relieving workforce burnout – Our solutions are proven to lead the industry in addressing this seemingly intractable problem – with physicians reporting up to 70% reduction in feelings of burnout and fatigue.
  • Supporting specialty workflows – From surgeons to radiologists, our solutions analyze vast amounts of patient data, deliver workflow automation, facilitate reporting and communication, and provide AI insights that support more informed decision-making, planning and treatment—improving radiologist efficiency by 50% and reducing time-to-intervention by 74%.
  • Improving adherence – By analyzing data to uncover findings, simplifying patient and physician communication, and providing comprehensive care plan tracking, our solutions deliver a 52% improvement in follow-up adherence.
  • Increasing access to care – Our automated clinical documentation solutions give back time to clinicians who often choose to see more patients, adding five appointments per average clinic day – enabling clinicians to provide their best care to more people.
  • Enhancing patient engagement – AI-powered chatbots are just one example of how AI is providing patients with quick and accessible information using built-in medical knowledge bases and triage protocols, which can trigger seamless handoff from bot interaction to a doctor, nurse or support agent. And, by delivering consistent and contextually relevant patient experiences, healthcare organizations are realizing 30% increases in patient self-service rates and 50% reductions in patient support costs.

Shared mission and complementary capabilities in healthcare
Microsoft and Nuance came together with a shared vision to reshape healthcare: leveraging our unique capabilities to solve the industry’s biggest challenges and equip the entire ecosystem to achieve more. At our core, we believe that technologies like AI, in partnership with clinicians, play a key role in accelerating progress in the industry, making physician and patient experiences more personal and engaging, and helping increase access to care. Our North Star is empowering clinicians to return their focus to patient care – using our proven solutions, combined with their judgment, to reduce cognitive burdens and support better outcomes.

Microsoft and Nuance have for years been ahead of the curve in innovating AI solutions, and organizations large and small have long trusted our responsible, secure applications and infrastructure. Microsoft’s years of strategic investments in research, cloud and AI – including the acquisition of Nuance – have led us to where we are today. Through the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, Microsoft is providing responsible, integrated AI capabilities at scale that make it easier to improve the entire healthcare experience. Microsoft is also driving research, incubations and moonshots that drive real-world impact across healthcare and the life sciences. For example, Microsoft Research partners with leading organizations to advance and build infrastructure for emerging precision health modalities and empowers scientists with AI to speed up the discovery and development of breakthrough medicines. And we’re empowering health organizations to tackle some of the toughest challenges in global health with our AI for Health philanthropic program.

Similarly, Nuance has decades of experience developing healthcare solutions used by hundreds of thousands of practitioners that are proven to consistently deliver value for physicians, nurses, radiologists and patients. Nuance has long been at the forefront of innovating conversational and ambient AI in healthcare – most notably with Dragon Medical One and most recently with DAX – and for years has leveraged expertise in large language models, natural language processing and clinical workflows to deliver refined, trusted AI solutions for clinical documentation around the globe. With this new innovation, the Nuance healthcare portfolio gives customers even more flexibility to automate and enhance their clinical documentation workflows with the accuracy and reliability of Dragon Medical One, the customized, full-service experience of DAX, and the immediacy and speed of DAX Express. Together, we are combining the power of Microsoft Azure, a deeply rich health data platform, and robust engineering and AI expertise to deliver outcomes-focused healthcare applications at scale to improve provider and patient experiences.

DAX Express represents the next step in delivering AI technology that provides an immediate, practical and highly accessible entry point for healthcare organizations to adopt at scale a new generation of AI-powered solutions, leveraging their existing investments in trusted Nuance solutions. For the more than 550,000 Dragon Medical users, DAX Express automatically and securely creates draft clinical notes in seconds, available immediately for clinical review and completion, after each patient visit in the exam room or via telehealth patient conversations. Clinicians will benefit from the seamless capabilities of Dragon Medical One, DAX Express, and DAX, which are tightly integrated into the electronic medical record, beginning from pre-visit through post-encounter, reducing cognitive burdens and helping increase the joy of medicine.

Responsible AI in healthcare
DAX Express is developed in alignment with Microsoft’s responsible AI standards, and consistent with our long-standing commitment to data security and privacy, helping to ensure AI systems and solutions that are trustworthy and safe. Microsoft and Nuance believe that while AI in healthcare has the potential to make a lasting, positive impact on the industry and the patients it serves, it is imperative we ensure the technology is used responsibly and transparently. As we have for years, we will continue to work closely with healthcare providers and the broader industry to help ensure AI is used in a way that is ethical and transparent.

Microsoft and Nuance are uniquely positioned to amplify the healthcare industry’s ability to deliver meaningful outcomes with the power of AI. We are proud to be at the cutting edge of healthcare innovation, and we look forward to continuing to help the industry solve healthcare’s biggest challenges.

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