Microsoft and Nuance announce clinical note-taking application powered by OpenAI
Velib bicycles are parked in front of the headquarters of U.S. computer and microcomputer company Microsoft on January 25, 2023 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.
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MicrosoftNuance Communications, a speech recognition subsidiary, on Monday announced Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) Express, a clinical note-taking application for healthcare workers powered by artificial intelligence.
DAX Express aims to reduce physicians’ administrative burden by automatically creating a draft clinical note within seconds of a patient visit. The technology is based on a combination of environmental AI, which derives insights from unstructured data such as conversations, and OpenAI’s latest model, GPT-4.
Diana Nole, Nuance’s executive vice president of healthcare, told CNBC that the company wants doctors to “get back to the joy of medicine” so they can care for more patients.
“Our ultimate goal is to reduce that cognitive load, to reduce the time they actually have to spend on these administrative tasks,” she said.
Microsoft acquired Nuance in 2021 for around $16 billion. The company generates revenue by selling tools to recognize and transcribe speech used in doctor visits, customer service calls, and voicemails.
DAX Express complements other existing services that Nuance already offers in the market.
According to Nole, the technology is enabled by Nuance’s Dragon Medical One speech recognition application, which is used by more than 550,000 doctors. Dragon Medical One is a cloud-based workflow assistant that doctors can use with their voice, allowing them to navigate clinical systems and quickly access patient information. Clinical notes generated by DAX Express are displayed on the Dragon Medical One desktop.
DAX Express also builds on the original DAX application that Nuance launched in 2020. DAX converts oral patient visits into clinical notes and puts them through a human review process to ensure they are accurate and of high quality. The notes appear in the medical record within four hours of the appointment.
In contrast, DAX Express creates clinical notes in seconds, allowing physicians to instantly view automated summaries of their patient visits.
“We believe doctors and clinicians will want a combination of all of these because every specialty is different, every patient encounter is different. And you want efficient tools for all these different types of visits,” Nole said.
Nuance didn’t provide CNBC with the exact cost of these applications. The company said the price of Nuance’s technology fluctuates based on the number of users and the size of a given healthcare system.
DAX Express will initially be available in a private preview capacity this summer. Nole said Nuance doesn’t know when the technology will be more widely available because it depends on the feedback the company is getting from its early adopters.
Patient data is particularly sensitive and is subject to HIPAA and other laws. Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president in the Azure group at Microsoft, told CNBC that DAX Express adheres to the core principles of Microsoft’s responsible AI framework, which guides all of the company’s AI investments, as well as additional security measures, the Nuance has met. Nuance has strict data agreements with its customers, and data is fully encrypted and runs in HIPAA-compliant environments.
Nole added that although AI will help doctors and clinicians with the legwork of administration, professionals are still involved every step of the way. Physicians can edit the notes generated by DAX Express and unsubscribe them before they are entered into a patient’s electronic medical record.
She said that using DAX Express will ultimately help improve both the patient experience and the doctor’s experience.
“The doctor and the patient can just face each other, they can communicate directly,” Nole said. “The patient feels heard. It’s a very trusting experience.”