Nuance launches new Ambient Clinical Intelligence technology

Now generally available, the EHR-linked new Dragon Ambient eXperience applies AI to help capture and contextualize physicians' conversations with their patients.
By Mike Miliard
03:08 PM

(Photo: Nuance Communications screenshot)

Update: HIMSS20 has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Read more here.

Deploying artificial intelligence to enable fully voice-enabled exam rooms, Nuance Communications' new Dragon Ambient eXperience, or DAX, technology is now generally available, the company announced this week.

WHY IT MATTERS
First rolled out in beta this past year, Nuance DAX helps boost the physician and patient experience by securely capturing and contextualizing their exam room conversations, improving clinical documentation while reducing the chances that the EHR will intrude on the encounter.

Created in collaboration Microsoft, DAX extends the reach of Nuance's widely-used Dragon Medical tool – using advanced ambient sensing technology and artificial intelligence to help improve patient satisfaction, streamline  and ease clinician burden.

Nuance DAX is built on Microsoft's secure Azure cloud platform. Among its features are an ambient device with a microphone array, large interactive display, integrated biometrics, and multi-sensory capabilities, capable of reliably capturing a multi-party conversation within an exam room setting, according to the Nuance.

Its automated clinical documentation capabilities are powered by deep learning models and certified through a quality review process. Meanwhile, it features a growing list of integrated Dragon virtual assistant capabilities, with a hands-free access point enabling care teams to complete tasks within the EHR and third-party apps.

THE LARGER TREND
The technology is already in use at Novant Health, Rush University Medical Center and SSM Health, among others. At Nebraska Medicine staff has reported more efficient patient throughput, according to Nuance, and provider satisfaction scores for clinical documentation are up 88%, with patient consent rates exceeding 90%.

Dr. Ann Cappellari, chief medical information officer at SSM Health, said Dragon Ambient eXperience is helping providers "spend more time with their patients and less time on administrative tasks," according to a Nuance press statement. "Providers and patients communicate more clearly and build stronger relationships. That results in better care, which is everyone’s goal."

That's certainly the goal of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which this past week unveiled its final report on reducing provide burden – specifying documentation reduction and technology usability as two key factors to reducing clinician burnout.

Earlier this week we showed how Halifax Health CIO Tom Stafford is using Nuance AI technology to streamline and drive efficiencies across the health system's clinical documentation improvement efforts. He'll share more detail in a session scheduled for Thursday, March 12 at HIMSS20 in Orlando. Nuance will also be at HIMSS20 (booth 1944), where it will showcase DAX and an array of other AI-powered clinical tools.

ON THE RECORD
"It is essential to develop technology that empowers clinicians so that they can get back to doing what they trained for and love. It is equally important that we return to patients their doctors’ undivided attention," said Nuance CTO Joe Petro in a statement. "Our development of Nuance DAX began with a deep understanding of how doctors need and want to work. We’ve delivered an unobtrusive solution that is as present and available as the light in the exam room – and already producing meaningful results for clinicians and their patients."

"As AI continues to improve, we expect it will empower our health system partners to turn their observations into actions — to reduce risk, flag concerns, and even help guide clinicians to the most effective care plans," said Greg Moore, corporate VP for health technology and alliances at Microsoft. "By working together with Nuance, and applying the power of Azure and Azure AI, we aim to positively transform the day-to-day life of front-line care providers – ultimately empowering them to provide optimal health for their patients."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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