Nuance, Epic partner to help veterans with disabilities

By integrating Nuance's AI with Epic's EHR, they aim to make it a cinch for nation's veterans to make medical appointments using voice-driven interactions.
By Bernie Monegain
11:30 AM

Nuance Communications and Epic Systems are collaborating on putting artificial intelligence and health IT to work helping wounded warriors.

There are nearly 20 million military veterans in the U.S., and 4 million have service-connected disabilities, by the government’s count.

The two IT companies announced at HIMSS17 they would work together to make it easier for disabled veterans to schedule medical appointments.

Epic's electronic health record, paired with Nuance's healthcare virtual assistant technology, Florence, makes the task easier, Nuance executives say. Nuance’s AI-powered conversational user interface and simple design supports intuitive voice-driven interactions, making it possible to schedule an appointment in seconds, they add.

Voice-driven workflows will be featured as part of the Medical Appointment Scheduling System program – MASS, a nationwide deployment of Epic scheduling software in VA Medical Centers, aimed at improving veterans’ access to care.

The goal is to help people with disabilities gain independence and better access to the information they need fast and securely.

Nuance has delivered speech recognition technology to the U.S. Veteran’s Health Administration System through long-standing relationships across the health system, which includes 14,000 physicians across 152 hospitals supporting more than 8 million patients annually. Nuance’s clinical documentation solutions support all branches of the Department of Defense at hundreds of facilities across the U.S and overseas.

Satish Maripuri, executive vice president and general manager of Nuance's healthcare division, noted that the company has invested heavily over the past decade to develop conversational and cognitive virtual assistant and AI technologies.

"This is an important invaluable initiative to help our nation’s veterans get what they need faster and to become more independent," Maripuri said in a statement.

"We are very proud of our work with Nuance to embed their advanced AI technology into Epic’s EHR to deliver next-generation assistive capabilities to our nation’s veterans," added Epic President Carl Dvorak.

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