We joined more than 40,000 attendees in Las Vegas for this year’s HIMSS conference. In response to the event, one HIMSS-veteran reviewer wrote, the HIMSS announcements are “…waking people up to the fact that there is a better way of doing things and that if they don’t innovate, someone else will.” Moreover, he wrote that health practitioners are getting “pretty practical about using technology to really make a difference in how they deliver care.”
We’ve long been focused on reimagining the way things are done in healthcare. At Nuance Healthcare, our vision is: “A world where technology enhances the ability for clinicians to take care of their patients and doesn’t get in the way.” During the conference, we made a key announcement that continues to support this vision with a new AI-powered virtual assistant platform embedded in the Epic EHR for physicians, nurses, and schedulers.
This remarkable step forward means care teams can conversationally engage with the EHR, never touch a keyboard, and focus on the patient. This is not 5 years out – it is available now. A powerful vision can accelerate innovation more than one can imagine.
Adding to the buzz, our AI in Action room at HIMSS delivered a unique opportunity to experience what ‘a better way of doing things’ means.
The featured scenario in the AI in Action experience room began with the physician at home, fielding a call from a patient’s mother. Right from her mobile device, the physician could use her voice to log in, order medications, schedule follow up appointments, create tasks, and access key patient information. And without a click, the physician was able to get critical data in and out of the EHR with ease. These simple conversations continued throughout the care process from the clinic and ED to the radiology reading room—supporting nursing flowsheets and notes entry and radiology workflows. The scenario concluded with examples of automated documentation and in-workflow guidance to support better clinical decision making—and all of this happened while the physician held the patient’s hand instead of a computer mouse.
Following these standing-room-only sessions, hundreds of CMIOs, CIOs, and others tried our AI-powered technology for themselves. The response to and energy in the AI in Action experience room was palpable. And, the impressions we overheard were, frankly, humbling.
Carl Dvorak, president of Epic said: “Nuance’s AI-powered virtual assistants with conversational AI functionality expand the ways that physicians and care teams can instantly capture and retrieve patient information. These advancements represent a growing need for next-level conversational AI capabilities and we expect them to be a catalyst for changing how and what physicians are required to document in progress notes.”
Unburdening care teams in this way has been our vision, so the AI in Action experience at HIMSS was a dream come true to see the concept come to life for our team, partners, and customers.
As David Y. Ting, MD, CMIO, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization stated: “Technology needs to be unobtrusive and support the process of providing high quality patient care. Having Nuance’s AI-powered virtual assistant technology embedded into Epic will help make a new generation of patient care a reality – for both clinicians and patients.”
We can certainly do our part in leaving the world a better place than we found it, and disruptive innovation will help us in that quest.