The “lady with the lamp” still sheds light on healthcare

Virtual assistants, like Florence, help physicians jump through hurdles to heal patients and improve health outcomes.

We are living in an era where innovation is expected and culling data into information that can be used to improve lives is a natural part of that process.  But it wasn’t always this easy, especially in healthcare.

More than 100 years ago, Florence Nightingale, who is credited as the founder of modern nursing, worked to change how society viewed illness.  Known as “the lady with the lamp,” Florence made rounds to her patients’ bedsides throughout the night, checking on conditions and administering treatment to those in need.  Her care didn’t stop there.  As a statistician, she collected data on her patients, aggregating information about different illnesses into polar area diagrams, akin to today’s circular histogram, in order to illustrate seasonal sources of patient mortality at her hospital.  She used these graphical representations to create reports and educate the medical community and members of Parliament on the importance of public health initiatives.

Although times have changed, the importance of leveraging real-time data to help clinicians make the most informed decisions for patient care remains the same.  Building on what Florence Nightingale started, our virtual assistant, Florence, provides assistive intelligence to physicians, helping to improve health outcomes.

Today is Florence Nightingale’s birthday, and more than a century later, we are still collecting critical  health information, building on what she started in order to improve care and provide much-needed support to physicians and their patients.  To learn more about our developer community visit

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Jonathon Dreyer

About Jonathon Dreyer

Jonathon Dreyer is the senior director of solutions marketing for Nuance’s Healthcare division where he is driving a physician-first approach to medicine by bringing cloud-based speech recognition and clinical language understanding technology to a worldwide community of healthcare IT developers and provider organizations. Prior to his current role, Jon worked as the solutions marketing manager for Diagnostic Imaging at Nuance and previously headed up marketing at Commissure Inc., a provider of clinical documentation and healthcare communication solutions. Jon graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors at Wayne State University where he earned a B.S business administration.