Healthcare & AI: ‘We are not in Star Trek territory … yet’

Over the next few years, a staggering 90% of business intelligence tools are expected to add natural language processing to their functions.

Artificial Intelligence has been at the core of our healthcare technology solutions for years, but the rest of the business world is realizing the power causing an explosion of AI-related products predicted in 2018.

Gartner recently issued its list of Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends of 2018, with AI-powered tools dominating the list, thanks to factors like the maturation of machine learning fueled by massive amounts of data and new algorithms, said Gartner VP David W. Cearley.

Over the next few years, a staggering 90% of business intelligence tools are expected to add natural language processing to their functions, Cearley predicted.  Healthcare virtual assistants, like our Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant, are expected to take a larger role in not only clinical processes, but also in more general patient service ways, such as providing “augmented intelligence” to clinicians and hospital staff and even improving the discharge process.

We are not in Star Trek territory … yet, Cearley said. These devices are expected to stay mostly restricted to controlled and regulated environments for the time being. But the technology will be creeping into the mainstream as we continue to automate tasks that are conversationally repetitive and mundane. Gartner’s 2017 prediction list suggested that by 2020 – believe it or not – the average consumer will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse.

Some of our Dragon Medical One clients are already thinking out of the box and asking us how they can go beyond the EHR and leverage the investment they have made in the thousands of TVs installed in hospital rooms.

What if a physician could walk in to a patient’s room, and through a virtual assistant that’s connected to the TV, see the patient’s medical record on screen?  That kind of capability is not too far in the future.

We have a vision at Nuance that one day the physician will walk in the exam room and go about their examination with the patient while the room displays information as requested and records the entire conversation in the appropriate fields in the EHR all from the context of the conversation.   We are working to make this vision a reality.

You can find the complete list of Gartner’s 2018 predictions here.

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Satish Maripuri

About Satish Maripuri

Satish Maripuri is the executive vice president and general manager of Nuance’s Healthcare division, overseeing all operational aspects of the business, including innovation strategy, product development, marketing, sales, partnerships, and client relationships across the company’s healthcare solutions portfolio. Under Satish’s leadership, Nuance Healthcare returned to growth from a 4% decline to 9% growth within three years. Satish is passionate about the criticality of purpose-driven culture and leadership to drive business growth. He has more than 28 years of management experience in enterprise software, SaaS solutions, natural language processing (NLP), artificial Intelligence (AI), international operations, global mobile workforces, and cloud services. Prior to joining Nuance in 2012, Satish held several executive leadership positions at global technology companies, including Solera Holdings, Lionbridge Technologies, and Imprivata. Satish holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Andhra University and M.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Northeastern University.