Race For AI-Based Medical Assistants Heats Up

Imagine a situation when your radiologist is overwhelmed by the data he is receiving through many data repositories and medical data sources. The amount of data analysis and reporting needed to get the radiology report right is humongous. Now, the medical community has the backing of artificial intelligence and machine learning which can ease the complexity of this data. During the last decade or so, we have seen a steady increase in the number of medical applications of AI with many coming for radiologists.

This is where Nuance comes into play. Nuance is an innovator in voice, speech and natural language processing and is bringing these powers together. Combining the state of the art AI and cloud, they have created PowerScribe One an advanced natural language understanding cloud-based product, which uses AI to improve workflow efficiency and accuracy of radiologists.

PowerScribe One leverages a cloud-powered, continuously learning, and context-aware language understanding platform to convert unstructured speech-to-text input into structured data. It also integrates access to AI algorithms within the radiologist’s normal workflow, giving radiologists powerful solutions to improve efficiency and throughput, increase diagnostic accuracy and specificity, and ensure consistent, evidence-based follow-up recommendations.

Medical Domain: The New Black

There is a renewed interest in the medical domain from technologists who have tried to innovate in this field for decades but could not make big strides. Many startups and large players who have AI as their forte got into the field aiming to deliver value to doctors and medical practitioners and make them more efficient in the short and medium term.

Apart from working on specific deep learning tools to automate radiologists and doctors, there has been an inclination to assist doctors and free them up to do important tasks. Karen Holzberger who is a vice president and general manager, Healthcare Diagnostics at Nuance says, “We are committed to transforming the practice of diagnostic imaging with products, such as PowerScribe One, that help radiologists amplify their expertise and demonstrate their value through their primary work product – the diagnostic report.”

Recently, a Westborough-based company named eClinicalWorks, which works in the medical records domain, launched a virtual assistant called Eva for doctors whose main task would be to quickly find patient information and thus help doctors make better decisions.

Suki is another medical technology based AI-powered startup working on a voice-enabled digital assistant for doctors that takes care of medical documentation so medical practitioners can focus on important things. Suki was founded by Punit Soni, who was the chief product officer At Flipkart and has worked at Motorola and Google before.

Doctors: The New Power Users Of Analytics

Many startups working in this field have found doctors to be a new set of users that are hungry for AI and analytics tools. The main task of these tools is to reduce inefficiencies, bring stability to the system and reduce the number of follow-ups. Such a service uses the whole range of technologies from natural language processing, machine learning as well as cloud services.

They can help radiologists specifically to use structured and other kinds of data to make reports and extract data from data sources. Tools like PowerScribe One can work with multiple kinds of systems to share common data between health repositories and enable stable monitoring of the data. Nuance has gone one step ahead and created a marketplace where app developers and AI engineers can build medical AI apps and upload them to Nuance’s AI marketplace. All these features and tools are offered to doctors via the cloud to make the experience cleaner and more informative.

Even radiologists and radiology professors are loving it. “Imaging AI cannot be deployed in a silo – integrating the outputs of AI into the radiologist’s existing clinical workflow enables it to effectively augment the capabilities of the radiologist, while preserving as well as enhancing efficiency and quality,” said Warren B Gefter, MD, professor of radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania while talking about the confluence of AI and advanced medicine “AI in radiology is rapidly evolving; the challenge is to make it usable and useful.”

Watch this video where we talk to Philips Healthcare about AI in healthcare:


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