Nuance Adds Ambient Clinical AI Assistant to Cerner’s Health Records
Healthcare data giant Cerner will embed Nuance’s Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) in its electronic health record (EHR) platform. DAX is designed to reduce the administrative work for healthcare providers through conversational AI, widening the partnership Nuance and Cerner began in 2020.
Cerner incorporated Nuance’s Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant in 2020, providing doctors using Cerner’s platform with a way to fill in and search EHRs of patients by voice. DAX continues on that path by providing a more comprehensive, though subtle, AI administrative assistant for physicians using the Cerner Millennium platform. DAX transcribes the conversation between the doctor and patient for later referral without pulling the doctor’s attention from what the patient is saying. The AI understands the context of the data it collects well enough to update the patient’s EHR where relevant, collating everything for the doctor to approve without them needing to manually input data and fill out forms. The potential savings in time and energy is enormous as doctors spend 16 minutes completing EHR forms for every 15 minutes they spend with a patient, according to a 2020 study.
“The growing number of health systems that have deployed Nuance DAX to reduce clinician burnout are consistently reporting improvements in physician satisfaction, patient experience, and documentation quality,” Nuance healthcare executive vice president Diana Nole said. “Deeper integration with Cerner will enable clinicians to access the benefits of ambient and conversational AI more quickly and easily – and will streamline workflows while enhancing the essential value of the EHR for delivering care.”
Healthcare AI has been booming for the last few years, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent rapid adoption of the technology by the industry. Nuance boosted its own offerings with the purchase of medical voice tech startup Saykara a year ago. DAX has been powered by Microsoft Azure since 2019, though that agreement became moot with Microsoft recently completing its $19.7 billion acquisition of Nuance.
Cerner and its own extensive tech portfolio are undergoing a $28.3 billion acquisition by Oracle. The process is expected to wrap up some time this year, and Oracle has explicitly outlined its plans to expand Cerner’s clinical voice assistants to more physicians through its own voice AI service. Cerner didn’t bring up Oracle and if the purchase would impact the new agreement in announcing the partnership. DAX or something very similar is becoming a standard element for healthcare AI, which Cerner undoubtedly knows.
“Cerner is focused on putting the patient and caregiver at the center of all we do,” Cerner’s chief health officer Dr. Nasim Afsar said. “By strengthening our collaboration with Nuance to automate administrative tasks during a patient’s visit, we will help caregivers get back to caring for patients faster. And it will help patients ensure they get the care they need – allowing Cerner to further enhance our value as a trusted healthcare partner within our communities.”