Microsoft Adds GPT-4 Generative AI to Nuance’s Dragon Medical Voice Assistant
Microsoft’s $19.7 billion-subsidiary Nuance is augmenting the Dragon Ambient Intelligence platform medical professionals use to transcribe patient interactions with generative AI. The new Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) Express employs OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language model to produce notes based on those transcriptions minutes after the meeting ends as a way to further reduce the administrative load on doctors.
Nuance launched the Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant in 2017 as an expansion to its existing Dragon transcription program. The voice assistant comes with enough medical vocabulary to understand (and correctly spell) the terms a doctor uses, speeding up the process of filling out paperwork and adding notes to Electronic Health Records by letting doctors dictate instead of type. DAX linked with Microsoft Azure in 2019 and further enhanced its AI when Nuance purchased medical voice tech startup Saykara in 2021, not long before Microsoft began its acquisition. DAX Express continues that trend by incorporating generative AI to parse the conversations with patients and automatically create a set of preliminary notes. OpenAI’s GPT-4 takes up the automated clinical documentation task, expanding the ambient AI of DAX with the LLM’s functions. There are more than 550,000 Dragon Medical users who could end up using the new generative AI feature.
“Nuance and Microsoft came together with the goal of helping to digitally transform healthcare, and today we are marking the next step forward in the ongoing evolution of AI-powered solutions for overburdened care providers,” Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin said. “We’ve taken the power and advanced reasoning capabilities of GPT-4 and integrated it into our proven outcomes-focused AI technologies in a tested and responsible way. Our state-of-the-art blend of conversational, ambient, and generative AI will accelerate the advancement of the care delivery ecosystem beyond what Nuance or Microsoft could have achieved separately – expanding our comprehensive portfolio of solutions that fulfill our vision to improve care quality and support enhanced outcomes for generations to come.”
The enormous demand for medical AI assistants has drawn a lot of interest, funding, and acquisition offers in the last few years. Investors have written big checks for startups in the space, like the $22 million raised by Navina, DeepScribe’s $30 million, the $55 million raised by doctor voice assistant startup Suki, and the $100 million raised by Notable. And Microsoft purchasing Nuance almost certainly had a healthcare angle, as did Oracle spending $28.3 billion for health technology developer Cerner and its clinical AI assistants. The recent generative AI explosion gives Microsoft a potential edge thanks to Nuance’s existing place in the market, but one that’s likely to see plenty of competition very soon.
“Microsoft and Nuance have been ahead of the curve in innovating AI solutions, and organizations large and small have long trusted our responsible, secure applications and infrastructure,” Microsoft executive vice president of cloud and AI Scott Guthrie said. “With DAX Express, we are leveraging the revolutionary capabilities of large model AI to deliver outcomes-focused healthcare applications at scale.”