Tag: Joe Petro

Nuance Announces The General Availability of Ambient Clinical Intelligence

Image result for nuance comm logoNuance Communications, Inc announced the general availability and accelerated delivery of the Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) solution, an ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) solution for a wide array of medical specialties. Working in tandem with electronic health record (EHR) systems, the Nuance DAX solution revolutionizes the physician-patient experience by securely capturing and contextualizing physician-patient conversations and powering the exam room of the future where clinical documentation writes itself.

Innovated by Nuance and Microsoft, the Nuance DAX solution is built on decades of healthcare experience, in-depth research investments in conversational AI, and enterprise-focused cloud services. Nuance DAX leverages and extends the proven power of Nuance Dragon Medical, already relied upon by more than 500,000 physicians globally, with the latest advancements in ambient sensing technology and AI to create a fully voice-enabled and ambient exam room environment.

As part of a multi-year joint development effort, Microsoft has come together with Nuance to enrich Nuance DAX’s capabilities with AI and cloud capabilities from Microsoft, including the ambient intelligence technology, EmpowerMD, which will come to market as part of the Nuance DAX solution.

The accelerated delivery of the Nuance DAX solution is driven by the healthcare industry’s need to mitigate what the World Medical Association is calling a “pandemic of physician burnout,” with 51 percent of physicians reporting frequent or constant feelings of burnout caused by a staggering administrative workload of electronic paperwork to document patient care and which is required for insurance coverage, financial reimbursement, and medicolegal liability protection.

Burnout is a serious barrier to improving the cost and availability of healthcare services. A recent study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that physician turnover and reduced clinical hours are attributable to burnout costs of $4.6 billion, or about $7,600 per physician, in the United States each year.

“It is essential to develop technology that empowers clinicians so that they can get back to doing what they trained for and love. It is equally important that we return to patients their doctors’ undivided attention,” said Joe Petro, CTO, Nuance. “Our development of Nuance DAX began with a deep understanding of how doctors need and want to work. We’ve delivered an unobtrusive solution that is as present and available as the light in the exam room – and already producing meaningful results for clinicians and their patients.”

Novant Health, Rush University Medical Center, and SSM Health are among the many leading healthcare organizations that have chosen the Nuance DAX solution to improve the physician and patient experience. Organizations of varying sizes such as Nebraska Medicine are already realizing increased efficiency and patient throughput, higher satisfaction scores, and reduced provider burnout after using Nuance DAX. Provider satisfaction scores for clinical documentation increased approximately 88 percent, and patient consent rates exceeded 90 percent, within only two weeks of using Nuance DAX.

SSM Health, a Catholic non-profit integrated health system serving communities throughout the Midwest, plans to pilot this technology in some of its specialty clinics in St. Louis, Mo., Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, beginning in March. “With the Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience solution, our providers can spend more time with their patients and less time on administrative tasks,” said Ann Cappellari, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer, SSM Health. “This helps providers and patients communicate more clearly and build stronger relationships. That results in better care, which is everyone’s goal.”

Said Greg Moore, corporate VP, Health Technology and Alliances, Microsoft, “As AI continues to improve, we expect it will empower our health system partners to turn their observations into actions — to reduce risk, flag concerns, and even help guide clinicians to the most effective care plans. By working together with Nuance, and applying the power of Azure and Azure AI, we aim to positively transform the day-to-day life of front-line care providers – ultimately empowering them to provide optimal health for their patients.”

The Nuance DAX solution is built on Microsoft Azure, a highly secure HITRUST CSF certified platform, compliant with the HITECH Act, and that has implemented the physical, technical, and administrative safeguards required by HIPAA. The Nuance DAX solution is now available for an array of medical specialties and includes:

Ambient device: A purpose-built ambient device with a highly optimized microphone array, large interactive display, integrated biometrics, and multi-sensory capabilities, capable of reliably capturing a multi-party conversation within an exam room setting.
Ambient documentation: An automated clinical documentation solution powered by deep-learning-based AI and certified through a quality review process.
Ambient skills: A growing list of integrated Dragon virtual assistant capabilities through a hands-free access point that will enable care teams to complete tasks in real-time within their EHR and other third-party applications.

Health IT Thought Leader Highlight: Joe Petro, SVP Engineering, R&D, Nuance Healthcare

Joe Petro

Joe Petro is senior vice president of healthcare research and development, where he provides leadership for all of the research and development required to bring Nuance Healthcare products to market, including: Dragon Naturally Speaking, eScription, Dictaphone (Enterprise Express/iChart), Radiology Platform, Radiology Reporting & Decision Support, SpeechMagic, Critical Test Results Reporting and innovations such as cloud offerings, CLU, and CAPD. Prior to joining Nuance, Joe was SVP of product development at Eclipsys Corporation. While at Eclipsys, he also served on the executive staff and was a reporting officer, where he was responsible for the development of more than 30 products from ADT, departmental, inpatient, ancillaries, patient financial management and outpatient products. Petro received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering, graduating both with Summa Cum Laude accolades.

Here he discusses Nuance, the evolution of technology in health IT, trends and changes, the patient response, meaningful use’s hamstringing and the biggest obstacles patients face.

Describe Nuance Communications and your role.

Nuance is the market leader in creating clinical understanding solutions that drive smart, efficient decisions across the health information technology industry. More than 500,000 clinicians and 10,000 healthcare facilities worldwide use our technology and solutions.  Nuance clinical speech and understanding products are deeply embedded in EHR solutions, such as Cerner, Epic, Meditech, etc., enabling them to deliver innovations that provide a seamless user experience to their clinicians.

I’m the senior vice president of engineering, Research and Development, for Nuance’s healthcare division. I am responsible for the research and development of the entire Nuance Healthcare product portfolio. When not leading the engineering teams, I spend time with clients trying to understand how to improve existing products and devise brand new ideas that someday will become part of our extensive product portfolio.

How is Nuance changing healthcare today and in the future? Where do you see the company, and health IT going?

I think the health IT industry is approaching an inflection point where technology shifts from being viewed as a mandated requirement to more of a ”necessity that I must have in order to get my job done.” We are finally reaching a point where the cloud is enabling the kind of form-factor agnostic experience that we all thought made a lot of sense from the very beginning, but which was challenging to deliver because all of our “things” were not connected.

When it comes to tech adoption, particularly in healthcare, there needs to be a catalyst—we saw that with CMS regulations and meaningful use. Now, we are starting to see perspectives shift: Physicians are asking seemingly obvious questions like “Why can’t I access this data on my smart phone…?” or “Why can’t I do the same things on my phone as I can using the computer on wheels in the hospital?” This kind of shift is creating massive opportunities for a company like Nuance because the ability to get data into the mobile device (and easily access it) can be profoundly impacted by the technologies that we build. And sure there are plenty of challenges, but the industry is becoming more adroit and agile, creating solutions that serve the specific needs of the individual physician – and not just the technology to address government imposed regulations.

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