- Teladoc Health is expanding its partnership with Microsoft, announcing plans to add artificial intelligence tools for clinical documentation to its telehealth platform for hospitals and health systems.
- The companies will work to integrate Microsoft Azure’s OpenAI Service and Cognitive Services and Microsoft-owned Nuance’s Dragon Ambient eXperience into its Solo platform, allowing physicians to automatically transcribe clinical notes during virtual patient exams.
- Teladoc’s medical group also plans to use DAX Express, a version of the medical scribe that uses the large language model GPT-4 and doesn’t require human authentication, the New York-based telehealth vendor said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Teladoc first partnered with Microsoft two years ago to integrate its telehealth platform for health systems with the chat and video call service Teams. The combination was meant to ease administration burden and access to telehealth tools for clinicians, the companies said.
Teladoc and Microsoft argue their latest integration will achieve similar goals, by cutting back on documentation time and allowing providers to focus more on patient care.
“Administrative burden and staff shortages are major reasons why clinicians are leaving the profession,” Vidya Raman-Tangella, Teladoc’s chief medical officer, said in a statement. “We are focused on using AI to reassert and build the doctor-patient relationship at a time when technology frequently does the opposite.”
Teladoc and Microsoft are currently piloting the DAX and Solo integration, according to a spokesperson. Ultimately, any Solo hospital client using Teams and an Epic electronic health record will be able to use the tool, as long as they purchase a DAX license.
For Teladoc’s medical group users, the telehealth company and Nuance are working to train its AI models for use on virtual urgent care visits before expanding it to Teladoc’s other services, like primary and mental healthcare, the spokesperson said.
Generative AI, which creates new content like text or images, is an increasingly hot topic in the healthcare industry. Documentation is one potential use case for the technology, along with creating discharge summaries or pulling together benefits information.
But there are also concerns about accuracy, bias and accountability when using these tools. Some experts have argued the industry should slow their adoption and take time to develop guidelines for the technology.
Nuance, which was acquired by Microsoft last year, has been expanding in the space, integrating OpenAI’s large language model GPT-4 into DAX Express in the spring. The medical scribe can also be used with EHRs made by Epic, the largest records vendor in the U.S. hospital space.
Microsoft expanded its own partnership with Epic in April to integrate its Azure OpenAI Service with the EHR software, including adding tools to automatically draft message responses to patients.