- Microsoft-owned Nuance Communications announced Wednesday its automated clinical documentation tool, now called the Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) Copilot, is generally available for healthcare and life science customers.
- The artificial intelligence-backed application, formerly called DAX Express, was first revealed this spring. DAX Copilot is integrated with large language model GPT-4 and automatically drafts clinical summaries of conversations with patients conducted in an exam room, or via telehealth, “in seconds,” according to Nuance.
- Generative AI, which creates new content like text, has become an increasingly popular offering among healthcare technology developers, attracting the attention of major players like Amazon and Google. Companies argue their products can lessen providers’ administrative work and documentation burden.
The DAX Copilot is a fully automated product that builds on Nuance’s earlier clinical documentation tool, DAX, which used human reviewers. The new name reflects how the technology can serve as an assistant that will eventually be able to handle more tasks, like teeing up orders, a Nuance spokesperson told Healthcare Dive.
In March, the company said providers using DAX or Dragon Medical One, Nuance’s speech recognition and dictation application, could apply to become early adopters of DAX Express. The company hoped to enroll 400 physicians in a beta phase this summer, according to reporting by Stat.
Nuance also announced this summer it would integrate DAX Express into electronic health records systems from Epic, the nation’s largest EHR vendor, for select providers.
Clinicians who used the copilot in private preview reported it helped them complete patient documentation more quickly and allowed them to be more focused and conversational during patient visits, a Nuance spokesperson said.
More than 550,000 physicians already use the Dragon Medical platform, according to Nuance.
Microsoft, which bought Nuance for $19.7 billion in 2021, isn’t alone in the generative AI race in the healthcare sector. Amazon announced its own clinical documentation tool, called HealthScribe, earlier this summer, while Google recently expanded access to its large language model trained on medical data to more healthcare customers.
Oracle, the technology giant that purchased EHR vendor Cerner last year, said it would offer its own generative AI products as well. Its clinical digital assistant, available in the next year, will automatically take notes during visits with patients and can propose next steps for providers, like ordering medications or scheduling labs, according to the company.
Tech giants argue the applications will allow providers to focus more time on patient care, instead of taking notes or completing other work in the EHR. Clinicians have reported spending hours on documentation and administrative tasks, fueling burnout and interfering with work-life balance.
But some experts have argued the deployment of generative AI in healthcare is moving too quickly, noting concerns about accuracy, accountability and the risk of perpetuating bias.