- Oracle joined a slew of healthcare technology companies offering generative artificial intelligence tools on Monday, announcing capabilities that will be integrated into the software giant’s recently acquired health records system.
- Its clinical digital assistant, which will be 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 a press release.
- Oracle also announced patient-facing tools, available now, which include the option to receive generative AI answers to medical questions and use voice commands to schedule appointments or pay bills. Clinicians will be able to send information to patients through a chat in their patient portal, like reminding them to bring lab results.
Generative AI, which can create new content like text or images, has become an increasingly hot topic for healthcare industry players, with a number of large technology companies launching tools they argue will cut down on providers’ administrative tasks.
Earlier this summer, Amazon unveiled its own clinical documentation service called HealthScribe, while Google said it would broaden access to its large language model that’s trained on medical information to more healthcare and life science customers.
Last month, Microsoft and Epic, the country’s largest EHR vendor, announced they would expand their partnership on generative AI tools and work to “deploy dozens” of technologies like clinical note summarization, medical coding suggestions and data exploration tools.
Notetaking is one major focus for generative AI in healthcare, as many providers report spending large amounts of time on EHR tasks like documenting patient visits, entering patient orders, and billing and coding.
Though relatively few healthcare executives currently have a strategy for generative AI, around half say they’re developing one or planning to do so soon, according to a survey from consultancies Bain and Klas Research.
But some experts are concerned by the rapid deployment of generative AI in healthcare, noting some models have offered incorrect information. They also question who should be held accountable for potential mistakes, and whether AI will inadvertently perpetuate biases and deepen existing healthcare inequities.
Oracle boosted its healthcare presence last year with the more than $28 billion acquisition of EHR company Cerner. But the business arm is facing “near-term headwinds” to its growth rate as Oracle transitions its customers from licensed purchases to cloud subscriptions, which means less upfront revenue, executives said on an earnings call last week.
Still, Cerner also expects new contracts worth a total of over $1 billion, executives said.