Teladoc, Microsoft bring AI to telehealth
In the face of an ongoing global healthcare workforce crisis, Teladoc Health, a leading virtual healthcare provider, has announced a 2-year partnership with Microsoft to integrate AI and clinical documentation technology, like Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, Azure Cognitive Services, and the Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience™ (DAX™) to its Teladoc Health Solo™ virtual care platform.
“Administrative burden and staff shortages are major reasons why clinicians are leaving the profession,” said Dr. Vidya Raman-Tangella, chief medical officer at Teladoc Health in the press release. “We are focused on using AI to reassert and build the doctor-patient relationship at a time when technology frequently does the opposite. We are proud to partner with Microsoft and Nuance to break new ground.”
The healthcare industry has long been grappling with challenges related to workforce shortages and an overwhelming demand for medical services. In recent times, this crisis has only intensified, driven by various factors such as an aging population, increased prevalence of chronic diseases, and, most notably, the global COVID-19 pandemic. As healthcare providers strive to meet the mounting demands, the need for innovative solutions has become more urgent than ever – especially when it comes to administrative burdens put on clinicians.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) predicts that by 2025 there will be a nationwide deficit of 90,000 physicians, exacerbated by the growing issue of professional burnout stemming from the demands of electronic paperwork. The American Medical Association found that clinicians spend two hours on paperwork for every hour of direct patient care they provide.
The cornerstone of the Teladoc-Microsoft partnership lies in leveraging AI to streamline and optimize various aspects of healthcare delivery and clinical documentation. Intelligent automation, powered by Microsoft’s AI technologies, is expected to enhance the efficiency of administrative tasks, allowing healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care and less on paperwork. This shift will not only reduce the burden on the existing healthcare workforce but also improve overall patient experiences.
“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Teladoc Health, leveraging innovative technologies to help make it easier for clinicians to deliver care virtually and enhance the patient experience,” said Tom McGuinness, Corporate Vice President, Global Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft. “Teladoc Health’s integration of Azure OpenAI Service and Nuance DAX gives clinicians the tools they need to deliver quality, coordinated care, easing administrative burdens and allowing them to spend more focused time with their patients.”
Teledoc Health Medical Group is also set to incorporate Nuance Dax and Nuance DAX Express. Nuance DAX automatically records patient encounters so clinicians can simply review the text and approve, rather than begin documentation from nothing. By using this technology, clinicians will be able to focus their attention on their patients rather than on note-taking.
Nuance DAX Express is a workflow-integrated technology that combines AI-powered clinical documentation capabilities with GPT4 in the Azure OpenAI Service. By employing Nuance DAX Express, the medical group can ensure rapid and precise reporting of patient encounters, facilitating seamless coordination of care among virtual and community-based clinicians.
“Adding Nuance DAX and DAX Express into the Teladoc Health ecosystem represents the type of collaborative innovation needed to serve the rapidly changing needs of clinician’s and patients across the care continuum,” said Diana Nole, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Healthcare at Nuance, a Microsoft company. “It addresses the pressing challenge of reducing clinicians’ administrative workloads in some of the most demanding and dynamic care environments in healthcare. Moreover, it combines the efficiency and advanced power of conversational, ambient and generative AI to give physicians the tools and information they need to provide timely, high-quality, reassuring and personalized care in any location, especially in urgent and virtual care circumstances when patients need it the most.”