Amazon AWS rolls out HealthScribe to transcribe doctors' conversations

The service is a showcase for Amazon's Bedrock generative AI hub.
Written by Tiernan Ray, Senior Contributing Writer
doctor typing notes
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Amazon's AWS cloud service on Wednesday introduced a new application using generative AI, called AWS HealthScribe, which will transcribe doctors' conversations with patients, and provide an audit trail of the audio used to generate the text.

Amazon announced AWS HealthScribe during its New York City developer forum, AWS Summit New York. 

AWS HealthScribe builds on top of AWS's hub for generative AI, called Bedrock, which the company introduced earlier this year. Bedrock is a managed service that provides access to "foundation models," generative AI programs that can be tuned to a variety of use cases, including Amazon's own Titan language model.

Also: Amazon hones in on generative AI at AWS Summit and unveils new AI projects

Amazon said the point of AWS HealthScribe is to relieve physicians of the burden of manually entering notes into an electronic health record. 

"By integrating AWS HealthScribe into a clinical application, healthcare providers can leverage built-in text-to-speech capabilities to create robust conversation transcripts that identify speaker roles and segment transcripts into categories (e.g., small talk, subjective comments, or objective comments) based on clinical relevance," said Amazon. 

"The application can then use AWS HealthScribe's NLP [natural language processing] and generative AI capabilities to extract structured medical terms, such as medical conditions and medications, and generate discussion-based notes that include relevant details (e.g., key takeaways, reason for visit, and history of the present illness) that a clinician can review and finalize in their EHR."

Also: MedPerf aims to speed medical AI while keeping data private

Noting the possibility of "hallucinations," when a large language model invents things, the announcement points out that "every sentence used in the AI-generated clinical notes comes with references to the original doctor-patient conversation transcripts, allowing clinicians to easily view the historical context of notes for greater accuracy and transparency." 

The software is HIPAA-eligible, said Amazon. 

In addition to AWS HealthScribe, Amazon on Wednesday announced updates to Bedrock's foundation model hosting. In addition to Titan, customers can now choose from among Stability.ai's Stable Diffusion model for image generation; Claude 2 from Anthropic; and Command and Embed from Cohere, which is a model that will "follow user commands and be useful instantly in practical business applications such as summarization, copywriting, dialogue, extraction, and question answering," said Amazon. 

Also: Google's MedPaLM emphasizes human clinicians in medical AI

For more on the announcements at Summit, read Sabrina Ortiz's roundup.

AWS HealthScribe is currently in preview mode, and AWS is offering 300 minutes of free usage. You can read more details on the AWS HealthScribe site.

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