Nuance lands a major partner in the health care sector

The speech recognition business is partnering with Epic to launch a series of virtual assistants tailored for health care professionals.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

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Nuance has partnered with the major health care software company Epic to roll out a series of different AI-powered virtual assistants, all tailored for health care professionals and their particular workflows.

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Nuance already has a significant presence in the healthcare sector. For instance, its speech recognition software Dragon Medical is used by more than 500,000 clinicians. Stilll, a partnership with Epic is a major development for Nuance --- approximately two-thirds of the people in the United States have a current electronic health record (EHR) in Epic, the company says.

The new AI-powered virtual assistants are integrated into Epic's EHR and are customized for three different groups of professionals:

  • Epic Haiku: Designed for physicians, Epic Haiku enables workflows such as asking for patient information, lab results, medication lists, and visit summaries. It runs on iOS or Android-enabled mobile devices.
  • Epic Rover: Designed for nurses, Epic Rover allows users to conversationally interact with flowsheets to enter and confirm patient information. This includes information like blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and other vitals. Epic Rover runs on iOS or Android-enabled mobile devices.
  • Epic Cadence: Designed for scheduling staff, Epic Cadence helps users check physician schedules and create, look up, and cancel patient appointments.

Nuance's virtual assistant platform uses voice biometrics for advanced security, and it leverages the HITRUST CSF certified Microsoft Azure cloud for privacy and overall HIPAA compliance.

There's "a growing need for next-level conversational AI capabilities," Epic president Carl Dvorak said in a statement. "We expect them to be a catalyst for changing how and what physicians are required to document in progress notes."

Nuance also has a prototype for a smart speaker connected to the Dragon Medical cloud that's optimized for complex medical conversations and ambient speech use cases.

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