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Velib bicycles are parked in front of the the U.S. computer and micro-computing company headquarters Microsoft on January 25, 2023 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.
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Microsoft‘s speech recognition subsidiary Nuance Communications on Monday announced Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) Express, a clinical notes application for health-care workers powered by artificial intelligence.

DAX Express aims to help reduce clinicians’ administrative burdens by automatically generating a draft of a clinical note within seconds after a patient visit. The technology is powered by a combination of ambient A.I., which forms insights from unstructured data like conversations, and OpenAI’s newest model, GPT-4.

Diana Nole, the executive VP of Nuance’s healthcare division, told CNBC that the company wants to see physicians “get back to the joy of medicine” so they can take care of more patients.

“Our ultimate goal is to reduce this cognitive burden, to reduce the amount of time that they actually have to spend on these administrative tasks,” she said.

Microsoft acquired Nuance for around $16 billion in 2021. The company derives revenue by selling tools for recognizing and transcribing speech during doctor office visits, customer-service calls, and voicemails.  

DAX Express complements other existing services that Nuance already has on the market.

Nole said the technology will be enabled through Nuance’s Dragon Medical One speech recognition application, which is used by more than 550,000 physicians. Dragon Medical One is a cloud-based workflow assistant that physicians can operate using their voices, allowing them to navigate clinical systems and access patient information quickly, Clinical notes generated by DAX Express will appear in the Dragon Medical One desktop.

DAX Express also builds on the original DAX application that Nuance launched in 2020. DAX converts verbal patient visits into clinical notes, and it sends them through a human review process to ensure they are accurate and high-quality. The notes appear in the medical record within four hours after the appointment.

DAX Express, in contrast, generates clinical notes within seconds so that physicians can review automated summaries of their patient visits immediately.

“We believe that physicians, clinicians are going to want a combination of all of these because every specialty is different, every patient encounter is different. And you want to have efficient tools for all of these various types of visits,” Nole said. 

Nuance did not provide CNBC with specifics about the cost of these applications. The company said the price of Nuance’s technology varies based on the number of users and the size of a particular health system.

DAX Express will initially be available in a private preview capacity this summer. Nole said Nuance does not know when the technology will be more widely available, as it will depend on the feedback the company receives from its first users. 

Patient information is particularly sensitive and regulated under HIPAA and other laws. Alysa Taylor, a corporate vice president in the Azure group at Microsoft, told CNBC that DAX Express adheres to the core principles of Microsoft’s responsible A.I. framework, which guides all A.I. investments the company, as well as additional safety measures that Nuance has in place. Nuance has strict data agreements with its customers, and the data is fully encrypted and runs in HIPAA-compliant environments.

Nole added that even though the A.I. will help physicians and clinicians carry out the administrative legwork, professionals are still involved every step of the way. Physicians can make edits to the notes that DAX Express generates, and they sign off on them before they are entered into a patient’s electronic health record.

She said, ultimately, using DAX Express will help improve both the patient experience and the physician experience. 

“The physician and the patient can just face one another, they can communicate directly,” Nole said. “The patient feels listened to. It’s a very trusted experience.”

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