Virtual assistants will drastically change health care, a Nuance survey of doctors finds

Graphic comes from Nuance press release.
Graphic comes from Nuance press release.

A survey of doctors from Nuance Communications Inc. found that 80 percent of respondents believe that virtual assistants that use voice-recognition software will “drastically change” how they interact and use electronic health records other health care apps.

Headquartered in Burlington, Nuance specializes in voice-recognition technology, and doctors and hospitals are an important customer group. Worldwide, more than 450,000 doctors are using products that incorporate its technology, Nuance said.

According to its survey, nearly a third of the doctors said at least 30 percent of their work day is eaten up administrative duties. Voice-enabled virtual assistants have the potential to shrink that amount and free up doctors to spend more time with patients, Nuance said in its press release.

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One way for doctors to save time in performing their administrative duties is by using voice-driven, computerized physician order entry systems. Such systems can help with ordering medications, lab work, and radiology exams.

“The technology exists today in Nuance to create a more intuitive way for doctors and patients to coordinate care and improve efficiency through dialogue-driven intelligent systems that hear, understand, and respond,” Joe Petro, senior vice president health care engineering and R&D at Nuance, said in a statement.