Administrative, medical records… what if AI saved your doctor a lot of time?

Maxence Glineur

May 27, 2023 at 4:15 p.m.


robot doctor © Image generated using AI / Salsabila Ariadina / Adobe Stock

© Salsabila Ariadina / Adobe Stock

Microsoft and its subsidiary Nuance Communication want to revolutionize the sector by automating the taking of notes in the medical files of patients. But, as you might expect, it’s not going to be without difficulties, and the situation could even get worse, at least for a while.

Indeed, the latest version of their software will soon be assisted by technologies from OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. And, if the latter has been able to demonstrate his incredible abilities, he is also beginning to have a good reputation for the errors he can generate.

An assistant who always listens

Being a doctor isn’t just about seeing patients all day. For administrative and medical reasons, some professionals may spend hours and hours entering numerous details into patients’ medical records. This can be frustrating for some, while others simply cannot cope with this volume of work.

To facilitate this task, Nuance Communication has developed DAX (for Dragon Ambient eXperience), a software capable of taking notes during medical appointments by recording interactions between doctors and patients. Adopted by 500,000 practitioners in the United States, it saves them several minutes per consultation. However, DAX still arouses a certain reservation among many other professionals, resistant to change or reluctant to lose control of note-taking.

To ensure the quality of the generated content, an army of human reviewers checks the note taking before sending it back to the professionals. But all of that was before Microsoft bought Nuance for $18.8 billion in 2022. Indeed, the next DAX update will push automation to the limit by integrating GPT-4 into the capture process. grades, heralding the end of the reliance on human verifiers.

AI keyboard chatgpt © © Ilya Sedykh / iStock

© Ilya Sedykh / iStock

Comprehension issues with significant repercussions

If this can make you smile, given the tendency of the American giant to integrate the OpenAI program wherever it can, it is in fact a choice linked to efficiency. Indeed, when a human controller has to go behind DAX, the processing time can take up to… four hours. GPT-4, on the other hand, acts almost instantaneously.

Experts, however, caution against the accuracy of note-taking. Forbes reports an example where the software incorrectly transcribed important information given by a patient during an appointment. This not only poses a health risk to patients, but also legal issues, as doctors are responsible for what they record in medical records.

Another issue is the diversity of patient populations, as DAX is currently optimized to understand American English. Although Nuance plans to extend understanding of its software to many other accents and languages, Nicole Martinez-Martin, assistant professor at Stanford’s Center for Biomedical Ethics, has reservations: The medical system is already inequitable in many ways “, she explains. ” It treats low-income groups, people of different races differently, and that could be an additional factor that would exacerbate this situation. “.

Finally, between the reluctance of practitioners and the challenges that generative AI has yet to overcome, Alex Lennox-Miller, analyst at CB Insight, says that mass adoption of DAX will not happen in the next five years. However, according to him, the vast majority of physicians will use this type of software for all of their documentation over the next two decades. And Microsoft would have every reason to be patient, because it would represent a financial windfall of around 500 billion dollars.

Source : Forbes

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