“Doctors absolutely despise the administrative burdens of medicine,” says Scott Smitherman, an internal medicine doctor and chief medical information officer of ambulatory care at health system Providence. “That’s one of the biggest drivers of burnout.”

For the past few years, Smitherman has been testing a technology that has the potential to ease some of the burden: an app that records doctor’s interactions with patients and uses artificial intelligence to generate notes for the medical record. The app, called the Dragon Ambient eXperience, or DAX, was developed by Nuance Communications, the artificial intelligence company Microsoft acquired for $18.8 billion in 2022.

While many of the 430 doctors at Providence using DAX so far like it, Smitherman says there have been two main obstacles when it comes to convincing more doctors to use it – “resistance to change” and “giving up the control” of note-writing no matter how much they detest it.

“In 20 years? Yeah, I think the vast majority of doctors are going to be doing all of their documentation using this kind of software. In five years? No.”…..Alex Lennox-Miller, lead health IT analyst at CB Insights

So far there has been a human quality reviewer checking the AI’s work before it’s sent to the doctor for a final review. But this summer Microsoft and Nuance will start rolling out a version that is fully automated and incorporates GPT-4 thanks to Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI.

The software giant is hoping the fully automated version, which generates the note within seconds, will scale much faster than the previous version. But the real question for success is: will doctors cede control to imperfect machines to get a few minutes of their lives back?…

Continue reading…