Microsoft has expanded its partnership with healthcare technology company Epic to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into the healthcare sector. The collaboration will focus on improving Epic’s electronic health record (EHR) system by leveraging AI capabilities.
The two companies initially teamed up in April to explore the use of generative AI for enhancing electronic health records. Now, they plan to deploy a wide range of AI-powered solutions within Epic’s health systems at a rapid pace. The primary goal is to address crucial healthcare needs such as reducing workforce burnout and alleviating staffing shortages.
The integration of Microsoft Azure and its AI services will be showcased at Epic’s annual User Group Meeting. Some of the new capabilities include note summarization to enhance clinical productivity, ambient clinical documentation embedded in Epic’s mobile app, and AI coding suggestions to streamline revenue cycle management.
The focus of this collaboration is to achieve the following objectives:
1. Enhancing clinician productivity through note summarization.
2. Enhancing clinician productivity through embedded ambient clinical documentation.
3. Driving administrative efficiencies by reducing manual and labor-intensive processes.
4. Advancing medicine to achieve better patient outcomes.
Furthermore, Epic will demonstrate the exploratory uses of generative AI from Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service. This includes utilizing real-world data to fill evidence gaps and studying rare diseases.
The ultimate aim of this partnership is to equip clinicians with actionable insights and tools to provide better patient care and address urgent challenges faced by the healthcare industry.
In a blog post, Microsoft stated that integrating Azure OpenAI Service and Nuance ambient technologies within the Epic ecosystem showcases how strategic collaborations can effectively accelerate the availability of AI-driven solutions for healthcare organizations and patients they serve.
Epic and Microsoft’s Nuance division have also joined forces to integrate Nuance’s speech recognition and AI technology into Epic’s health record platform. This enables physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff to use speech recognition and AI-powered assistance while documenting patient care in Epic.
Nuance’s Ambient Clinical Intelligence (ACI) solutions aim to reduce the documentation burden faced by healthcare organizations. By doing so, they can mitigate burnout, retain existing staff, attract new talent, improve patient relationships, and enhance patient outcomes. ACI solutions free physicians from administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on practicing medicine with renewed joy.
Microsoft has been actively supporting healthcare systems with its cloud computing service, Azure. In 2020, the company introduced Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, an Industry Cloud solution tailored specifically for the healthcare sector.
The expanded partnership between Microsoft and Epic signifies a significant step towards leveraging AI to transform the healthcare landscape. By integrating AI technologies into Epic’s EHR system, clinicians will have access to powerful tools and insights to enhance their productivity, streamline administrative processes, and ultimately provide better patient care.