Delivering digital engagement in modern healthcare

AI and patient engagement solutions will play an integral role in transforming the healthcare experience. Pete Durlach shares how Nuance Communications is accelerating this change

Delivering digital engagement in modern healthcare

The modern citizen has become accustomed to digital consumption of services. We access our bank accounts instantly from mobile devices, make purchases online and pay utility bills from home. But, by their very nature, our health needs have relied heavily on in-person interactions. This is now changing, and businesses like Nuance Communications are helping to bring healthcare into the 21st century.

“We have created a platform of patient engagement solutions, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) in the Microsoft Azure cloud to listen to and capture natural language to respond accurately to patient requests,” says Pete Durlach, chief strategy officer at Nuance Communications. “It then enables personalised, automated outreach that provides patients with relevant information over their preferred method of contact, such as voice assistants or chatbots.” 

Durlach believes that patient’s acceptance of digital healthcare delivery has been increased by telehealth and related experiences during the pandemic. However, these services offer more than convenience, he says: “Digital patient engagement is central to improving costs, access to care, data-driven improvements in care quality and outcomes, at-home care and monitoring, and ongoing wellness.” 

Nuance Communication’s digital-focused healthcare solution provides patients with new experiences and improved convenience, and also delivers significant benefit to healthcare providers. 
“The platform’s real-time analytics allow organisations to monitor, assess and react to performance metrics and identify opportunities for improvement,” says Durlach. “It also limits revenue loss from no shows with appointment reminders or rescheduling.” 

In addition, Nuance’s solutions can reduce the administrative workloads associated with clinician burnout. “The AI of our Patient Engagement solution repurposes conversational experiences within and across channels, eliminating redundant, burdensome administrative work,” says Durlach. “Ambient clinical intelligence systems, like the Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience, can also be used in this way, creating full clinical records with minimal input from the physician.” 

Covid-19’s impact on healthcare providers has been unprecedented, but Durlach believes that digital products have helped them to meet the challenge and will continue to improve operations after the pandemic. 

“While many of these innovations and developments were underway before the pandemic, what the entire industry has learned from using them during Covid-19 has transformed how we all think about digital patient and provider experiences,” he says. “Eyes and minds have been opened about the importance of cloud- and voice-powered conversational and ambient AI in improving healthcare quality, costs and outcomes. 

“Nuance and Microsoft have been prime movers of this transformation. It’s early days yet and more great innovations are still to come.”

This article was originally published in the Spring 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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