What’s next.

Continued progress in reinventing the relationship between people and technology.

From the library of What’s next: archives from From the editor

The coronavirus pandemic has forced organisations around the globe to protect their employees while developing business continuity plans. Organisations also are working to quickly relay the latest relevant information to their customers and citizens when guidelines and situations are fluid and changing sometimes hourly.

Customer contact centres are at the forefront of this effort, with organisations leaning heavily on automated virtual assistants and live human agents – who are in many cases now working remotely — to ease consumers’ concerns and communicate critical information.

We have partnered with our customers over the last few weeks to organise and implement strategies that increase capacity, automate more conversations and enable agents to work effectively and safely from home. We’ve also recommended best practices to enterprises regarding how to service the increased demand from consumers. Here are some steps to consider as your team addresses peak demands:

Step 1: Audit Your Current System and Offerings

  • Address Your Agent Routing Setup: Because your agents may be reassigned, work remotely, or in worst-case scenarios, not able to work at all, determine if any changes will need to be made when it comes to sending inbound calls or chats to their appropriate destinations. In some scenarios, you may have to direct customers calling in by phone to other forms of communication (e.g., chat via your app or website)
  • Conduct a Quick Audit of Your Information and Offerings: In some cases, the services you’re offering may no longer be relevant. For example, if you have a pharmacy application, and you may consider switching to a “delivery-only” or “drive-thru-only” setup; and you may need to update your system’s existing verbiage or options. If you tell consumers the hours of operation, be sure those are still accurate.

Step 2: Determine Necessary Changes that Need to Happen

  • Work With Your Conversational AI Team to Recognise Inbound Calls and Messages That Mention “Coronavirus”: If you are using natural language (e.g., “How can I help you today?”), coordinate with your team so that your system can recognize various utterances or mentions of “coronavirus” like “COVID,” COVID-19,” “the virus,” “corona.”  If you don’t have natural language recognition, consider adding an up-front question to address coronavirus issues.
  • Consider Shifting Inbound Voice Calls to Digital: To address the high call demands, allow customers to seamlessly shift to Digital. This could be accomplished with simple prompts pointing a customer to the website, or more effective, offer the option and use SMS to send a link to the customer’s mobile device so they can seamlessly switch modalities.
  • Leverage Transcription Technology: If contact centre agents are not available, leverage real-time transcription technology to create a script of a caller’s request which your agents can work on in free time, using a Proactive Outbound Communication system to send SMS and email to provide the caller with the necessary information.
  • Broadcast Key Messages Upfront: What is the first thing you want to convey to customers reaching out? You may consider proactively addressing extended wait times. In other cases, you may want to communicate a concrete message that could reduce calls to your agents (e.g., “There will be no cancellation penalty or change fees for reservations made before [date].”)
  • Keep Your Message Concise: To make sure your message is well received, avoid a lengthy introduction. Consumers are aware of the current situation so keep focused on what you are doing to address it. If the business wants to express concern, just use a short simple phrase and move quickly to informative content.
  • Strategically Place Your Updated Information: If you need to communicate more than one message to callers, work with your business team to determine which message has the highest priority. That one should be the first message customers hear. For example, you may want to just put the “extended hold times” message at the end of the exchange, just before it is transferred to a live agent.
  • Have Backup Voice Talent Ready: In the case of voice channels, new automated messaging may need to be recorded quickly, at a time when your existing voice talent is unavailable. If that happens, it’s best to use another trained voice talent in a professional recording studio that closest matches your existing talent, to avoid caller confusion or reduced credibility.

Step #3: Monitor and Reassess

  • Once you have updated your system, it’s critical to monitor logs and reports to see if changes are necessary. In normal times, it is recommended to let new enhancements “sit” for a few weeks to gauge how individuals respond. In today’s unique case, you may need to make quick adjustments. Keep track of misrouted calls, hang-ups, or any other indication that adjustments may be needed.

We’re in This Together

Find more information here regarding how Nuance can help you in these unprecedented times.

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Over the last several weeks, organisations have faced unprecedented challenges and disruptions, some in a fight for their survival. The world has had no option but to adapt. But we also have had the opportunity to adapt quickly and intelligently.

A few weeks ago, we held our London Customer eXperience Summit as a virtual event.  Over 100 customers and prospects attended via live broadcast. Ironically, months ago, we scheduled our featured keynote – Chris Jewell of the British Cave Rescue Council, a member of the team that in 2018 rescued 13 boys trapped in the cave in Thailand. Chris shared his story with our virtual attendees – underscoring that the situation was hopeless, had never been seen before, and there was no plan. Chris shared how people stepped-up – across every function and at the leadership level – to manage through the life-or-death crisis.

Chris and the team mapped out a plan that was informed by imperfect, incomplete and changing data, stayed agile, adapted, and focused.  Despite being deeply aware of the risks and justifiable fear, they remained committed, focused, and smart. They executed the plan, adapted along the way, and saved the lives of all 13, without further loss of life or injury to the rescue team.

The story Chris shared was timely and inspiring – especially now as we all need to think differently about the nature of business and workforces. Businesses across the world are adapting – by remaining committed to their people and their customers – and executing focused and smart plans. They are embracing technology and moving away from purely manual processes.

Nuance is fortunate to be in the position to help our customers as they navigate new challenges to maintain business continuity, for their customers and employees. Our technology is enabling financial services, retail, telecom, and travel organisations to service the large influx of inbound and outbound engagement via high-performing automation. For example, customers are implementing:

  • virtual assistants to enable self-service on voice and digital channels
  • predictive analytics to anticipate and communicate a resolution to the customer before they call, and
  • voice biometrics to defend against the onslaught of fraudsters using social engineering attacks taking advantage of overwhelmed agents trying to help legitimate customers.

However, today, the story is not about AI driving down costs or speeding up time to resolution. It’s way more than that. The story is about fundamentally helping all of us stay connected and engaged, minimising disruption, and continuing to meet new and unexpected challenges. At Nuance our commitment to improve the connections between people, organisations, and brands has never been stronger. Our expanded commitment is to also do our part in helping our customers and the world get through this together – and come out even stronger on the other side.

To do so, we are providing a growing number of our enterprise customers with free capabilities to help address the increased intensity and operational stress that COVID-19 is placing on their customer engagement systems and teams. You can learn more about the enterprise programs here.

Most of all, we want to thank everyone on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic who are caring for those in need. For those of us that are not medical professionals, but want to do whatever we can to help – we will do our best to help and honor your commitment by staying home, flattening the curve – and helping each other stay connected, so we can all get through this together.

Although the word “thanks” doesn’t quite seem powerful enough – there is deep gratefulness, kindness, and sincerity intended.  Nuance thanks all our frontline healthcare workers, their families – and everyone impacted by COVID-19 – for staying strong on the journey to the other side of this pandemic.

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The CXS 2020 EMEA agenda has landed. Warning, spoilers ahead!

On March 10th, some of the world’s most forward-thinking customer engagement leaders will gather in central London to explore omnichannel experiences, the future of fraud prevention, the challenges and benefits of DIY engagement—and much more.

The Customer eXperience Summit EMEA  is almost here. And there’s plenty to look forward to.

On March 10th, some of the world’s most forward-thinking customer engagement leaders will gather in central London to explore omnichannel experiences, the future of fraud prevention, the challenges and benefits of DIY engagement—and much more.

There will also be an inspirational talk from Chris Jewell, the British cave diver who was instrumental in the 2018 Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue.

Let’s take a closer look at the agenda…

The voices of CXS 2020 EMEA

As always, we’re thrilled to have a roster of expert speakers. This year’s engagement superstars include:

  • Mikael Åman—Customer Experience Development Manager, H&M Group
  • Seb Reeve—Intelligent Engagement Market Development, Nuance Communications
  • Brett Beranek—Vice-President & General Manager of Security & Biometrics, Nuance Communications

Plus, there’s an exciting customer panel to look forward to. Nuance’s own Joanne Taylor, Senior Vice President of Customer Success & Business Operations, will be joined by speakers from some massive brands—including KPN, British Gas, H&M, NAB and Kotak Bank.

They’ll be discussing the greatest customer engagement challenges, solutions and successes—and what it takes to deliver truly seamless customer experiences across channels.

DIY doesn’t mean going it alone

One of 2020’s hottest engagement trends is the shift towards brands taking charge of customer experience creation. But creating compelling customer experiences is tough. You need to build on industry-leading tech, and you need to have the right expertise on hand.

At CXS 2020 EMEA we’ll explain how we’re opening our doors to give brands direct access to our tools, speech technologies, and unrivalled expertise—so they build exceptional customer experiences, in the way that suits them best.

Read how to shape the future of intelligent customer engagement.

Authentication that improves experiences

We all understand the stress of forgetting your password or security question answer—which is why I’m particularly looking forward to this year’s focus on smarter customer authentication.

We’ll be discussing how biometrics are helping enterprises do the previously impossible, and improve security across channels while simultaneously enhancing CX. For those who want to dive deeper, there’s even a breakout session exploring the future of fraud prevention.

Can’t wait to find out more? Check out this blog post.

Exploring the unexpected (in caves, and in customer engagement)

Successful customer engagement is all about finding your own way forward, adapting to unexpected challenges, and ultimately overcoming the odds—and that’s why we’re delighted Chris Jewell will be taking to the stage at CXS 2020 EMEA.

A seasoned cave explorer and diver, Jewell has discovered new cave passages both in the UK and abroad. And, as a member of the British Cave Rescue Council, he helped in the dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018.

Apply to join us at CXS 2020 EMEA

Want to be in the room for CXS 2020 EMEA—to hear leading brands share their stories, meet our experts, and network with your peers? There’s still time to request an invitation, but hurry, space is limited.

Register now

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Security customers can’t see, and fraudsters can’t beat

Security—and how to make it invisible to customers—is just one of the key themes we’ll be discussing with global customer engagement leaders at this year’s Nuance Customer eXperience Summit in London on March 10.

Put aside (if you can) the pressures of delivering amazing customer service experiences while reducing your cost to serve. The bottom line for customer engagement is that outstanding, cost-optimised experiences can’t come at the expense of security.

That’s why security—and how to make it invisible to customers—is just one of the key themes we’ll be discussing with global customer engagement leaders at this year’s Nuance Customer eXperience Summit in London on March 10.

It promises to be great event, and a fascinating discussion, but to kick things off, let’s take a look at why security is such a hot topic in customer engagement right now. And while we’re at it, we’ll also look at some of the tech breakthroughs that can revolutionise your approach to customer authentication and fraud prevention.


The cross-channel security challenge

As brands got smarter about adding more engagement channels to increase convenience for their customers, fraudsters got smarter about hopping between those channels to commit their crimes. Often, fraudsters will socially engineer contact centre agents before using the information they’ve gathered to perpetrate fraud on other, less protected channels.

Here’s Forrester on the cross-channel conundrum (you can get the analyst’s full research findings here):

  • “82% of firms agree that authentication across channels is increasingly critical to fraud prevention. Yet only 59% define their cross-channel fraud prevention as nearly or fully optimized.”

As Forrester highlights, the biggest challenge for cross-channel fraud prevention is organisations’ use of traditional knowledge-based authentication (KBA) methods. PINs, passwords, and PII are all available cheaply on the dark web, rendering them useless for customer authentication. They’re also easily forgotten by genuine customers, adding friction to customer engagements and increasing the number of false positives that fraud prevention teams have to deal with.


Does biometrics tech hold the answer?

Many organisations are turning to biometrics technology to support their cross-channel security strategy. Using multiple biometrics modalities in the contact centre and across digital channels can be an effective way to quickly and accurately authenticate customers and minimise fraud risk. Less effort, less fraud: that’s the biometrics win-win.

Voice biometrics, for example, authenticates customers and identifies fraudsters by rapidly analysing hundreds of variables in people’s voices. In fact, our own Nuance Lightning Engine is powered by algorithms that can authenticate callers in the IVR or contact centre with less than two seconds of audio and with 25%-40% better accuracy than previous generation technology.

In digital channels, behavioural biometrics analyses patterns in how individuals interact with websites and apps on their keyboard, mouse, or smartphone (alongside many other behavioural characteristics) to complete a task—patterns that are incredibly difficult for fraudsters to replicate.

And the biometrics innovations keep on coming. In fact, one of my colleagues here at Nuance has invented an entirely new modality of biometrics. The ‘conversational biometrics’ tech in our ConversationPrint solution takes voice biometrics one step further, analysing people’s vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, and more to create a unique profile of how they use language during interactions.

If you’d like to find out more, you can read all about how ConversationPrint made it from brilliant idea to exciting new product. We’ve got the inside story from its inventor in the latest, security-themed edition of our digital magazine, Nuance IQ.


The future of secure, effortless authentication at CXS20

There’s huge potential for organisations to use a combination of these biometrics technologies to enhance security across all channels while reducing customer effort to the point where security becomes invisible.

Join us at the Customer eXperience Summit to discover the future of invisible security—and learn what’s next for personalized, predictive, channel-less customer engagement.

Oxford University Hospital boosts its health digitisation plans

Oxford University Hospital's ongoing programme of investment in digital services and infrastructure is ‘Go Digital’. It has ambitious plans to accelerate the opportunities that digital technology offers. This is in line with the vision of the NHS to be ‘paper-free’ and for patient records to be held electronically and accessible across different systems. Clinical speech recognition has done much to boost this program, reduce costs and free clinicians to care


Going Digital

Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’ (OUH) ‘Go Digital’ health digitisation programme is a journey, not a ‘big bang’. Key to ‘Go Digital’ is the rollout and adoption by clinicians of the ‘Go Digital’ platform – the Cerner Millennium electronic patient record (EPR). OUH’ aim is to deliver information to clinical teams based on real-time data and enable them to share that information with colleagues across different record-keeping systems and to underpin high quality care and improve communication with patients.

How clinical speech recognition found its voice

Amidst the ambitious aims of ‘Go Digital’ are the day to day challenges of delivering health services in response to growing demand and constrained budgets. In 2017, one well-performing department at the OUH was averaging a 12 day turnaround of clinic letters to General Practitioners (GPs) and struggling to meet the clinical commissioning group (CCG) target which as of April 2018 is 5 days. The root cause was a combination of a chronic shortage of administration staff and the complex, costly workflow of  in-house and outsourced transcription used to produce the outpatient clinic letters. Printing and mailing of letters added to delay and cost.

Consultant nephrologist and OUH’s Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO), Dr Paul Altmann, piloted and championed the use of Nuance Dragon Medical front-end clinical speech recognition in nephrology within the Cerner Millennium EPR. Using a structured clinic letter template mirroring their legacy system workflow he then shared this with a handful of co-piloteers and quickly realised the potential of Dragon Medical integrated into the EPR to simplify workflow, save clinician time and cut costs associated with clinic letter production.

Building the business case

OUH initiated a 3-month pilot of Dragon Medical One; secure, clinical speech recognition in the cloud. The pilot was across a range of specialties and with a focus on the whole of the nephrology department. The success criteria for the pilot were set out from the start:

  • Achieve adoption of speech recognition by at least 80% of designated users
  • Reduce clinic letter turnaround times
  • Reduce outsourced transcription costs
  • Ensure complete integration with EPR
  • Drive the Go-Digital and paperless strategy

Services speed the change

Throughout the pilot Nuance Professional Services (PS) delivered workflow analysis and one to one training for Dragon Medical One for the nephrology team and the Trust’s own EPR trainers. Once Dragon Medical One licenses were enabled and actively in use by the clinicians, Nuance Client Success Organisation (CSO)constantly monitored the progress of uptake and adoption of the licenses by the clinicians. To support the pilot effort Nuance PS and CSO and OUH project team  worked closely. Together they carried out weekly project reviews to quickly identify and fix any training or process issues. The lessons learned from these weekly meetings further hastened rollout.

Successful pilot and lasting benefits for health digitisation

The success criteria of the pilot were fully achieved including:

  • 100% adoption of Dragon Medical One speech recognition
  • Clinic letter turnaround times reduced from 12 to 3 days
  • Outsourced transcription no longer used i.e. zero cost

Having proven that the transition from transcription and digital dictation workflow to front-end speech recognition is feasible and cost effective, the roll out of Dragon Medical One continues apace and is due to complete in November 2019. OUH investment in secure, cloud-based clinical speech recognition will continue to accelerate health digitisation and deliver long lasting benefits to clinicians, patients and the organisation as it continues to roll out across the whole of the Trust’s 8000 clinicians.


Boost your hospital digitisation plan and free your clinicians to care

Discover all the hard and soft benefits delivered by secure, cloud-based clinical speech recognition at Oxford University Hospital

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5 top tips for rolling out successful clinical speech projects

When Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust made the decision to transition to speech recognition, replacing all previous methods of transcribing letters, it was imperative that everyone was on board.
NHS Digital must do its homework on clinical documentation

1. Re-imagine the process

After gaining board support for the project, the first thing the transformation team at Homerton did to prepare for the roll-out of Dragon Medical One was to reflect on current clinical workflows. A process mapping exercise ‘re-imagined’ the process and revealed unnecessary steps to current workflows which could be cut out by deploying speech recognition. A new electronic workflow map was designed, a pilot programme demonstrated proof of concept and the benefits of making the change.

2. Choose the right clinical leader

The choice of clinical lead can have a significant impact on how other clinicians engage with a project. The Transformation Team carried out interviews to ensure the clinical lead was pro-change, energetic, had trust-wide networks and was someone who people responded to positively. Dragon Medical was rolled out to the clinical lead’s department first, then remaining stakeholders were mapped out into three tranches:

  • Engaged clinicians: those traditionally in favour of technology who would support the project.
  • Most services: those people who accept change
  • Dis-engaged clinicians: the few clinicians who had workflows which were different, traditionally needed more support or had responded negatively to previous change implementation.

3. Clinician engagement

When it comes to clinician engagement in new technology “there will always be people who are positive about new solutions and embrace change and there will always be people who are more skeptical,” says Katherine Adams, Transformation Manager and ED Senior Sister at NHS Homerton. In our recent webinar, Re-imagining outpatient services, she talks about some of the approaches the Trust had taken when it came to rolling out Dragon Medical.

4. Invest in training, support and communication to ensure clinicians feel safe and secure

Nuance worked with the Trust throughout the roll-out of Dragon Medical by holding classroom training sessions and giving practice exercises to reinforce learning.

Positive Change leaders provided floor support and a working group met regularly throughout the project. Transformation team members attended department meetings to provide updates and address any questions or queries.

Communication on how the project was progressing was reported through regular staff emails, blog posts and hospital magazine articles. Messages of support were sent from the trust medical director, operational director and both the clinical information systems and IT teams.

5. One to one

Despite the communication, support and training put in place, some clinicians remained reluctant to engage with the changes. Katherine had to ensure she devoted some one-to-one time with these clinicians so she could address their concerns and point out the benefits of the project. However, she says: “It was worth spending time with those people to bring them on board.”

Winning Results

Following the roll out of Dragon Medical across all adult services, letter turnaround time has reduced from 17.7 days to just 2.2 day with, on average, 80 per cent going out within 24 hours. In total 40,000 letters now go out per month.

The Trust has been able to save a third of its medical secretariat budget and reduced its outsourcing costs by £180,000 per annum.

However, the most significant impact of this change in workflow has been on the Trust’s patients. Clinical documentation and information is shared between the trust, GPs and patients much faster, which means any treatment a patient requires can be started earlier than before.

Download the NHS Homerton case study here

Discover how clinicians, admin staff and operational management at the Trust are championing the change to Dragon Medical One secure cloud-based speech recognition.

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Five steps toward NHS cyber security compliance

There are a bewildering number of guidelines and rules when it comes to meeting NHS cyber security, safety, privacy and risk management for any organisation working in the UK healthcare sector. For example, the documentation alone required to set up as a software vendor to the NHS can be daunting. Depending on the size of your company and the resources available to you, some of these certifications may seem too complex to put in place. However, if you take them one at a time, getting the right certifications is important and will pay off in the long run. Here are my top five tips for healthcare software providers:
Black key locked in to represent NHS cyber security compliance

1. Start as you mean to go on

Make sure you have clear company policy documents covering staff and employment practice, and that you can prove that the policies are working – this gets more important as you ascend the heights of Information Governance (IG) compliance.

2. Get the basics right

Register with the Information Commissioners Office where there is lots of information helping you get your GDPR and Data Processing agreements and policies in place. It is important to conduct Privacy Impact Assessments for your software externally and your processes internally. Make sure your staff are regularly trained on Information Governance and you can prove it. Also make sure you are registered on the Organisation Data Service with your primary contracting entity. It is also a good idea to sign up for Cyber Essentials (Plus)

3. Make sure you comply with DCB0129

This lesser known guideline kicks in when you start processing patient data, or you are involved in decision support or telehealth. This involves performing Clinical Risk Management on all changes and new features in your software. It is a development task resulting in a Safety Case document showing the risk analysis before and after changes and should be released in line with your regular release notes.

4. Comply with Data Security and Protection Toolkit

Complying a data security and protection toolkit is a more involved process and one which starts you on the road to having ISO27001. This online questionnaire requires you to evidence all processes and procedures relating to Data Security and protection. If you have done the above properly then you should have these processes in place such as internal governance policies, staff contracts and training and physical and cyber security. Most NHS Trusts will require this as the basic standard for working with patient data.

5. Meet ISO27001

This usually satisfies most security related queried from the NHS. Depending on how organised you have been in the previous sections this could be a relatively simple certification. Alternatively, it can be a time consuming task if you are a large, disparate organisation. Scope here is everything – define this well and save lots of time. In my experience it is easier for smaller companies to achieve this if they have the processes in place already and it is economically viable. This is especially relevant if you are hosting a solution into the NHS or if you provide services from abroad. You must be externally certified for all related processes and IG policies as well as security management systems, physical security, business continuity, incident reporting and so on. My advice is to create a definitive security document encompassing all the certifications here for each client. They will never doubt your security again.

Nuance Dragon Medical One clinical speech recognition meets NHS cyber security compliance

Read more about our secure clinical speech recognition solutions in the cloud for the NHS

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AI needs quality NHS data to succeed

I recently revisited the Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer, published at the end of last year, in which Professor Dame Sally Davies takes “an aspirational view of what health could and should look like in 2040”. In doing so, she provides some hope about the future of health in the UK.
Male doctor pointing at different medical features

The vision of personalised data

The Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer suggests we will “evolve from Electronic Health Records to an individualised ‘Electronic Health Engine’ that integrates high dimensional data about the individual, including social and economic determinants of health, behavioural risks, biomedical, genomic and citizen-generated data, to generate real time dynamic risk trajectories”. This vision places personalised data at the heart of the health service. Data is a central theme throughout the report – Dame Sally Davies dedicates four of the 15 chapters to its role in the future of healthcare, including in artificial intelligence.

AI is founded on high quality clinical information

It is widely acknowledged that artificial intelligence (AI) holds huge potential for healthcare. The Annual Report highlights Dr Dominic King, clinical lead at DeepMind, who has stated that AI is capable of “unlocking the full potential of other promising advanced technologies being developed in medicine”. He goes on to say that, through AI, data and technology can be used to “achieve a much more precise grasp of potential treatment needs, both at the patient and population level”. If the full potential of AI in healthcare is to be reached, however, it will require a foundation of high-quality clinical information. The measurement and recording of this information must, therefore, become an automatic feature of interactions on a patient’s healthcare journey.

Speech to text saves clinician time and improves the quality of data recorded 

In a previous blog, I highlighted that up to 50 per cent of clinician time can be spent on documentation, while only around 13 per cent of their working time is spent with patients. I have also highlighted that speaking is up to three times faster than typing, making speech recognition software a key method of releasing more clinician time away from administrative tasks. However, the health system will only benefit from this if the information going into the Electronic Patient Record, or the ‘Electronic Health Engine’, is accurate and good quality information. The best way of ensuring this is to make the recording of this information a seamless and natural by-product of clinician-patient engagement. Speech to text has been shown to improve the quality of information recorded during consultations.

Making a difference at the frontline 

There are several examples where speech recognition software has helped in this way. In the outpatient department, clinicians using it has led to turnaround time for letter to GPs and patients dropping from weeks to just two to five days at the Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust. This has also been replicated at Oxford Universities Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We have found similar outcomes in a community physiotherapy service, a mental health service and histopathology service. In the latter, a backlog of 600 pathology cases was removed and the organisation is now exceeding the national turnaround target. In a fast-moving, unpredictable emergency department, using speech recognition software has resulted in a saving of up to 40 per cent of documentation time.

So, while there are a number of key technologies that will enable Dame Sally Davies’ 2040 vision, tools to record personal data in an electronic, codifiable format are essential. Speech recognition software can deliver that, and I believe it will be the primary tool for recording healthcare interactions well before 2040.

How we are helping the NHS

Learn how we are helping the NHS capture high quality clinical information accurately and more quickly

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AI and the medical consultation of the future

What if the medical consultation of the future used a virtual medical assistant based on AI? What if we could allow doctors to devote themselves completely to their patients and free them from the tedious task of entering the data into the electronic patient record?
Male nurse and boy using stethoscope
AI and the transformation of the patient-doctor relationship

This week (February 11-15, 2019) is HIMSS 2019 in Orlando USA where health professionals and practitioners from around the world gather. For the first time, visitors to the Nuance stand will be able to experience for themselves how AI can transform the patient-doctor relationship.

What will this experience feel like?

An increased interaction between the doctor and patient, where the conversation comes to the fore, the search for information is simple, where the key data from the conversation throughout the consultation is sensed and then automatically captured directly into the electronic patient record.

AI and Ambient Clinical Intelligence

Ambient Clinical Intelligence guides the doctor-patient encounter with assisted workflows, automation of tasks and knowledge, as well as specialised equipment for ambient sound detection. With Ambient Clinical Intelligence clinicians are able to focus on their patient rather than on a screen. The documentation of the patient’s file is carried out automatically and doctors benefit from automated clinical advice.

The medical consultation of the future

For the patient, it is about having time, being listened to and having the full attention of the doctor and vice versa. We can probably all relate an example of a consultation where the doctor was in a hurry and as frustrating for the doctor as the patient.

The promise of digital technologies such as AI and Ambient Clinical Intelligence are expected to create a new space for interaction and trust. Paradoxically, we could say that AI puts the humanity back into medicine!

Learn more about the medical consultation of the future

Discover how AI-based Nuance solutions are already transforming clincians' lives and relationships with their patients

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UK Health Tech Predictions 2019

Nuance healthcare international CCIO Simon Wallace shares his thoughts on health tech innovations and expectations for 2019
UK health tech predictions 2019
What would be your new year’s resolution for the health tech industry for 2019?

This year, the NHS must demonstrate how it can encourage a culture shift to ensure technology is properly being used to boost efficiency, improve patient care and reduce stress and burnout seen across the healthcare profession. To achieve this, it is important that budget allocated to digital health is utilised in this way, and not clawed back to fund other reactive needs, such as winter pressure. Underpinned by secure advances in cloud computing, global digital exemplar Trusts – and their fast followers – must demonstrate they are the world leaders in harnessing digital technology to improve the delivery of patient care.

What are you most excited to see in health tech this year?

I’m most excited by the potential of achieving a single summary view of each patient’s healthcare record – with key pertinent summary details for healthcare professionals to see – whatever part of the journey the patient is on. There have been several attempts at achieving this in the past, but we have the technology available today to make it happen.

Alongside this, it will be easier for patients to access and consult with their healthcare practitioner – for example, via video consultations – so they can get access to care and treatment faster, at a time of their convenience and at less expense.

All of this requires high quality clinical documentation, and that’s where technology such as speech recognition comes in – enabling clinicians to compile records using just their voice to capture the patient story completely and accurately at the point of care.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing health tech this year?

The NHS will always be under pressure. We have a growing and aging population that’s demanding more from clinicians than ever before. Therefore, we need a way to maintain the enthusiasm of clinicians, in spite of the stressed environment.

Achieving this won’t be a simple process, and much of it will hinge on ensuring promised budgets for digital technology remain. Should we manage to do so, change management will be the next key step. The introduction of digital technologies will always require training and support – helping Trusts ensure the technology and new approaches are embedded and adopted. This will require the organisation to accept that time and resources must be dedicated to it.

With such backing the NHS will be able to increase the adoption of electronic patient records, integrate patient data in a meaningful way and link with social care systems to provide a complete patient overview – helping clinicians provide a better service at the point of care.

What technologies do you see as having the biggest impact this year?

The cloud will transform patient services, with its scalability, ability to reduce expenditure by not having to invest in additional hardware or recruit expensive technical resources to run the software day-to-day. With costs cut on technical support and management overheads – and software continuously updating – Trusts can look away from the management of technology and focus on the delivery of patient services.

This, alongside the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI), should reduce the burden of administration and support clinical decision-making.

How do you think health tech has changed recently?

Health tech hasn’t significantly ‘changed’ in the last year but by necessity and time, adoption of digital technology has grown – as has the adoption of AI, which is becoming more pervasive and will expand to more often support their clinical decision freeing clinicians to focus on patient care.

Read how Homerton are using Nuance healthcare solutions to make clinicians lives easier in 2019

Dragon Medical One speech recognition in the Cloud contribution to UK healthcare

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