Unified and Suki Partner to Expand Clinical Use of AI-Powered Digital Assistant

Samara Rosenfeld
JUNE 11, 2019
voice-based technology
Photo/Thumb have been modified. Courtesy of Brother UK via flickr. 

Unified Physician Management today announced it is partnering with Suki to offer its national network of women’s healthcare providers an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, voice-enabled digital assistant.

Suki uses voice commands from physicians to create a note that is sent to the electronic health record (EHR).

Unified’s affiliations span nine states and reach more than 2 million women.

“Women’s healthcare is incredibly personal, and Suki helps providers to concentrate on providing exceptional care by lowering the barrier created by EHRs,” said Matt Eakins, M.D., chief operating officer of Unified.

Suki helps streamline documentation inside a patient’s EHR to improve data access, according to the organizations. This could aid physicians in creating more appropriate care plans. The organizations claim the overall care experience could improve because physicians’ time will be free from administrative tasks.

Research suggests that clinics that have used Suki for one year across many specialties saw as much as a 70% reduction in time spent on clinical notes.

“Suki not only helps our providers more accurately document the care they deliver but enhances clinician experience and helps us address provider burnout,” Eakins said.

As physicians continue to use Suki, the AI assistant can extract important information from a doctor’s conversation with a patient to develop an actionable plan. Plans will be created based on the physician’s preference and clinical practice guidelines.

If a doctor tells Suki it performed a well-woman exam, the assistant will know how to create relevant content for the note.

Suki will be available at obstetrics and gynecology offices starting this month and can integrate with multiple EHR systems.

“Partnering with a company like Unified and its rapidly growing national network of women’s healthcare providers allows us to continue giving doctors more control of the time in their day — at scale — and we’re looking forward to sharing details on additional collaborations that are in the works soon,” said Nathan Gunn, M.D., chief operating officer of Suki.

While Suki handles more than 1,500 patient interactions every week, voice-based digital assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa and Sonde Health’s voice-based platform for physical and mental health, continue to raise privacy concerns.

Still, innovators are pushing for ways to get these platforms further into the healthcare setting, with promises of increased patient engagement and less time spent on mundane administrative tasks. Amazon even launched what the company claims to be Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant Alexa skills designed to help customers manage healthcare needs at home to book an appointment, speak with a clinician or check on the status of a prescription delivery.  

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