- “Alexa, call Mark.”
- “Siri. Set up an alarm for 8am tomorrow.”
- “Google, what is the best route to my work?”
These are some of the most common exchanges with voice assistants that have slowly and gradually transformed the way people lead their daily lives. Lately, these devices are trending in the healthcare industry and doctors have taken a liking to them.
Unlike other jobs that are being replaced by automation, the purpose of medical voice assistants here is not to prepare a replacement for clinicians. Instead, they are being used to assist doctors in managing their hectic routines.
As plenty of e-paperwork awaits them, doctors are looking to reduce their shift timings. To help them deal with burnout, voice assistant technology can ensure that they devote more of their time listening to patients, rather than engaging in documentation related to electronic health records.
Traditionally, doctors used to maintain handwritten records. As they were required to switch to electronic format, hospitals began to look for solutions such as getting help from human scribes or using tools that could convert text. However, the emergence of voice assistant devices with AI and NLP (natural language processing) algorithms allows a doctor to simply enter a listening request. Afterward, all of the doctor’s voice notes are parsed, structured, and added into the EHR. Voice assistants are used by patients to find their care team or ask for other services.
According to a report from Decision Resources Group, 23% of doctors use a voice assistant to simplify their jobs. This survey recorded the opinions and views of around 100 physicians and asked their experiences revolving around the use of voice assistants in professional capacity. Here are three major insights on the matter.
- Doctors revealed that they relied on a voice assistant to initiate a search on their phones (78 percent). Almost 48 percent used a voice assistant to dictate on a tablet or phone.
- In most cases, physicians worked with voice assistants for drug details, like working on a dosing of a patient. Similarly, they also used it to search information regarding diseases.
- Almost 30% of doctors use voice assistants, which is integrated with their EHR systems.
There are apps that can listen to doctor notes. All doctors need to do is to launch it and begin speaking where it automatically converts it into text, ending up with a doctors note. These apps used machine learning as they were trained with medical data and could understand the medical jargon and lingo. In this way, conversational sentences are transformed into formal information.