(WHTM) — Artificial intelligence is making its way into just about every industry, and health care is no different. Doctors at UPMC are now using AI during patient appointments.
UPMC’s chief medical information officer Dr. Salim Saiyed said the response has been nothing but positive. The new tech is saving physicians hours and improving interactions with patients.
“Every one of them has described this as really game-changing,” he said. “And the hype is real, we’re using it.”
UPMC uses a platform called Abridge, designed specifically for health care.
“It listens to the patient and physician conversation in the office,” Saiyed said.
Saiyed demonstrated how it worked. Abridge records his conversation and creates a transcript.
“Anything that’s medically important, it will highlight,” he said.
More importantly, it takes all that information and writes a patient history and visit summary right away.
“Wonderful, I’ve never had a scribe before so it’s almost like having a real-time scribe,” he said.
Saiyed said before this technology, doctors had to enter all that information manually.
“We spend anywhere from five to six hours a day, usually a lot of ‘pajama time’, so we’re documenting that after hours at home,” he said.
Now, doctors just have to look the notes over to make sure they are accurate, add anything they want and then it sends the information directly to patients’ medical records, which patients can then access.
“They get a[n] accurate note and the notes much more faster,” Saiyed said.
Saiyed said the platform is already about 95 percent accurate and doctors are helping it learn.
“I can provide feedback to the algorithm or the AI to say yes, this was helpful,” he said.
The biggest benefit, though, is that fewer distractions for doctors means more time for patients.
“You might have also seen physicians distracted when they’re talking to the patients, they’re taking notes or scribbling something on a piece of paper,” Saiyed said. “[This] gives back the physician the opportunity to focus on the conversation.”
UPMC started using this part of the technology a few months ago, and abc27 asked Dr. Saiyed about concerns over privacy and safety. He said the platform is encrypted, and all audio recordings are destroyed within a few days. The only information left is the medical notes, which are always saved in patients’ medical records.