Sutter Health deploys generative AI platform Abridge

Steven Loeb · March 27, 2024 · Short URL:

Abridge's solution uses AI to record, highlight, and categorize doctor/patient conversations

Generative AI is making a big splash in healthcare, with almost 90% of investors saying that generative AI solutions have influenced their investment strategies.

Among those companies to capitalize on the trend has been Abridge, a generative AI solution that records and highlights the most important part of doctor appointments for patients, while also automatically creating a draft note of the conversation in the standardized format for doctors to review. 

The idea is to help patients better understand the details of the appointments, while also making it easier for doctors to review and understand what's happening with their patients.  Now, it will be available to all of Sutter Health's physicians across California, thanks to a  partnership between the two organizations announced on Wednesday.

"Through this collaboration, we aim to significantly reduce the administrative burden associated with clinical documentation, allowing clinicians to spend more time engaging directly with patients during appointments," Laura Wilt, Sutter Health’s chief digital officer, told VatorNews.

"This not only helps enhance the quality of patient care but also improves clinician satisfaction and efficiency."

Sutter Health is a not-for-profit healthcare system that includes over 57,000 staff and clinicians and over 12,000 affiliated physicians who currently serve more than 3 million patients. 

Abridge, which was founded in 2018, and launched in 2020, initially aimed its product at patients, using machine learning to give users a transcript of the medical parts of their appointments, highlighting important definitions and takeaways, such as what next steps a patient is supposed to take, or instructions on how to properly take their medication. 

Its enterprise solution, meanwhile, breaks down the conversation into different headings including social history, which can include the patient's alcohol usage and smoking; diagnostics and appointments, including when and where the patient should be going for follow-ups; and medications that the physician prescribed during the visit. 

The company's dataset is derived from more than 1.5 million medical encounters, and Abridge has already helped more than 5,000 clinicians with their enterprise solutions.

In recent implementations, over 91% of notes across over 50 specialties were drafted solely with their AI, requiring minimal input from the clinician.

“Sutter Health sees innovation as a way to transform the entire healthcare landscape and appreciates fellow innovators like the Abridge team who are approaching technology with a people-first mindset. Founded by a physician, Abridge is focused on innovating with technology that can benefit both clinicians and patients," said Wilt.

Abridge is available in more than 14 languages and over 50 specialties, which is important to  Sutter as it serves one of the most diverse patient populations in the U.S.

This new partnership follows deployments of Abridge's technology at Yale New Haven Health System, UCI Health, Emory Healthcare, The University of Kansas Health System, UPMC, along with dozens of other health systems. Abridge also announced a $150 million Series C round, which included a strategic investment from NVIDIA.

For Abridge and Sutter, this is only the beginning of their partnership, Wilt said, as the organization looks to include more artificial intelligence going forward. 

“We will look more closely at the data to see how the platform enhances clinician and patient satisfaction, supports higher quality of care and improves productivity as we evaluate next steps," she explained.

“Sutter Health’s approach revolves around elevating the entire healthcare experience for both patients and our care teams. We see endless opportunities to deliver an even more personal, connected and convenient experience with digital health support and with the thoughtful integration of emerging technologies like AI in healthcare."

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