HCA Healthcare adds AI voice dictation from Nuance competitor Augmedix


Hospital giant HCA Healthcare is deploying artificial intelligence-enabled medical dictation software in a partnership with healthcare tech company Augmedix, the two organizations said Thursday.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare will add dictation software for its acute care clinicians. The AI ​​solution will convert clinician-patient conversations into medical notes that physicians and nurses can review before they’re transferred in real time to the electronic health record system.

In addition to this collaboration, Augmedix raised $12 million of equity from HCA Healthcare and institutional healthcare investor Redmile Group at $1.60 per share through the issuance of a combination of new common shares and pre-funded warrants. Augmedix, which posted a net loss of $24.4 million in 2022, said this equity raise will help it reach cash flow sustainability.

Shares of Augmedix were trading at $3.10 per share on Thursday afternoon, an increase of 70% from $1.80 at the close of the day Wednesday.

The partnership is unique for Augmedix, which went public in 2021. Its previous work focused on ambulatory care, said Ian Shakil, founder and chief strategy officer at Augmedix..

“Prior to HCA, we really hadn’t been in the hospital world,” Shakil said. “That creates a whole new slew of technical requirements to be at emergency department grade from a timing point of view. Also, the notes are fundamentally different.”

According to Shakil, the company used some of Google’s natural language processing artificial intelligence models to create this solution. He said its partnership with Google made it possible to work with HCA.

While many providers are hesitant to partner with vendors outside of their EHR, Shakil said clinical documentation software solutions could buck those broader trends. These technologies naturally integrate into the EHR and clinician workflows, he said. Additionally, it was not an area many EHR vendors have shown an interest in developing.

“[There are] such high capital requirements to build this type of business and it’s so complex,” Shakil said. “These are areas where the EHR companies are kind of creating ecosystems and allowing multiple winners to exist because they really don’t have best of breed solutions.”

An AI arms race in the clinical documentation space may be heating up. Nuance Communications, an Augmedix competitor owned by Microsoft, said last month it was adding OpenAI’s ChatGPT successor GPT-4 to its latest application.

The application called Dragon Ambient eXperience Express can summarize and enter conversations between clinicians and patients directly into electronic health record systems using OpenAI’s GPT-4 generative AI capabilities.


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