Discover how 20 years of clinical transcription experience led to the genesis of a virtual assistant for every physician. Rustom Lawyer, Co-Founder & CEO of Augnito gives his insight on medical voice AI, speech recognition & more. From the state of the industry and what he learned from his other brainchild (the UK-based Scribetech), to developing India’s leading Voice AI product and what the future of health-tech holds—we cover it all.
“If data is the new oil, then electronic medical records (EMR’s) are healthcare’s oil,” says Rustom Lawyer, Co-Founder & CEO of Augnito—a next-gen voice AI that’s powering the healthcare industry. Extensive research and development, decades of industry expertise, and perhaps most importantly, a human-centric design approach has led to the creation of this truly disruptive software—trusted and employed by the USA’s PhysicianOne Urgent Care, the UK’s NHS, the UAE’s Prime Healthcare, and India’s Apollo Hospitals, among several other healthcare powerhouses.
While some may be apprehensive of artificial intelligence, it is the future of most industries, and early-adopters will reap a sizeable first-mover advantage. Just ask some of the aforementioned patrons. The product, though seemingly complex at first, becomes far more palatable when looked at objectively. “It’s basically a super-powered virtual assistant for physicians” says Lawyer, who knows his product is set to change the landscape of digital record-keeping in the medical world.
Gone are the days one would struggle to decipher the physician’s customary illegible scrawl, or the overwhelming sea of jargon that is a feature of most clinical documentation. Today, in the post-pandemic world where contact-free consultations are preferable, one could argue that voice recognition software is almost imperative. But it’s Augnito’s potential beyond the daily respite it will provide for physicians that makes it unequivocally intriguing.
An Experienced Head On Young Shoulders
With over two decades of experience in the sector with Scribetech Healthcare (since 2001), the organization Lawyer founded with his friend Shiraz Austin at age 19, he has worked with private practitioners, tenured researchers, and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Scribetech pioneered clinical transcription services in the UK with esteemed establishments such as Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, University Hospital Birmingham, Kingston University Trust, as well as other medical institutions in England.
Already transforming the clinical data management suite, the company began developing a cloud-based voice intelligence, eight years ago. While the primary objective at the time was to improve their internal systems, with Augnito—they now hope to democratize the use of medical speech recognition software. The product has, and continues to be worked on, by some of the brightest minds from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT), and Sheffield University.
“Studies show that for approximately every hour a physician in the USA spends with a patient, they spend two hours updating their electronic records,” says Lawyer. “Now, imagine an intelligence that offers a faster, almost effortless way to capture live clinical data—with 99% accuracy. Augnito helps healthcare providers record patient data four times faster than typing into those exhausting interfaces. That’s at least three hours saved on a daily basis.”
Augnito: Augmented Cognition
Co-designed by physicians & AI scientists, Augnito’s real-time speech-to-text capability is fully equipped with the entire language of medicine. Focusing on linguistics, the AI can accurately decipher any accent (of spoken English). The technology team at Augnito constantly updates its database of medical terms based on feedback from physicians, but providers can even personalize their experience by customizing Augnito’s vocabulary to include proper nouns, newly approved drugs, and even personal abbreviations.
The product is available on any Windows or Mac interface, and can be downloaded to your smartphone (both iOS and Android). It takes less than five minutes to install and get started, with 99% accuracy straight out of the box. That means there’s absolutely no need for a voice profile training segment. Augnito recognizes medical terms and abbreviations, allows physicians to choose their specialty (from over 50 specialties & sub-specialties), spelling preferences and even set up their own speech model for hyper personalization. Physicians can also adjust the microphone volume and background noise levels at the tap of a button, to best suit their environment.
Easy to integrate into existing Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Hospital Information Systems (HIS), Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), Radiology Information System (RIS), Laboratory Information Systems (LIS), and more—Augnito even works flawlessly with common word processors like Microsoft Word. This is a testament to the advanced API & SDK the software hosts, allowing it to voice enable any platform through native integration. The AI also ensures that medical terms are never misspelled, and ensures the highest level of data integrity. This is especially useful for analytics, audits and insurance claims.
Primed For The Future
Global indices showcase that artificial intelligence in healthcare alone is growing at a 42.4 % compounded annual rate, which means it will be worth approximately $164.10 billion by 2029. In a complex market like India for example, where the patient to doctor ratio is an appalling 1700:1 and 70% of all healthcare infrastructure is in the metropolitan cities (catering to just 30% of the population)—an application like Augnito enables physicians to efficiently deliver their service at a lower cost, with increased efficiency and far greater reach.
Surprisingly, the benefits of migrating to an integrated online system are too often overshadowed by the pressure that comes with such a large undertaking. And existing EMR systems—with their never-ending fields, menus and drop-down boxes, coupled with underdeveloped user interfaces—do nothing to help the cause. But improved efficiency, shorter turnaround time, fewer clinical errors and ultimately, the ability to provide better patient care—should serve as an imperishable light at the end of the tunnel.
While the premise is solid, and the need for it tangible, the primary concern among the medical fraternity (and its patrons) is the perceived added strain this revolution will put on already-overworked professionals. To that end, there’s a smarter, hassle-free approach to EMR adoption. One that requires no additional administrative output from healthcare providers. Cue Augnito.
Today, most governments have already taken the first steps to ensure a seamless flow of information within an often labyrinthian healthcare infrastructure. The shared vision is to oversee the maintenance of centralized, detailed digital health records—which can be updated with accuracy and ease. The key to this is developing a patient-centric technology backbone that will enable the seamless exchange of this data across a multitude of stakeholders—from say a remote village-based clinic, to the cutting-edge laboratories of leading hospitals.
Automated analyses of medical reports, predictive diagnosis and wearable medical devices (equipped with sophisticated sensors and artificial intelligence systems) are just a few of the practical solutions that will reshape global healthcare. However, perhaps the most exhilarating use-case of voice intelligence like Augnito is the conception of voice biomarkers as a means to identify ailments. Imagine having the ability to diagnose Parkinsonian disorders and other clinical conditions, by simply having your patient speak. That’s true disruption!
“This revolution will need a collective effort from hospitals and tech start-ups,” says Lawyer. “The innovators understand the nuances of technology and user experience, but the expertise in medical care—from both a physician and patient perspective—is best understood by the healthcare institutions.”
Augnito is an advanced-AI-powered voice recognition solution, launched in 2020 to revolutionize clinical documetation in the global healthcare market. Augnito empowers medical professionals to streamline clinical workflows with cloud-based, AI speech recognition, enabling ergonomic data entry with 99% accuracy, anywhere, from any device. Scribetech, Augnito’s sister company, founded in 2001, is a pioneer in healthcare documentation software within the UK’s National Health Service and independent healthcare organizations internationally. Augnito is HIPAA, GDPR, ISO 27001, Cyber Essentials Plus and SOC2 certified. Augnito medical transcription software is currently deployed at more than 250 hospitals and health systems across 15 countries.