BURLINGTON, MA, August 10, 2011 — UPMC and Nuance Communications, Inc., (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced a multi-year, multi-million-dollar innovation collaboration, in which the two will develop medical intelligence solutions as a means to transform the way patient information is captured, understood and used by caregivers. The goal is to improve the quality and efficiency of care by creating a more complete and accurate electronic medical record (EMR), first across UPMC and then more broadly across the healthcare industry.
Nuance and UPMC have signed a 10-year joint development agreement under which they will create speech and clinical language understanding (CLU)-enabled technologies. Representing a new class of innovation in the world of health information technology and natural language processing, medical intelligence solutions from Nuance and UPMC will transform clinical data into actionable information that can be used to drive smarter clinical, business and compliance decisions. Currently, most medical data is captured as unstructured free text and cannot be easily analyzed.
“Smart technology is essential to the patient-centered, accountable care that we are committed to providing at UPMC. Healthcare is rich in data that can be converted to intelligence and understanding. By partnering with Nuance, we can enable smarter use of clinical data across the industry,” said Jeffrey A. Romoff, president and chief executive officer of UPMC.
UPMC, a $9 billion global health enterprise with more than 50,000 employees, has partnered with Alcatel-Lucent, IBM and GE Healthcare. UPMC was named one of the “most wired” hospitals for 13 consecutive years by Hospitals & Health Networks and ranked fifth last year in the InformationWeek500, a list of technology innovators across all industries.
“UPMC’s deep expertise in medicine and patient care combined with Nuance’s unmatched leadership in speech and language understanding technologies has the ability to change the face of healthcare delivery,” said Paul Ricci, chairman and CEO of Nuance. “Together, we’ve entered into a unique and powerful collaboration that will accelerate the role healthcare IT plays in making clinical data more valuable.”
The partnership between Nuance and UPMC also comprises an extensive technology and services license agreement in which UPMC will standardize on Nuance’s Best in KLAS healthcare IT solutions at more than 20 hospitals, 30 imaging centers and more than 400 outpatient sites. After an extensive competitive evaluation process, UPMC selected Nuance as its enterprise-wide partner for speech and natural language processing solutions.
“By integrating speech and language understanding into the workflow of UPMC’s clinicians, we can save time, improve the accuracy and breadth of what is captured in the electronic record, and open the door to rich analytics that will help us to better understand what works and doesn’t work in medicine,” said Rasu Shrestha, M.D., vice president, medical information technology, at UPMC.
Under the terms of the joint development agreement, Nuance and UPMC will focus initially on CLU technology and decision-support tools that will help clinicians capture all relevant clinical details as they dictate notes for the medical record. This is expected to improve quality reporting, coding and billing. Other areas being explored by the partners include data mining specifically tied to the federal government’s “meaningful use” requirements for electronic records and creation of tools that will allow clinical document repositories to be easily searched and analyzed. Solutions developed as part of the agreement will be commercially available through Nuance starting late this year.
Nuance’s work with UPMC reinforces the commitment and expands the resources that Nuance has directed to advance CLU, including strategic partnerships and development efforts with IBM and 3M. Combined, these collaborations unite the industry’s foremost technological and clinical expertise to introduce the state-of-the-art in voice and language understanding technologies for healthcare. For more information on Nuance’s work with 3M visit: Nuance and 3M Team to Deliver Next Generation ICD-10 Ready Clinical Documentation Solutions and for more on Nuance and IBM, visit: IBM to collaborate with Nuance to Apply IBM’s Watson Analytics Technology to Healthcare.