Augmenting Healthcare through Technology with Ian Shakil

In this episode of Friends of Project Healthcare

Ian Shakil, founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Augmedix, joined host Eric Thrailkill to share their transformative mission to revolutionize healthcare documentation and improve clinician well-being. Ian discusses how Augmedix leverages technology right at the point of care, using automation and strategic partnerships to empower doctors to remain focused on their patients.

“Let doctors be doctors,” Ian believes. “They did not go to medical school to be glorified data specialists. They want to have profound conversations with their patients…and they want all of that structured and placed in the EHR on their behalf in the background. That’s what we provide.”

Augmedix is on a mission to help clinicians and patients form a human connection at the point of care without the intrusion of complex technology. The company provides automated medical documentation solutions for hospitals, health systems, and physician practices. 

“Imagine if you were serving intelligence and de-burdening clinicians from their note-taking and all they had to do is put on this device?” 

That was the idea that pushed Ian to develop Augmedix, which works by listening in to doctor-patient conversations and converts what is said into structured notes seamlessly filed away in an EHR, alleviating the measurable burden of medical documentation by automating the process. 

“We’re seeing a step function in automation capabilities,” Ian added. “More and more of the lift is being done with software. But it has been a huge leap over the last few quarters.”

With continued advancements in technology, including AI, Augmedix has been able to reduce the reliance on human involvement in the record taking process. “We’re not replacing people,” Ian was pleased to confirm. “We’re augmenting them with technology.  We’re supercharging them.”

The goal is to free up overwhelmed clinicians to focus on their patients’ care while also improving their own well-being, both physical and mental, by removing time-consuming burdens of medical documentation. 

In our post-pandemic world, Ian also highlighted the financial impact clinician burnout can have on a healthsystem with costs of finding, training, and replacing new clinicians reaching millions of dollars. 

“Clinician well-being is a financial imperative,” he said. “We help clinicians fall in love with the practice of medicine. And we really can help prevent clinician churn, which is really important in the environment that we’re in right now.”

Recently Augmedix released Augmedix Go, an ambient clinical documentation system leveraging Google Cloud and Google’s LLM Med-PaLM 2, resulting in improved efficiency and accuracy in medical documentation and seamless integration with existing EHRs, further streamlining the process.

In addition, the company’s partnership with HCA Healthcare has allowed Augmedix to pioneer ambient documentation in the challenging ED environment which has the potential to transform healthcare delivery in both ambulatory and acute care settings.

Admittedly, this was no small feat. “Part of the innovation of what we’re doing with HCA is we’re not just mastering the ambient note taking, which is no small task, but making sure that we maintain structure and fidelity of the note.” That test program is currently running in four different HCA Healthcare emergency department hospital sites.. 

Comparing Nashville to the early days of Silicon Valley, Ian is excited about continued collaborations with local health systems like HCA Healthcare. “Nashville’s health tech ecosystem is thriving,” Ian shared. 

“I love the electricity in the air. You go into coffee shops and there’s people figuring out this next generation LLM solution for this and that in healthcare. And I’m very optimistic about what I see there.”

About Ian Shakil Ian Shakil is the founder of Augmedix and has served as Chief Strategy Officer since October 2018. Mr. Shakil has been a member of the Augmedix board since April 2013. From April 2013 to October 2018, Mr. Shakil served as the Chief Executive Officer of Augmedix. Mr. Shakil has also served as Advisor to Edwards Lifesciences Corporation since May 2019. Mr. Shakil has a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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