NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage
New York, NY – December 7, 2021 – Keeping up with precise documentation and a myriad of regulations is not only burdensome for physicians, it also restricts important physician/patient interaction and limits accurate and compassionate patient care. Many in healthcare believe it is the single largest pain point in the physician/patient relationship. The idea of outsourcing this task to third parties that have the resources and expertise to generate the requisite documentation much more cost effectively seems like a rational economic division of labor. And make no mistake about it, technology is increasingly tipping the scale in favor of virtual documentation solutions with the latest advances in automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language processing (NLP). These technologies are integral to the virtual documentation solutions developed by Augmedix Inc. (NASDAQ: AUGX) (Profile). A pioneer in virtual, real-time, medical-note documentation, Augmedix is “re-humanizing healthcare” and alleviating healthcare system pressures with its unique digital health platform that provides virtual medical documentation and live clinical support. The company is at the vanguard of the next generation of technologies being integrated into a healthcare marketplace that is notoriously cautious to make changes. Along with Augmedix, others in the sector, such as Vocera Communications Inc. (NYSE: VCRA), Phreesia Inc. (NYSE: PHR), American Well Corporation Class A (NYSE: AMWL), and DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), are leading a transformational shift in healthcare to a more efficient standard of care, office practices and data management.
- Augmedix estimates physicians doing status-quo documentation cost up to $100 billion annually while contributing negatively to patient, job satisfaction.
- Using smartphones or Google Glass in combination with AI, ASR and other cutting-edge tech, Augmedix frees up physicians to focus on patients.
- Augmedix Ambient Automation Platform (AAP) is a turnkey solution to easily, securely generate patient medical records in a cost-effective manner.
- Augmedix sees its total addressable market as 295,000 U.S. physicians, which equates to approximately $6 billion in annual revenue.
Click here to view the custom infographic of the Augmedix Inc. editorial.
Free Physicians from Tedium
Today’s healthcare standards are ripe for innovation for a multitude of reasons, including the most important: better patient care and improved outcomes. New practices and systems are also needed to lessen the financial drain on an already-strained healthcare system. And then there are the physicians themselves. When physicians are allowed to focus exclusively on being a physician, they can save up to three hours per day (that’s 33% of a typical day), improve productivity by as much as 20% and increase satisfaction with work-life balance by more than 40%.
Not much emphasis seems to go into the state of mind of the more than one million physicians practicing medicine in the United States, but it should, considering the implications of exhaustion or frustration. Physician burnout is very real, costing the country some $4.6 billion every year.
A primary culprit is documentation. Ever notice how much time a physician is on a computer during an office visit versus time spent actually interacting with a patient? Augmedix Inc. (NASDAQ: AUGX) estimates that physicians working on their own documentation cost the U.S. healthcare industry as much as $100 billion each year, while simultaneously lowering efficacy and satisfaction for both the physician and patient.
Augmedix’s Ambient Automation Platform (AAP) removes the documentation burden and turns the focus to the patient by providing physicians with smartphones or Google Glass units that access the Augmedix platform. The physician opens a secure communications channel through the Augmedix-supplied device, and as the patient and physician interact naturally, the device transmits the audio and video to the platform. The data then runs through the company’s proprietary technology and is turned into a medical note that lands in the patient’s medical records, all without the physician having to manually type during visits.
From small practices to major healthcare enterprises, the platform makes economic and practical sense, while also maintaining the highest degree of security. At a time when in-person solutions are losing favor to virtual solutions, Augmedix is delivering its medical note solutions and a suite of associated products to companies throughout the healthcare spectrum across the United States.
Meeting EHR Demand, Following Telemedicine Trends
Augmedix’s platform is compatible with more than 35 specialties in a variety of healthcare settings. The tech is agnostic to any app a physician uses for telemedicine visits, a trend that boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic and will almost certainly remain entrenched in healthcare operations moving forward.
How quickly the data is processed is up to the physician. When Augmedix’s real-time service is selected, trained medical-documentation specialists review the conversation as it occurs and collect pertinent data in a software application named Notebuilder. From there, Augmedix’s proprietary AAP, which incorporates structured data models, ASR, machine learning and NLP, converts the inputs into a medical note that is then immediately uploaded into the patient’s electronic health record (EHR) for sign-off by the physician shortly following the end of the patient’s appointment.
When the asynchronous offering is chosen, the conversation between the physician and patient is recorded and passed through Augmedix’s ASR software model. The text output is edited by specialists and further processed by Notebuilder into a comprehensive and accurate medical note before returning to the physician, typically by day’s end or the next day.
The healthcare market is rife with buyouts and mergers. In April, Microsoft agreed to buy healthcare cloud and AI software company Nuance Communications at a 23% premium in a deal valued at $19.7 billion. The buyout was the latest move by Microsoft to get in front of medical trends as part of its Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare unit introduced in 2020.
In what may well be another multibillion market opportunity, Augmedix estimates its total addressable market to be approximately 295,000 physicians in the United States, which would translate to about $6 billion in annual revenue. To that point, the company has identified a direct expansion path to about $1 billion via healthcare enterprises that are already clients and now part of the Augmedix “land-and-expand” strategy where core offerings attract customers and are then upsold additional products.
Augmedix stands alone among its peers with its business model and technology that is built around an unconstrained physician-patient conversation as the input for its note-creation process. The company benefits greatly from the inherent flexibility designed into its technology platform and operational infrastructure to accommodate a wide range of doctor workflows and several attractive end markets. The Augmedix platform is a brilliantly simple design that squeezes the most out of today’s technology and that can be readily enhanced as technology evolves.
The industry’s transition towards employing new documentation solutions is underway, and the market remains only lightly penetrated to date, providing plenty of upside for those solutions that are based upon ambient conversations between physicians and patients. For Augmedix, revenue increased 33% year-over-year during the third quarter, reaching $5.6 million. Physicians in Service increased 51% as of September 30, 2021, compared to September 30, 2020. Even though that’s exceptional growth, Augmedix still has hundreds of thousands of physicians to cater to from within its stated total addressable market, which bodes well for the future.
Market Share Is There
A pressing need exists to reduce the documentation burden faced by physicians. An enormous opportunity is also at hand for the companies that offer solutions. The challenge lies in finding flexible and scalable solutions that account for the high degree of heterogeneity among healthcare enterprises and physicians. Many believe that Augmedix delivers the flexible, scalable solutions that can make a real difference as others in the space look to carve out a niche.
Vocera Communications Inc. (NYSE: VCRA), a recognized leader in clinical communication and workflow solutions, this month announced a collaboration with Amazon to build a Vocera skill for Alexa. The skill leverages a set of technologies from Alexa Smart Properties and will be HIPAA-eligible for healthcare customers. The Vocera skill for Alexa will expand the Vocera ecosystem to provide a hands-free, immersive voice experience to patients and families.
Phreesia Inc. (NYSE: PHR) offers healthcare organizations a suite of robust applications to manage the patient-intake process. PHR’s innovative SaaS platform engages patients and provides a modern, convenient experience, while enabling our clients to enhance clinical care and drive efficiency. In September, Phreesia earned renewed HITRUST CSF certification for information security, validating Phreesia’s commitment to meeting key regulations and protecting sensitive information.
American Well Corporation Class A (NYSE: AMWL) is a leading global telehealth platform, connecting and enabling physicians, insurers, patients and innovators to deliver greater access to more affordable, higher-quality care. The award-winning company offers a single, comprehensive platform to support all telehealth needs from urgent to acute and post-acute care, as well as chronic-care management and healthy living. With more than a decade of experience, Amwell powers telehealth solutions for more than 2,000 hospitals and 55 health plan partners.
DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO) is a leading global digital therapeutics company revolutionizing how people with chronic conditions manage their health via a next-generation, AI-powered digital therapeutic platform. DarioHealth offers one of the most comprehensive digital therapeutics solutions on the market, covering multiple chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension, weight management, musculoskeletal and behavioral health within one integrated technology platform. This month, DarioHealth landed more new clients, bringings the number of signed clients to date to 49 as interest in the employer market demand intensifies across the full suite of solutions.
Medical technology is a complex industry with countless nuances and curveballs around every corner that requires the ingenuity to lead a transition into the next age of healthcare. Using technology that frees physicians to interact with patients more effectively is common sense. Companies that capture a significant share of that market could easily deliver uncommon returns.
For more information about Augmedix Inc. (NASDAQ: AUGX), please visit Augmedix Inc.
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