Digital Scribes May Soon Change How Doctors Take Notes, But There Are Still Hurdles to Overcome: New Paper

Beyond these challenges, there is also the issue of the lack of the large quantities of available medical data necessary for training deep learning systems to work as digital scribes.

There are also non-technical challenges to the implementation of digital scribes. The authors point to concerns that they will detract from doctors’ engagement with important aspects of care: “The main concern raised is that manual documentation allows clinicians to structure their thoughts, think critically, reflect, and practice medicine effectively, such that removing it would adversely affect the way clinicians practice medicine.”

However, the authors argue, if intelligently balanced with tried-and-true practice, digital scribes primarily hold promise to enhance the clinical experience.

Rather than replacement of clinicians as depicted in many dystopic AI futures, the goal of digital scribes is the formation of a “human–AI symbiosis” that augments the clinician–patient experience and improves quality of care. Digital scribes could well transform clinician–patient communication, bringing the focus back to the patient and clinical reasoning. The more seamless the digital scribe solution, the greater the support for the clinician engagement with patients.

Subscribe to our newsletter