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Mar 29 2012   11:39AM GMT

Harnessing the power of industry collaboration at UPMC’s Technology Development Center



Posted by: Jenny Laurello
Clinical language understanding, CLU, Natural language processing, NLP, Voice recognition

After sitting down and chatting with two of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s champions for the organization’s Technology Development Center (TDC), it is clear that the health system is making great strides in terms of health IT adoption and industry collaboration. From utilizing voice recognition and clinical language understanding (CLU) technologies, to relying on mobile health technology and vendor collaboration to expand the continuum of care, UPMC has been able to utilize the power of the TDC to “make strategic investments in technology that will rectify health care’s biggest dilemma of aggregating and translating an abundance of data into actionable knowledge.”

In this HIMSS 12 interview, Rasu Shrestha, M.D., VP of medical information technology and a radiologist at UPMC, and Rebecca Kaul, president of UPMC’s TDC, share their expertise on the ways in which their clinicians are currently utilizing CLU and working with vendor partners at the TDC to break down the barriers of care and utilize electronic data and technology to its highest potential.

In the video below, Shrestha and Kaul discuss the following:

  • Apple’s Siri has seemed to make voice recognition and NLP almost famous amongst consumers. Can you talk about the different considerations that need to be made when looking at voice recognition in action health care (i.e., what is the difference between CLU powered solutions and NLP solutions such as Siri?)
  • How can CLU help health care orgs improve clinical efficiency, drive appropriate reimbursement and meet upcoming ICD-10 needs?
  • In the long term, how do you see mobile health technology, voice-command / speech recognition or otherwise, continuing to push the envelope in terms of clinical decision support, relying on mHealth integration with EHR for increase in care quality / error reduction? 

Dr. Rasu Shrestha is VP of medical information technology and a radiologist at UPMC. He invented an electronic system that lets clinicians see imaging studies from across our facilities, in addition to  helping lead the way in some of our new technology efforts involving natural language processing (with partner Nuance). 

Rebecca Kaul is president of UPMC’s Technology Development Center. The TDC is where UPMC is spending time and resources developing the next-generation of healthcare IT solutions with industry partners such partners as Alcatel-Lucent and Nuance, with a particular focus on telemedicine, natural language processing, mobility and advanced imaging.

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