Nuance Acquires AI Startup Saykara

The technology acquired could help ease the burden of physician burnout.

Nuance Communications today acquired Saykara, a startup building a medical artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant to help with charting and administrative tasks.

The voice assistant may help ease some of the burden which could result in physician burnout. The AI can document some clinical encounters autonomously by listening to conversations between a patient and physician. The idea behind the technology is to free up both time and energy for doctors, who often complain about their workload away from the patient.

"This acquisition welcomes some familiar and highly respected technology leaders whom I am excited to have join our research and development team, which consists of the best and brightest minds in applying AI and machine learning to healthcare,” Joe Petro, Nuance executive vice president and chief technology officer said. “With a shared vision, we will continue our aggressive focus on innovation, growth, and on delivering industry-leading AI-powered solutions that meaningfully address the compelling business problems that our healthcare clients and their clinicians face every day."

Saykara was founded by Harjinder Sandhu, who sold a previous speech recognition startup, MedRemote, to Nuance and worked there for five years prior to this acquisition.

"I welcome the opportunity to rejoin the market leader in conversational AI and ambient clinical intelligence, and the impressive Nuance research and development team – especially at this important juncture in the development and adoption of these AI-powered healthcare innovations," Sandhu said. "We are very familiar with Nuance's advanced technology, domain expertise, and world-class technical team and share the company's mission to make what matters to alleviate the clinical documentation burden on clinicians around the world."