Nabla reports rapid uptake of Spanish language AI scribe, plans to expand options in 2024

Within the first four months of implementing a Spanish language AI assistant for practitioners, Nabla has seen 10% of its clinicians using the feature.

Nabla, a Paris-based startup, launched a Spanish language option for Copilot, as the tool is called, earlier this summer. It claims to be the first AI scribe to have done so. So far, it has seen rapid adoption among clinicians, the company says, particularly among psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists, who account for nearly half of its total users.

By using Copilot, docs can focus on caring for their Spanish-speaking patients while Nabla’s generative AI produces comprehensive clinical notes in real-time in the background, the company says. At the start of a consultation, practitioners can select their preferred language.

Even if a session is in Spanish, Copilot creates clinical notes in English to preserve a standardized EHR format, per Nabla executives. Copilot can also generate patient instructions in Spanish.

“The point is really to improve the way a patient can communicate with a doctor and vice versa and to enhance healthcare accessibility,” Nabla co-founder and COO Delphine Groll told Fierce Healthcare. 

Recent surveys have found that most doctors are holding off on using AI in their medical practices, for now. According to one survey by Elation Health, 67% of primary care physicians have not yet tried an AI-powered medical scribe solution. Doctors reported that they lacked confidence in the tech's accuracy as well as a lack of integration or access through existing tools.

Another survey from the American Medical Association found that about 38% of physicians currently use AI tools.

But as AI-powered healthcare tools evolve, tech companies have a responsibility to build products for different languages, Groll added. When that is not taken into account, it inevitably impacts health equity. 

“Communication is really the point of this type of consultation,” Groll said. “If they have this tool available in Spanish, it’s something they rely on to enhance communication, empathy.”

Nearly a third of U.S. Latinos are not fluent in English, posing a unique challenge for healthcare professionals, Nabla argues. Communication barriers can impact outcomes and medication adherence, as well as trust in the healthcare system.

The Spanish language represents up to 14% of Nabla doctor consultation notes in some states, including California and Florida. Based on user trends and the most spoken languages in the U.S., Nabla plans to expand its language versions in 2024, including Mandarin, Russian and Arabic.

Nabla is taking its time to roll out other languages to focus on the accuracy of its model and ensure that medical terms are well-captured, per Groll.

Nabla is assessing the accuracy of its Copilot in several ways. The first is by asking providers to rate the translation after a note is generated. Today, its notes are rated 4.7 out of 5, Groll said. Nabla also tracks how many notes are edited. About 7% of notes from a transcript in Spanish are currently edited, compared to about 5% for all notes.