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Health care companies are joining forces with big tech players as they race to integrate AI into their tools, drawn by the promise of large language models from OpenAI, Microsoft, Google and others that they can use in medicine without having to train the AI themselves.

“Most companies want to use these large language models, but the really good ones take billions of dollars to train and many years,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told CNBC last week when the company announced Bedrock, a suite of AI models other companies can use as building blocks for their own products. “Most companies don’t want to go through that and so what they want to do is they want to work off of a foundational model that’s big and great already, and then have the ability to customize it for their own purposes.”


That pitch appealed to 3M. Though the company is better known for its Post-it notes and packing tape, 3M has spent decades also building a business in clinical documentation and medical coding software. In 2019, 3M acquired technology company M*Modal to expand its conversational AI business with tools such as a virtual assistant that helps power the Hey Epic! electronic health record tool and the dictation software Fluency Direct, which allows physicians to dictate into the EHR and nudges them for clarifications or added detail.

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