Computers

To Free Doctors From Computers, Far-Flung Scribes Are Now Taking Notes For Them

Podiatrist Dr. Mark Lewis greets his first patient of the morning in his suburban Seattle exam room and points to a tiny video camera mounted on the right rim of his glasses. “This is my scribe, Jacqueline,” he says. “She can see us and hear us.”

Jacqueline is watching the appointment on her computer screen after the sun has set, 8,000 miles away in Mysore, a southern Indian city known for its palaces and jasmine flowers. She copiously documents the details of each visit and enters them into the patient’s electronic health record, or EHR.

Jacqueline (her real first name, according to her employer), works for San Francisco-based Augmedix, a startup with 1,000 medical scribes in South Asia and the U.S. The company is part of a growing industry that profits from a confluence of health care trends — including, now, the pandemic — that are dispersing

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