• AAFP Innovation Lab

    The family medicine experience is based on a deeply personal physician-patient interaction that requires support from technology, yet many technologies used in practice today have greatly eroded the experience rather than enhancing it.  

    What we believe:

    • Family physicians must primarily care.
    • Information technology (IT) must work for us, not against us.
    • We will no longer accept the status quo.

    The AAFP Innovation Laboratory was created to partner with industry to drive innovation with the latest proven technologies: cloud, artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning, and voice and mobile technologies, to optimize the family medicine experience. 

    We are striving to identify innovative tools that decrease administrative burdens that are stifling the joy of practice and creating a physician well-being crisis. Telehealth and value-based care tools are also being explored.

    Our goals:

    • Eliminate or decrease burnout
    • Decrease health IT-related stress
    • Provide more control of clinical time, where technology becomes responsive

    Reasons to Participate:

    1. Reduce Administrative Tasks — Members and practice peers can participate in labs to trial existing and emerging technologies of interest to simplify administrative tasks.   
    2. Gain Free Experience with Innovative Solutions — Participating in a lab enables a practice to receive a hands-on trial of an innovative solution that would otherwise typically involve a binding commitment and costs. 
    3. Seize the Opportunity to Benefit Your Practice, Peers, Patients, and Family Medicine — Your insights on installing and using the tool have the potential to benefit you, your peers, and family medicine. Your feedback helps us better understand how the tools are working in various practices, with different patient populations and varying contexts. Feedback also helps to identify recommendations and best practices for successfully implementing a particular category of tools.  

    Learn about Recent Labs

    Suki Lab

    Family physicians interested in reducing documentation burden had the opportunity to test a new AI tool through the Suki lab.

    Suki is a digital assistant for physicians that combines AI and voice-enabled technology. Suki understands natural language and completes tasks such as note creation and retrieving information from the EHR.

    It is possible to use Suki as a standalone solution whereby Suki generates notes in PDF format that can then be saved in your EHR. Although the benefits may not be the same as those seen in the phase one pilot, members reported significant improvements using this nonintegrated workflow.

    The Suki lab launched in 2019 and has achieved the following milestones:

    • The product achieved proof of concept with a cohort of 10 family physicians using the same type of EHR system (Athena) in a variety of practice settings during phase one. 
    • Phase one achieved dramatic and promising results, with 100 percent of physician users experiencing time savings and a dramatic increase in satisfaction with notes completion, efficiency and EHR use for other administrative tasks. Several physicians described the impact of being able to see patients and complete documentation without feeling rushed or having to work after hours as a “breakthrough” in their practices. See results and analysis in the Suki phase one white paper.

    We are working to gather feedback from family physicians participating in the phase two lab, trialing Suki within their practice.  Stay tuned for updates regarding outcomes and participant feedback!

    Participate in Innovation Labs

    Navina Lab

    Family physicians have an opportunity to trial Navina, an AI-driven platform that integrates with a practice's EHR and automates aggregation and anlysis of patients' data in real time, with the goal of optimizing diagnoses and coding processes and enhancing clinical workflow. 

    Navina’s signature product integrates multiple types of patient data from diverse sources (tabular, numerical, time-series, images, text) in real time and restructures it into intuitive, actionable summaries called “Patient Portraits.” Navina’s objective is to ensure that what's most important is immediately clear, diagnostically linked and contextually surfaced, based on the entirety and complexity of each patient’s data and history.

    NEW! Navina Lab – Phase One 

    Navina’s point-of-care model has allowed family physicians and colleagues to access and analyze patients’ data in real time to optimize diagnosis and ICD coding processes. This has helped identify all pertinent diagnoses, enabling users to provide appropriate care. It has also helped physicians increase risk-adjustment factor scores to accurately code diagnoses for proper payment.

    Family physicians who have used Navina have seen value in its ability to save time and identify issues that need to be addressed, according to Steven Waldren, MD, MS, AAFP vice president and chief medical informatics officer and founder of the AAFP Innovation Lab.

    The Navina lab is open for family physician participation at no cost. Interested AAFP members who want to submit information about their practice for consideration are invited to email eHealth@aafp.org.

    Learn About Future Pilots

    We are regularly reviewing and rolling out new innovation opportunities. If you are interested in learning more, email the Innovation Lab at ehealth@aafp.org. You may opt out of receiving notices at any time.