A recent article from Fortune Magazine highlighted a new, ground-breaking use for the Amazon Echo. The increasingly popular smart-home device now has a new purpose in the healthcare industry, specifically at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. The hospital has launched a pilot program in which an Alexa-powered platform, called Aviva, can be used for a multitude of bedside assistance for patients, such as turning on the TV, calling for a nurse, or requesting specific medication – all completed with voice activation. Previously, nurses were needed for even menial tasks like turning on the TV, but with this new technology, nurses can focus their attention on more important tasks.
So how does it work? According to the announcement from Cedars-Sinai, once a patient makes a request “[it] is routed to the mobile phone of the appropriate caregiver, whether a nurse, clinical partner, manager or administrator. A pain medicine request would be routed to a registered nurse, for example, while a bathroom request would be routed to a clinical partner. If the request is not answered in a timely manner, the Aiva platform sends it up the chain of command.“
As other hospitals begin to adopt smart devices into their services, what are some risks they might need to consider before launching Alexa enabled solutions? Is this a good investment for hospitals to make? What other smart home devices might hospitals want to consider as well?