Hospital Pilots Amazon Alexa in Patient Rooms

Cedars-Sinai Hospital is currently piloting a program that’s putting Amazon Alexa in 100 patient rooms. Using Aiva, “the world’s first patient-centered voice assistant platform for hospitals,” patients can tell Alexa to change the channel or get a nurse for a task. Once the patient commands Alexa, the nurse is notified via a mobile notification. Patients can also ask Alexa for more conversational information regarding the weather, sports, and music. Using Alexa for simple tasks like changing the channel enables the nurses to focus more on medical care, according to Golda Moeales, Cedars-Sinai’s assistant nurse manager of General Surgery.

cedars-sinai-amazon-alexa
Cedars-Sinai is currently piloting Amazon Alexa in patients’ rooms

Peachy Hain, Cedars-Sinai’s executive director of Medical and Surgical Services, spearheaded the Alexa pilot program.

“Patients young and old are now used to voice-activated devices in their homes. Since it’s familiar to them, it helps enhance their hospital experience…In the hospital, patients have little to distract them from pain or loneliness,”

Hain said. Cedars-Sinai was one of the original investors in Aiva, helping them to develop and test their product during the 2017 Cedars-Sinai Accelerator. Since then, funds like the Google Assistant Investment Program and Amazon’s Alexa Fund have contributed their investments, enabling Aiva to work with Google Home as well as Amazon Echo. Before the Alexa pilot program, Cedars Sinai had utilized the MyChart Bedside app as well as iPads to optimize patients’ communication with medical staff.

Cedars-Sinai’s investment in technology echoes the Topol Review, an independent report from England’s National Health Service. By using virtual reality, robotics, and artificial intelligence, technology can be used to improve medical services. The majority of healthcare providers believe that telemedicine and voice-activated platforms like Alexa will have a great impact on the healthcare industry, according to a recent survey from Perkins-Eastman. The implementation of new technology will require increased training for staff as they learn how digital tools can help improve patient care.

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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