LA Hospital Patients Use Alexa for HandsFree Communication

first_img More than 100 patients at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California can now ask Alexa to control their TVs and call their nurses.The hospital this week announced a pilot program using virtual health assistant Aiva for hands-free communication.Using the Amazon Echo devices installed in their rooms, patients can make verbal commands like, “Alexa, change the channel to ESPN” or, more crucially, “Alexa, tell my nurse I need to get up to use the restroom.”Requests are routed to the mobile phone of the appropriate caregiver. An appeal for pain medicine, for instance, would be dispatched to a registered nurse; a clinical partner, meanwhile, can handle bathroom demands.If a call is not answered in a “timely manner,” Aiva sends it up the chain of command.The hope is that by automating certain tasks, the hospital can free up employees for more important duties.“Whereas previously nurses were frequently asked to help with the in-room television, Alexa does that job for us, allowing nurses to focus on providing the highest level of patient care,” Golda Morales, assistant nurse manager of General Surgery, said in a statement.Amazon’s Alexa also serves as a companion and window to the outside world, providing direct access to music, weather, sports, and games.“It rocks,” abdominal surgery patient and early Alexa adopter Adrienne Edwards said. “I was lonely in the hospital and I said, ‘Alexa, would you be my friend?’ The device responded, ‘Of course we could be friends. You seem very nice.’”Led by Peachy Hain, Cedars-Sinai’s executive director of Medical and Surgical Services, the pilot aims to move patient interaction into the 21st century, when intelligence and convenience are not only prevalent but expected.“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,” Hain said. “In the hospital, patients have little to distract them from pain or loneliness.”Alexa and Aiva join existing programs like the MyChart Bedside app and Cedars-Sinai’s iPad project; more than 250 tablets are available to hospitalized patients, to track lab results and see names and photos of their care team.More on Geek.com:Amazon Alexa Now Lets You Choose Your Own AdventureAmazon Updates Alexa With ‘Newscaster’ VoiceThis Smart Toilet Adds Alexa to Your Bathroom Routine Geek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your WallsGeek Pick: Amazon Echo Show 5 Is a Nightstand Alexa Display Stay on targetlast_img read more