Amazon added two new options to its Alexa Smart Properties lineup Monday that can enable senior residing and healthcare suppliers to combine the corporate’s voice agent Alexa into their properties and empower residents and sufferers to remain related, knowledgeable and entertained.
Designed particularly for the wants of senior residing communities and healthcare amenities, Amazon defined that Alexa Smart Properties simplifies deploying and managing Alexa-enabled gadgets at scale, serving to properties supply personalized experiences for residents and sufferers, and improve care workforce productiveness and operational effectivity.
Amazon defined the brand new Alexa resolution will allow senior residing residents to be in contact with their family members, join with their group, entry group information and extra through the use of an Amazon Echo gadget of their room.
Family members and buddies outdoors the property can simply get in contact with residents by means of Alexa calling, it added.
Amazon added that senior residing directors are in a position to tailor their residents’ experiences by customizing group info like exercise schedules and meal menus.
Meanwhile, care workforce members can talk extra effectively with residents utilizing Alexa communication options, which allow them to make bulletins, voice and video calls, or ship direct audio messages to different Alexa-enabled gadgets all through the property.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Alexa can even allow care employees to save lots of time and improve productiveness by streamlining actions like check-ins, area requests for upkeep and administrative duties.
“Most senior care facilities have ways to communicate to resident rooms, but the Amazon offering will bring far greater functionality,” noticed Jonathan Collins, a analysis director at ABI Research.
“Leveraging the scale of its Alexa device business, Amazon clearly has the ability to drive competitive pricing, as well as offer greater functionality in this market,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
He added that Alexa may have an effect on staffing at senior care amenities.
“By supporting all the functionality offered through Alexa devices and centralized system management, a facility could see a significant boost in efficiency,” he mentioned.
In addition, Collins famous that the system would doubtless free employees to ship on essentially the most urgent necessities of shopper assist.
“There could be real efficiencies in using voice-activated technology to replace human labor,” added Michael Cannon, director of well being coverage research on the Cato Institute, a libertarian assume tank in Washington, D.C.
“It could reduce the cost of senior and hospital care,” he informed TechNewsWorld. “Or it could increase it, if seniors and patients decide they like the independence so much that facilities invest in Amazon technology so heavily that they end up spending more on it than on the human labor the devices replace.”
Patient Game Changer
At hospitals, the brand new Alexa resolution can be utilized by sufferers to speak with their care employees, management gadgets of their room, or keep knowledgeable and entertained with information and music, Amazon famous.
It added that healthcare suppliers can talk with sufferers shortly and simply with options like calling and Drop In — with out the necessity to enter affected person rooms. That permits hospitals to extend productiveness, preserve medical provides and protecting tools, corresponding to masks, gloves, and robes, and release employees time to supply extra personalised care.
An Echo Show 8 deployed in a senior residing group (Photo: Business Wire)
“It will also help mitigate concerns about spreading disease by minimizing the frequency of entering patient rooms that are high risk,” IDC Senior Research Analyst Adam Wright informed TechNewsWorld.
In addition, hospitals can present info personalized to their facility, like notifications about schedule adjustments or cafeteria menus, and ability experiences like video games, podcasts, and extra.
“Voice is intuitive for patients, regardless of age or tech savviness,” Peachy Hain, government director of medical and surgical providers at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, mentioned within the information launch.
“Since it’s so easy to operate,” she continued, “patients can use Alexa to connect with their care team and stay entertained as soon as they settle in, while care providers can streamline tasks to make more time to care for those patients.”
“It’s a total game changer for enhancing our hospital experience,” she added.
Patient Centric Approach
At Houston Methodist, Alexa matches properly into the hospital’s patient-centric method, famous Administrative Director of Ambulatory Clinical Systems Josh Sol.
“We’re trying to put patients in the center of what we do, and Alexa allows us to do that,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
He added that Alexa Smart Properties instruments are additionally getting used within the hospital’s outpatient examination room in its Ambient Listening program.
“It leverages tools from Amazon that help to support our physicians to reduce burnout,” he mentioned. “It allows a physician to have a more solid interaction with a patient without typing up or clicking on everything that was talked about.”
“Visits aren’t voice recorded with the technology,” he defined. “It automatically transcribes the session, and the transcription is stored in a secure HIPPA-compliant application that ties into our electronic medical record system.”
“The sky’s the limit for voice technology,” he added. “Our grand idea is that we can capture all the appropriate documentation we need by leveraging voice technology, versus going behind a computer and typing it out.”
Since healthcare suppliers deal with very delicate private info, privateness is all the time a priority with any know-how they use.
According to Amazon, its new Alexa options are designed with privateness in thoughts.
No private info is shared with Alexa to make use of the gadget, and voice recordings will not be saved, it famous.
In addition, each Amazon Echo gadget presents a number of layers of privateness safety, and residents and sufferers can disable Alexa’s potential to reply to the wake phrase at any time by merely urgent the mute button on prime of their Echo gadget.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
What’s extra, Amazon implements administrative, technical, and bodily safeguards for protected well being info obtained as a part of HIPAA-eligible ability interactions.
There could also be privateness issues in regards to the options, however not more than in every other setting that makes use of internet-connected gadgets, a smartphone, or a wise speaker, Wright maintained.
“Amazon has sufficient privacy protections built-in to the solutions, and it’s in their economic interest to ensure that the privacy of the patient and healthcare workers is protected,” he mentioned.
“A failure for Amazon to protect patient and worker privacy would be a PR nightmare and could also lead to legal penalties,” he added.
Beyond the Smart Speaker
With the introduction of those new Alexa options, Amazon is making good on its promise to builders made earlier this yr.
“One of the things that came out of Amazon’s last developers’ event was we should expect Alexa to be in many more contexts than we’re used to,” mentioned Ross Rubin, the principal analyst with Reticle Research, a client know-how advisory agency in New York City.
“We tend to think of Alexa living in a smart speaker most of the time and being a voice-control agent, but Amazon has been working on making it a multimodal experience with a visual display and incorporating gestures,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
“It’s selling it as a technology into businesses and the enterprise,” he continued. “That includes white label opportunities, such as allowing Disney to use its own wake-up phrase ‘Hey, Disney’ or Verizon to use ‘Hey, Verizon.’”
Wright added that the brand new options will assist Alexa acquire momentum within the enterprise and business house.
“It has already had a presence for some time in workplaces via Alexa for Business and in hospitality setting like hotels,” he mentioned.
“The new Alexa solutions for hospitals and senior living facilities will help broaden Alexa’s footprint, potentially introduce new customers into its ecosystem,” he continued.
“More importantly,” he added, “it will demonstrate, in meaningful ways, how smart assistants like Alexa can be used to make people’s lives more convenient and — in the case of healthcare settings and during a pandemic — safer, as well as promote better health outcomes, both for patients and healthcare workers.”