Editors Note: Originally published on Gizmodo 2/26/2019. This is an excerpt.
While it’s hard not to roll your eyes at voice assistants getting added to every single thing in the smart home, a Los Angeles hospital is actually putting Amazon Alexa to good use. About 100 patient rooms at Cedars-Sinai will now be equipped with Amazon Echos to help patients and caregivers interact more efficiently.
The pilot program runs off an Alexa-powered platform called Aiva. Now, patients can easily say things like, “Alexa, change the channel” or “Alexa, tell my nurse I need to use the restroom.” Some requests, like turning a TV on or off, Alexa can handle on its own. Others will be sent directly to a caregiver’s cellphone. And, probably the most helpful feature for healthcare providers is that the Aiva platform will be able to send requests to the appropriate type of caregiver. So while a nurse would get any requests for painkillers, a clinical partner would get bathroom requests. According to Cedars-Sinai, requests that take a while to fulfill would then get bumped up the chain of command.
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