For home users, Amazon’s Alexa is the handy helper who can do everything from flipping on your favorite music to giving you needed reminders. It’s no wonder then that hospitals are brainstorming ways voice-activated technology could help doctors move smoothly between their daily tasks.
Record Keeping: Doctors have turned into desk jockeys — spending up to two-thirds of their days stuck in front of a computer, inputting info. But technology like Alexa could transcribe notes and upload patient information.
According to a report in CNBC, one of the current holdups with taking this approach is HIPAA compliancy. Until Amazon can make sure that Alexa would safely store sensitive patient information, hospitals can’t tap into its potential. But CNBC reports that Amazon has been consistently expanding its HIPAA compliance program and that a relevant update to Alexa could be next.
Protocol Reminders: Boston Children’s hospital has launched a voice-activated Alexa-like app called KidsMD that allows users to quickly ask for health information like medicine dosing or about simple everyday health conditions.
Boston Children’s hospital is also piloting an app for healthcare professionals that would help them follow surgery protocols while in the OR.
Quick Access To Vital Info: Along similar lines, voice-activated technology might also allow healthcare professionals to ask procedural questions or about the patient’s history and get prompt answers.
Diagnosing Mental Disorders: Tech developers are also looking into ways the technology could be helpful with detected health problems and making quicker diagnoses. For example, voice-analyzing technology could help pick up changes in a patient that might signal distress, depression, or other mental health issues.