A New Alexa Skill Connects Hospital Patients to Nurses in Australia
A new Amazon Alexa skill is now making it easier for patients in hospitals in Australia and New Zealand to contact their nurses when they need help.
Call Without Call Buttons
The DeloitteAssist Alexa skill, developed by business and consulting giant Deloitte, is being used at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Australia and Burwood Hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand according to a report from Which-50. Patients can tell Alexa to ask for specific help, such as pain medication or assistance using the bathroom. The skill will then send their request to their nurse via a mobile device and a tablet at the nurse’s station.
For patients unable to find or reach the standard call button, a voice-activated system can be a real boon. And, because the specifics of the request are shared, the skill is more efficient than a call button. Nurses will know what the patient needs before they arrive and its severity – if it’s an emergency or a less life-threatening need. The skill can also be adjusted so that requests can be passed along to nurses, orderlies, or whoever is best situated to fulfill the request. Ahead of deploying the skill in a hospital, Deloitte ran tests to make sure there was a 95 percent recognition rate in the lab. Since then, Deloitte reported that 87 percent of nurses felt more confident they knew how best to respond to a patient’s call.
Health Skills Spread
This isn’t the first time an Alexa skill has been deployed within a hospital. The Aiva skill, which allows patients to control devices in their rooms as well as call nurses, arrived in more than 100 Cedars-Sinai rooms earlier this year. Other hospitals are developing their own variations of Alexa skills for current and prospective patients, such as the NHRMC skill developed by the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, to offer information and helpful tools for patients and those who may need to visit them.
Bringing Alexa’s Hospitality to Hospitals
DeloitteAssist, Aiva, and other Alexa skills also mean that patients have an Amazon Echo device in their room, with all of the other options available to them. Controlling the television, listening to music, and getting information about the news or weather are all bonus features for patients in hospitals using Alexa skills for care. In the competition for voice assistant dominance among Amazon, Google, and other companies, the healthcare space could be a very important arena in getting new people to try out and start using their devices.