Orbita Acquires Voice App Connecting Hospital Patients to Nurses
Healthcare-focused voice AI developer Orbita is rolling out a virtual health assistant called OrbitaAssist to help patients better communicate with hospital staff. provide better care for patients. OrbitaAssist adapts the DeloitteAssist Amazon Alexa skill acquired from Deloitte by Orbita in recent weeks.
OrbitaAssist Connecting Patients and Nurses
OrbitaAssist can be added to any Alexa-powered smart speaker, which is then hooked into the relevant nursing station. It acts like a traditional call button, except patients can be much more specific about their needs. If a patient asks Alexa to tell a nurse they are in pain or need to use the bathroom, OrbitaAssist passes along the request to their nurse through their mobile device and a tablet at the nurse’s station. Knowing what patients need before they arrive naturally improves efficiency for nurses. A voice-activated system is also a great option for patients who may not be able to find or reach a standard call button.
“It’s a bedside assistant solution for communication between patients and on-call nurses,” Orbita president Nathan Treloar told Voicebt in an interview. “People can communicate their needs and nurses can triage requests based on that need. The target is to improve patient satisfaction and efficiency and address more nuanced conditions in hospitals better than the binary on-off buttons can.”
Deloitte to Orbita
Deloitte first came out with DeloitteAssist earlier this year, running pilot programs at hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. The response was remarkably positive. All of the patients using it said they would prefer to have it in future hospital visits and 87% of nurses said they felt more confident responding to calls made with the voice app. The nurses responded faster as well, with median response time dropping by as much as 70% when DeloitteAssist was involved. Leading the acquisition and implementation of OrbitaAssist is Orbita’s new executive vice president of patient care solutions Nick White, who joined Orbita after working for Deloitte for close to 20 years.
“There’s a high demand for in-facility voice assistance. The reason we acquired this solution is that it comes with strong value statements and proof of how it has improved patient satisfaction and efficiency,” Treloar said. “Right now, [OrbitaAssist] is a bit of a standalone turnkey feature. We are closely aligned with Amazon on the rollout and existing customers will get preferential choices because of current contracts with us. We will be rolling it out not just in the U.S., but with partners worldwide.”
Voice skills are becoming more popular in hospitals. For instance, more than 100 Cedars-Sinai rooms added the Aiva Alexa skill this year, enabling patients to control devices in their rooms as well as call nurses. There are also hospitals creating Alexa skills like the NHRMC skill developed by the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, which offers information and tools for patients and those who may need to visit them and the Mayo Clinic’s first aid skill.
“Our goal is to see that patient voices are heard and their needs met,” Treloar said. “OrbitaAssist really aligns with our platform and [lets us] double down on solutions.”