Amazon's Alexa adds physician appointment scheduling with Nimblr integration

Patients at some medical practices can now schedule appointments using their Amazon Alexa thanks to a recent integration with Nimblr, the healthcare artificial intelligence company confirmed July 10.

Nimblr developed the virtual assistant Holly to streamline medical front-desk processes, such as appointment scheduling, by connecting with various medical practices' calendars and EHR software systems.

To take advantage of the integration, a patient uses voice commands to tell Alexa, "Holly, I'd like to make an appointment," followed by the name of their physician. Holly gathers the patient's information and offers available time slots, and sets up the final appointment on the physician's scheduling system.

The patient can also use Holly via text or Alexa to cancel or reschedule their appointment if needed.

Nadeem Vaidya, MD, a retinal surgeon at Retina Orange County in Irvine, Calif., said an initial Nimblr rollout at the practice reduced the no-show rate by almost 72 percent.

"We are very excited to try the Nimblr-Alexa integration," Dr. Vaidya said in Nimblr's July 10 statement. "In-home assistants are the future of our interaction with patients and using Alexa and Nimblr together will be a big step forward in making the lives of our patients and staff easier."

Nimblr's services are available through Alexa without an additional download or installation for medical practices on athenahealth, Allscripts, Carecloud and DrChrono EHRs. The service will be available for Epic EHRs during the third quarter of 2018.

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