Here's what Northwell is doing with 2,800 Amazon Echo devices

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health is expanding a program to equip COVID-19 patients' rooms with Amazon Echo Show devices, which feature two-way video calling capabilities that let clinicians check on patients via video, CNN reports.

Manhasset, N.Y.-based North Shore University Hospital was the first of Northwell's hospitals to pilot the devices, according to the March 30 report. Over the past few weeks, the health system has deployed 2,800 devices across more than a dozen of its facilities and plans to further expand the technology, the network reports.

The video devices have helped physicians preserve a human connection with their patients, North Shore's Chief Clinical Information Officer Al Caligiuri told CNN, adding that the hospital "can communicate with [patients], we can answer questions, we can decrease foot traffic in the room and minimize the exposure to staff, and reduce the use of (personal protective equipment) over time."

The hospital has configured the devices to comply with federal telehealth guidelines on privacy and data protection practices. While in-person, physical interactions between providers and patients are still necessary for examinations and treatments, the devices have been helping with exchanges such as asking patients about their health histories or how they feel after receiving a medication, according to the report.


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