Video calls, screens for patient rooms: Amazon's new Alexa tools for hospitals

Amazon has released new Alexa capabilities for hospitals that the tech giant says can cut down on administrative tasks.

The tools will allow patients and medical staff to do audio and video calls between Echo devices and laptops or tablets, route Alexa calls within hospital phone systems and let patients and caregivers know who's calling, and boost Wi-Fi connections. Amazon is also set to release an Echo Show device for healthcare with a large touchscreen, wall-hanging capability and easy-to-sanitize plastic and glass case.

"We're thrilled to offer new tools to healthcare providers to leverage ambient intelligence to improve the patient and employee experience," said Bram Duchovnay, director of Alexa Smart Properties, in an April 17 company news release. "We look forward to continuing to help developers and healthcare organizations scale Alexa-enabled solutions for their patients and medical staff."

Boston Children's Hospital, Clearwater, Fla.-based BayCare Health System and Honolulu-based Hawaii Pacific Health are among the health systems using Alexa for healthcare.

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