How Amazon Alexa & other voice technology apps can change healthcare delivery

Hospital IT professionals are increasingly tinkering with voice technology apps like Amazon Alexa to deliver routine medical information and help ease clinicians' safety concerns in the operating room, according to a CNBC report.

Experts suggest there is a plethora of opportunities for voice technology. For example, physicians could use Alexa and similar apps to transcribe notes and document patient interactions, allowing them to spend more quality time with patients instead of with EHRs.

Clinicians at Boston Children's Hospital recently released KidsMD, an Alexa-like app designed to provide users with health information about common illnesses and medication dosing. The hospital is also piloting an Alexa app to help physicians follow surgery protocols and procedures while in the OR, according to the report.

Amazon officials also recognized Alexa's affect on healthcare delivery. To spur innovation, the company recently partnered with Merck to encourage developers to build apps to help diabetes patients manage their health.

However, some clinicians are dubious of incorporating Alexa into the workforce because the system is not HIPAA-compliant and cannot safely store patients' health information, according to the report.

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