Alexa for Healthcare

Dr. Alexa and Dr. Cortana at Your Service


Coke versus Pepsi. Angelina versus Jennifer. The New England Patriots versus…well, everybody. These are just a few famous rivalries throughout history all of which pale in comparison to the rivalry between Alexa and Cortana. People are fiercely opinionated about which is best – but what if you didn’t have to choose?

What if these “ladies” can improve healthcare?

Amazon and Microsoft recently announced that they will work together to make Alexa and Cortana interact. More importantly, they’re examining ways to have them work to improve healthcare and the overall patient experience. The first healthcare providers in line to use this technology are Penn Medicine in Philadelphia and Commonwealth Care Alliance in Boston:

“Amazon’s Alexa will stretch the boundaries of how people view their ability to organize their own care,” stated CCA’s John Loughnane, MD and chief of clinical innovation. “We see the possibility to learn about stress points for our patients – and address those.”

Brian Wells, the associate VP of health technology and academic computing at Penn Medicine notes, “We’re focusing on Amazon as it is a more open platform and furthest ahead in the race”.

Alexa and Cortana both bring strengths to the game, and according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos:

“Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience.”

Here are just a few things we can expect to see in the future from “the marriage”.

Drug Creation

Developing medications through clinical trials can take more than a decade and cost billions of dollars. AI technology could speed up the process and make it more cost-effective.

Assisting With Tedious Jobs

IBM launched an algorithm called Medical Sieve, which is capable of assisting with clinical decision making in radiology and cardiology. This “cognitive health assistant” can evaluate radiology images to spot and detect complications faster and more reliably. Radiologists in the future will only have to look at the most complicated cases where human supervision is useful.

Getting The Most Out Of Doctors’ Visits And Consultations

Having to wait days to see your doctor is never fun when you’re sick.

Medical Artificial Intelligence (AI) consultations based on personal medical history and common medical knowledge is the newest way to get access to medical help faster. Users can report their symptoms to an app, which checks them against a database of diseases, and then offers a suitable course of action. It is also capable of reminding patients to take their medication.

Date Management Controlled By AI

AI in healthcare is storing and safeguarding data. “Collecting it, storing it, normalizing it, tracing its lineage – it is the first step in revolutionizing the existing healthcare systems,” states Google recently introduced the Deepmind Health Project, which analyzes the data of medical records in order to provide better and faster health services. They are working with the Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London, England to help improve eye care for patients.

A Nurse Available At The Touch Of A Button

Meet Molly, the world’s first virtual nurse. Driven by the award-winning medical start-up Sensely, she has a friendly face and a kind voice. Molly’s goal is to aid people by monitoring their conditions and treatments, offering support to patients in-between doctor appointments. There is even a process that monitors whether patients are taking their medications or not. In addition to Molly, the AiCure app, which is supported by The National Institutes of Health, uses a smartphone camera along with AI to confirm that patients are following their doctor’s orders and following their prescriptions.

AI in healthcare could establish patient treatment plans and afford physicians with all the information they need to make the best decisions. AI will have a major influence on the study of genetics as well, with new technology looking for mutations and connections to disease. “Voice technology is an opportunity to provide care in conjunction with transportation, scheduling, prescription refills, reminders, and alerts,” tells Loughnane.

This new merger will create customized care based on the ability to ask Alexa things like when home health aides are scheduled to arrive, to check out wait times and schedule appointments, and to arrange transportation to get there.

Advancements in the healthcare industry will certainly lead to breakthroughs in other industries as well. When will we fully see these applications in action? Only time will tell, but some experts think it will be sooner rather than later.

The world is changing fast, and it’s a great time to be alive. One can only imagine what it will be like 20, 50 and 100 years from now. Steps taken today will improve our lives and the lives of our loved ones for years to come. “Voice has been a tremendously underutilized aspect of how healthcare views interactions,” Loughnane said. “I see a future where voice is going to be an integral part of healthcare.”

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