Smart hospital room pilot at Cedars-Sinai leverages Alexa

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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is testing a voice assistant platform as part of pilot program that includes 100 patient rooms.

The Alexa-powered platform—called Aiva—enables hospital patients to interact hands-free with nurses and to control their entertainment by giving verbal commands to the device, which is designed to understand the requests and to route them to the most appropriate caregiver.

“The patient’s request is routed to the mobile phone of the appropriate caregiver, whether a nurse, clinical partner, manager or administrator,” according to the announcement. “A pain medicine request would be routed to a registered nurse, for example, while a bathroom request would be routed to a clinical partner. If the request is not answered in a timely manner, the Aiva platform sends it up the chain of command.”

As a result, thanks to the platform, Cedars-Sinai contends that its nursing staff gets fewer misdirected requests from patients, who can now just speak out loud to Alva to turn their television off and on as well as change channels.

“Whereas previously nurses were frequently asked to help with the in-room television, Alexa does that job for us, allowing nurses to focus on providing the highest level of patient care,” says Golda Morales, assistant nurse manager of general surgery.

According to Cedars-Sinai, Aiva is the world’s first patient-centered voice assistant platform for hospitals. Through its Accelerator program, which provides mentoring and financial support for early-stage healthcare companies, the medical center was one of Aiva’s first investors.

Also See: Cedars-Sinai graduates 8 startups from its Accelerator program

Since then, Aiva has received funding from the Google Assistant Investment Program and Amazon’s Alexa Fund, which provides venture capital funding to fuel voice technology innovation.

“Smart rooms are all about improving satisfaction for both patients and nurses,” says Sumeet Bhatia, founder and CEO of Aiva. “Cedars-Sinai and Aiva are giving patients more entertainment options, more control over their environment and closer communication with their care team.”

“Patients young and old are now used to voice-activated devices in their homes. Since it’s familiar to them, it helps enhance their hospital experience,” says Peachy Hain, Cedars-Sinai's executive director of medical and surgical services.

“In the hospital, patients have little to distract them from pain or loneliness,” added Hain, who said the voice-activated devices enable patients to feel more connected to the outside world by playing music, games and other content.

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