UCHealth leverages conversational AI to help patients access information

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UCHealth has adopted a voice-enabled virtual assistant that enables patients visiting its website to interact with the conversational artificial intelligence.

Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth, which operates 12 full-service acute care hospitals and hundreds of physicians in Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska, contends that the virtual assistant—called Livi and available on Amazon Alexa smart speakers—is one of the most comprehensive offered by any U.S. healthcare organization.

Visitors to UCHealth’s website can get help finding doctors, online health information, medical services, and the locations of facilities by chatting with Livi through text commands or speaking with the conversational AI via smart speakers.

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“We’re focused on improving patients’ experiences with us in a convenient and accessible way,” said Manny Rodriguez, UCHealth’s chief marketing and experience officer. “Patients want information at their fingertips—whether that be via phone, computer or even smart speakers—and we want to be able to give them what they need as quickly and easily as possible. Livi can offer visitors answers to questions and get them where they need to go immediately no matter the form of technology.”

UCHealth plans to integrate Livi into its electronic health record system and mobile app, which provides patients with their EHR and will be able to connect to the virtual assistant later this year. In addition, while the conversational AI is currently accessed through Amazon Alexa smart speakers, it is being tested with Google Assistant voice-enabled devices.

Ultimately, UCHealth’s goal is to create a “fully functional, all-inclusive virtual assistant” that goes beyond just helping patients find a physician and services but is able to connect them with their personal health information.

“By leveraging the benefits of AI and implementing this technology at UCHealth, ultimately we are creating an efficient, seamless way for patients to get the information they need and gain greater access to preventive healthcare and the most advanced medicine and specialists in the Rocky Mountain region,” notes Steve Hess, UCHealth’s CIO, who said the health system worked with AI vendor avaamo to ensure data privacy and HIPAA compliance.

“Livi is a one-of-a-kind virtual assistant who will continue to grow smarter as questions are asked and answered, and can truly hep create a unique patient experience,” added Hess.

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