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Health tech that helps patients in hospital

Written by Diane Archer

Some of the latest health technology developments for patients are appearing in the hospital. Today, in some hospitals, you can talk into a computer and call a nurse or order lunch. StatNews reports that some hospitals also are putting tech devices, like Amazon’s Alexa, in intensive care units and recovery rooms to improve care.

These health tech devices could effectively become a part of a medical team. They can listen in on conversations between doctors and patients and put forward different treatment options. They could also warn doctors about changes to a patient’s condition, for example, based on changes in the tone, cadence and intensity of the patient’s voice.

With Alexa, hospitals could also let patients access their medical records. As important, they could provide post treatment instructions. Think about it. You would not have to memorize your doctor’s orders or take shorthand on what to do after you leave the hospital. You could simply ask Alexa what to do when you needed first aid, how to treat your wound or to ease the pain in your knee.

The possibilities of these devices to promote patient safety and better health outcomes appear endless. Over time, Alexa and other voice-enabled devices may also be able to diagnose cardiovascular disease and other health conditions. Patient satisfaction should also increase. That said, patient privacy remains an issue.

Voice-activated devices represent the future in health care. There are more than 100 million Alexa devices sold to date. And Google Assistant is in about 1 billion devices. About one in four American households have a voice-activated device.

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