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Amazon Brings Alexa To Hospitals and Senior Living Centers

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Medicine Technology

Amazon Brings Alexa To Hospitals and Senior Living Centers (techcrunch.com)

Posted by BeauHD on Tuesday October 26, 2021 @09:00AM from the digital-assistants dept.

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: After already targeting verticals like hotels and apartment complexes, Amazon announced today it's now rolling out new solutions for healthcare providers and senior living centers. The solutions, which are a part of Alexa Smart Properties, are designed specifically to meet the needs of deploying Alexa devices at scale and will allow the facility's administrators to create customized experiences for their residents or patients. In senior living centers, the residents would be able to use Alexa devices to call their family members and other loved ones, as well as keep up with the goings-on at their community and other community news. The devices could also be used to make announcements, allow the residents to communicate with each other through direct audio messages and make voice and video calls, and they can streamline other center activities -- like check-ins, maintenance requests and various administrative tasks. Amazon believes this could help make facilities more efficient and productive. Amazon says senior living communities include Atria and Eskaton will integrate with its new solution.

With Amazon's new solution for hospitals, patients will be able to use Alexa to communicate with care staff, control the devices in their room, and stay entertained with news and music. Healthcare providers can also communicate with their patients using Alexa features like calling and Drop-In, without having to enter the patient rooms. This could also help hospitals be more productive and conserve their medical supplies and protective equipment like gloves, masks and gowns, notes Amazon. (PPE shortages had been an ongoing issue in some locations as COVID spiked during the pandemic.) Though Amazon has struggled with privacy issues related to its use of voice recordings and transcriptions, the healthcare and senior living center solutions will not save the voice recordings and don't require users to share personal info with Alexa to use the device, the company explains. Users can also mute the Echo's microphone at any time with the button on top. Amazon also claims it safeguards protected health information received through HIPAA-eligible Alexa skill interactions. Both of the new Alexa Smart Properties solutions will roll out in the U.S. starting next month, Amazon says.

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