During the early stages of the global crisis, brought by the COVID-19, I told you about the Amazon’s choice of removing all the skills that had to do with the coronavirus from its own store (you can find the article here).
In the weeks that followed, Siri started to lead the CDC COVID-19 Assessment Questions users, meanwhile Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant merely gave basic information (I told you about it here).
Now there has been a new move in the voice market in response to the pandemic.
An important move that directly involves Amazon.
Hospitals provided by Northwell Health of New York City, will be equipped with about 4.000 Amazon Echo Shows, a device with display.
What is the purpose?
Decrease hospital staff exposure to the virus and facilitate communication with affected patients.
An important strategy that aims to take advantage of all the benefits of technology to curb the spread of the virus.
Despite the masks, gloves and all the other protective equipment, doctors and nurses are constantly at great risks.
With the Echo Show in the patients’ rooms, being able to take advantage of video calls in a simple and immediate way will make it much easier to carry out controls on patients.
Not only, they will be a precious psychological help for the patients themselves.
Seen their status, they can’t receive any visit from friends, relatives and loved ones.
With these available devices their sense of loneliness can be greatly lightened.
A voice command is enough, without having to move or ask for help, to access to many pastimes or to video call someone at home.
Northwell tested the program at the North Shore University Hospital before deciding to extend it to 19 hospitals.
Around most of the world, hospitals are trying to make the most of voice-activated artificial intelligence to assist COVID-19 patients.
An Israeli start-up, Temi, has developed a voice command-controlled robot that is helping to assist people both in hospitals and in homes.
The company has just secured 15 million dollars in funding.
Hundreds of its robots are helping doctors by delivering medicines, checking vital parameters, and talking with the patients.
It is obvious that no technological device will be able to replace a doctor (at least in short terms), but the help they are giving at this critical and unexpected stage is remarkable.
In the past few months, many new uses have arisen for the use of voice-based technology:
- robots that can be operated with a voice to feed elderly or disable people.
- voice-devices used in some schools with great success to assist teachers during lessons
- childcare equipment that can be integrated with Alexa to allow parents an easier and more immediate control.
- And many more examples…
All these initiatives underline once again what makes voice-based technology so valid and powerful: using the voice is the most natural way we have to ask for something.
Nearly everyone, regardless of their situation, age and level of technological competence, can access the capabilities of these technologies.
Just think about how different it would be if sick or elderly patients had to use a smartphone app to get help and interact with hospital staff.
The voice market is growing exponentially also thanks to the fact that the time required to get used to the use of these new devices has been nearly zeroed out.
I repeat this often: the voice is here to stay.
And we are just at the beginning, who knows what is going to happen from here on out.
The question to ask yourself is: “How can I make the most of it for my situation?”
See you in the next article,
CEO and Founder of IPERVOX