Voice Tech Plays Increasingly Important Role In Healthcare

Connected voice and AI-powered solutions have surged in popularity in healthcare as of late, and voice technology promises to play a crucial role in the sector's immediate future. An entire generation of virtual patient assistants and voice-guided diagnostic tools is currently coming to the fore, and as the pandemic continues to drag on, these offerings will have no trouble finding suitable homes in worldwide health systems.

The technology has been making headlines in recent weeks due to Amazon's designation of its Alexa Smart Properties unit as a powerful new ally for assisted living centers as well as hospitals. The unit is tasked with delivering connected voice capabilities to these facilities, making for much simpler direct communication among medical staff, patients, and loved ones. The placement of an Amazon Echo at bedside will suffice in many of these cases. Given that voice solutions are useful regardless of patient age or technological capability, this Alexa healthcare deployment is bound to be a gamechanger.

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Though patient experience is always a high priority for communication improvement, other projects have honed in on EHR efficiency as paramount. Microsoft, for instance, will wrap up its $16 billion acquisition of Nuance Health, a speech recognition firm, in December. Nuance has been dabbling in healthcare solutions since its influential role in developing Apple's Siri voice assistant. One product in its pipeline reportedly listens to exam room visits and translates physicians' remarks to produce guided patient recommendations for prescriptions and lab work.

Bettering patient care as well as experience, voice technology will undoubtedly be integral to the future of healthcare, especially as digital transformation continues to become a prerogative in the sector.