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011 – Nick White – OrbitaASSIST & Voice Applications for Healthcare

Today’s podcast features Nick White, Executive Vice President of Patient Care Solutions at Orbita. As one of the pioneers of transfusing voice technology into a variety of medical settings, Orbita is at the forefront of how voice can be used to help improve the patient experience and allow for medical professionals to work more intelligently. My discussion with Nick today shines a light on OrbitaASSIST, which is Orbita’s latest patient-driven solution and a good representation as to the types of things that we can expect to see be transformed by voice assistants and smart speakers.

OrbitaASSIST essentially transforms the traditional nurse call-button found in many hospitals into a smart speaker that serves as a much more context-rich messaging system between patient and nurse. As Nick mentioned during our chat, the traditional response time for a call button can be anywhere from a few minutes to a half-hour. Due to the fact that some requests are urgent, it’s a real problem making patients wait for extended periods of time when they need urgent help.

OrbitaASSIST allows for patients from their bedside to issue what they need via voice command, which then goes through a machine learning algorithm (applying tags and helps determines the urgency of the request) into a repository of requests for the nursing staff to attend and triage. As Nick mentions, the first implementation of OrbitaASSIST reduced to the average wait time for urgent requests to 14 seconds. In addition to efficiencies in the triaging of patient requests, nurses noted that they also felt much more prepared walking into each room’ already having a general idea of what they patient needed them for.

As we see voice assistants continue to extend out beyond the home and into new sectors, the best way to identify ways in which voice can begin to be layered into these new settings, is to look for similar, legacy systems that are clearly in need for an upgrade. The hospital call-button is the perfect example of something so ubiquitous, yet so outdated, that it seems obvious in hindsight that someone thought to upgrade it into being a voice-based solution. Expect a whole lot more small things that people encounter every day to begin undergoing a similar transformation, once the case can be made that a voice-based solution will equate to productivity gains of some type.

-Thanks for Reading-
Dave

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