Amazon announces Alexa program for hospitals and senior care

From The Verge: Amazon has two new programs that integrate Alexa into hospitals and senior living communities, the company announced today. They’re run through Alexa Smart Properties, which allows organizations to control a centralized Alexa system.

“Early on in the pandemic, hospitals and senior living communities reached out to us and asked us to help them set up Alexa and voice in their communities,” Liron Torres, global leader for Alexa Smart Properties, said in an interview with The Verge. Hospitals wanted ways to interact with patients without using protective equipment, and senior living communities wanted to connect residents with family members and staff, she says.

The program lets senior living facilities use Amazon Echo devices to send announcements or other messages to residents’ rooms. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many facilities relied on printed out sheets of paper slipped under resident doors to communicate changes in protocols, like around meals or quarantines. The Alexa program lets them send messages instantly into patient rooms. “Staff can be more available for other tasks,” Torres says.

Residents can also place calls through Alexa to family members or friends without having to rely on a staff member. Approved contacts would also be able to call in through Alexa. The facility could enable calling for a set of contacts approved by the resident and family members when they arrive.

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