COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has been one of the most significant incidents of the century so far, affecting everyone around the globe. This disease has got its hold over 4 million people and has been accounted for the death of more than two hundred thousand deaths so far, with the numbers increasing even more as time goes by. Besides affecting the economy and the human lifestyle, it is the healthcare industry out of all that has been hit the hardest. And to cope up with it, authorities, organizations and the governments are now relying on modern-day technology more than ever.
While the implementation of artificial intelligence and voice technology may have been a perennial debate when considering its risk factors, the advances in this field are indeed fulfilling and supporting when it comes to helping out in such a global crisis. Even though the healthcare industry did take its interest in harnessing the benefits of integrating Intelligent Virtual Assistant technology in their front lines and administration level, the need for this to be done today is more than ever. Besides, when we humans are readily adopting the voice technology and assistance in our personal and daily lives, on the other hand, the right data and information, feedback along with sophisticated AI techniques is bound to take this emerging technology to new heights.
And since almost half of the Americans will own a smart speaker by 2020, where it is already a part of 20% UK homes on the other side, this technology can become a savior once the experts working with tech-giants and as a part of software development company break the code to overcome the limitations and challenges. (which some of them have already done).
AlloCovid – The Major Initiative from France in AI-based Voice Assistant Implementation
France did work on leveraging this technology to help out coronavirus patients with early symptoms by directing such telecallers to the right healthcare emergency services and notify its doctors in the meantime using the pros of its inbuilt intelligence. Their virtual assistant – Allocovid is well capable of handling a thousand calls at a time and gathers information based on the callers’ current and pre-existing health conditions with the help of a descriptive questionnaire.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time AI is being used to serve public health.”, says Prof. Xavier Jouven, Project Lead for Allocovid, and that’s indeed true.
The primary benefit of Allocovid is directed towards the older age group people and patients who are more likely to use telecalling as a medium to connect with emergency support. Allocovid not only directs the right set of information to the caller and the authorities about the patient’s location and condition ( while not disclosing their name), it also works on reducing drop calls and unconnected calls with its amazing capability of handling 1000 calls at a time.
How AI Voice Assistant Can Assist In the Front Lines
The significant steps of including voice technology at customer support ends for various organizations have also been evidence of how helpful this technology can be in assisting and directing the calls to the right handler. It will make it more productive for the overall system and saving lots of time, workforce, and money. And the accuracy of such systems is what has led to harnessing the vast set of benefits in adding more to such similar empirical figures.
Apart from that, there are several other instances where this technology has been useful in the past for the healthcare systems to manage nursing staff, the nurse calls, and enhances a patient’s hospitalized duration’s overall experience with smart speakers like Alexa and Google Assistant.
How Are Smart Speakers Being Used To Engage With Hospitalized in-room Patients?
While already facing the overabundance of patients, many healthcare organizations are also being some of the places where the vulnerability of being infected is maximum. And that’s mainly for the nursing staff and other valuable workforces at the front line while attending the coronavirus patients.
Tech friendly companionship in the form of smart speakers and virtual assistants has been a great solution in addressing some of these issues. A patient is most likely to need help from nursing and staff in resolving issues related to things like medical needs, intravenous problems, medication, or report pain, besides asking the general things such as visiting hours, lunch or food timings.
While this frequent visit from nursing and doctors may increase their risk of getting infected, a lot of common issues can be efficiently dealt with by smart speaker assistance. From assisting in medication reminders to answering general patient queries and directing only necessary detailing to the nursing staff, these devices can save time and effort. Besides, it also ensures the maximum well-being of our front-line warriors (the doctors and the nursing staff) by providing a better experience to the patients during isolation.
Role of Major Tech Giants of Voice Tech Amongst the Pandemic
Key players in the AI voice assistant market, organizations like Amazon ( Alexa), Apple (Siri), are now bringing up more diversity in terms of artificial intelligence. They are quickly changing to support the new environment. From delivering health suggestions, alarm you about novel coronavirus, and give you health tips, these devices can be readily used to get information about your proceedings if you are feeling any upcoming symptoms of this disease. Alexa from Amazon and Apple’s Siri are already backing up the support for emergency cases by pushing in the best of the information and content on its speakers to generate awareness and help limit the spread of this disease.
From assisting in triages to supporting in-house quarantined coronavirus patients, even post their hospital release, AI voice assistants can be utilized in countless ways to support and help states and countries fight the pandemic by harnessing the power of modern era intelligent virtual assistant technology to its best potentials.
The critical factor behind this implementation and COVID-19 related updates in these devices is, first of all, to battle the spread of any misleading health-related information when it comes to a disease as chronic as Covid. Google and Alexa have already disabled several apps off its store as a quick initiative to do so. However, they still keep their doors open to use their platforms for the same while complying with typical regulations such as HIPAA as well. This also opens up space for efficiently monitoring the home quarantined coronavirus patients via dedicated voice applications to get their appropriate medications, book appointments, and notify both ends of the same, solely with the help of hands-free voice commands using your Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant.
And while we do explore countless ways on how artificial can be improving web development and expand the Internet of Things and Voice tech, it would not be wrong to state that we are still looking at only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the technological utility scopes. However, the rise of the chronic pandemic situations today demands one to overstep the challenges and constraints the implementation of voice tech has put as a barrier and work on using them to implement and functionalize for the best causes. Its advantages in coping up with the situation for industries such as healthcare cannot be overlooked.