TEAMING WITH TECHNOLOGY
Central Florida Health News|February 2021
BayCare to Implement Virtual Health Care Assistant in Hospital Rooms
TIM CRAIG

Alexa, can you turn on the television and bring me my medication?”

As smart speakers with digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri continue to become a growing part of everyday life, incorporating that technology at the hospital seems like a natural step.

That’s exactly what BayCare has done. The company announced recently that after two successful trials, it will utilize smart technology in 2,500 hospital rooms across its 14 Tampa Bayarea hospitals over the next 12 months. Once the technology is installed, according to the company, patients will experience smart rooms that allow them to connect with their care team and control the television and other devices — all hands-free.

“The patient can simply ask the virtual assistant for things they need like a blanket or a glass of water,” says Craig Anderson, BayCare director of innovation. The health-care specific platform known as Aiva interprets those requests and sends them to the right person.

“It is a seamless connection between the patient and their care team,” Anderson says.

Anderson says he learned of Aiva through industry groups as early as 2018. He was familiar with one of the designers and knew that Aiva could help BayCare meet patient and care team needs. The technology was developed, in part, through the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, an innovative program that partners the Los Angeles-based medical group with health-care technology startups to help bring their ideas to the market.

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