In 2019 Boston Children’s Hospital was selected as one of six healthcare organizational participants in Amazon Alexa’s Beta HIPAA launch.

Partnership Overview

Boston Children’s Hospital began working with Amazon Alexa back in 2016, with the development of the first healthcare skill: KidsMD. Using KidsMD, parents can access high-quality clinical knowledge from leading pediatric physicians and receive meaningful health recommendations and personalized content through any Amazon-Alexa enabled device.

Since then, Boston Children’s Hospital has launched a HIPAA-compliant skill on Amazon Alexa to help families relay important clinical information to their care teams after surgery through voice technology. The skill was first deployed for use by families participating in the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Cardiac program. With it, families of cardiac surgery patients can provide discharge and recovery updates from home and also obtain upcoming appointment information. Clinical follow-up questions are programmed into the skill to allow clinicians to easily collect and monitor vital recovery information such as pain, appetite, and wound healing.

Healthcare Context

Opportunities are limitless for supporting patients and providers before, during and after care if received through voice technology. In a nationwide survey of pediatricians conducted by Boston Children’s, 62% of respondents said they have used voice-assistant technology and 48% would be willing to deploy the technology in their clinical setting. Additionally, over 50% of the physicians already turn to online resources and guidelines when they are unsure of the appropriate treatment options. These findings suggest promise for the development of well-curated, voice-activated decision-support tools for patients and providers alike.

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