The following is an excerpt from SHARA TIBKEN | June 29, 2017 | CNET.com |
Imagine you're stuck in a hospital bed after having surgery. You can't even close the window blinds without a nurse's help. And you can forget about requesting a blanket to take off the chill or getting details on visiting hours when everyone's busy handling more-pressing matters.
You feel powerless.
But what if you got what you needed just by saying it? You could instantly open the blinds, find out more about your doctor's expertise or turn up the room temperature. Sounds great, right? All you'd need is one of today's digital voice assistants that constantly listen for a request, send your query to the internet and either answer your question or complete a task.
Unfortunately, you can't do that right now with the current crop of smart assistants — like Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant — because they can't satisfy hospitals' privacy and security requirements. Yet according to Bret Greenstein, vice president of IBM's Watson Internet of Things platform, some medical staff can spend nearly 10 percent of their time with patients answering questions about lunch, physician credentials and visiting hours. If a smart speaker can answer those questions, doctors and nurses could spend more time on patient care.
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