Tuesday July 16, 2019

Smart Speakers like Alexa and Google Home to Act as Aid to Physicians during Surgeries

Smart speakers can be programmed to act as an aid to physicians in hospital operating rooms

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alexa, amazon, echo
The application processes questions from a human voice and provides recommendations on the precise sizing of medical devices. Pixabay

Amazon Echo with in-built Alexa or Google Home smart speakers can not only play your favourite songs at home but can also assist doctors during medical procedures, say researchers.

Smart speakers can be programmed to act as an aid to physicians in hospital operating rooms, researchers said on Saturday during the Society of Interventional Radiology’s annual scientific meeting in Austin, Texas.

Smart home speakers offer a conversational voice interface that allows interventional radiology (IR) physicians to ask questions and retrieve information needed for their patient treatments without breaking sterile scrub.

During treatment, IRs rely on nuanced medical information delivered in a timely manner.

amazon, echo, alexa
Smart speakers can be programmed to act as an aid to physicians in hospital operating rooms. Pixabay

“When you’re in the middle of a procedure, you need to remain sterile, so you lose the ability to use a computer,” said Kevin Seals, MD, a fellow in interventional radiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

This smart speaker technology helps us to quickly and intelligently make decisions relevant to a patient’s specific needs, added Seals, who is also the lead author of the study.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers at UCSF developed a device-sizing application for the Google Home smart speaker.

The application processes questions from a human voice and provides recommendations on the precise sizing of medical devices.

There are hundreds of devices, with more being introduced every day, making it difficult to determine the correct sizing or materials needed in every circumstance.

amazon, echo, alexa
Smart home speakers offer a conversational voice interface that allows interventional radiology (IR) physicians to ask questions and retrieve information needed for their patient treatments without breaking sterile scrub. Pixabay

“This technology allows physicians to concentrate more closely on the care of their patients, devoting less time and mental energy to device technicalities,” noted Seals.

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In developing the application, size specifications were acquired using literature reviews for 475 IR devices, such as catheters, sheaths, stents, vascular plugs and others.

“Further research will look to provide information from electronic health records and patient clinical data, such as allergies or prior surgeries,” said researchers. (IANS)

Next Story

Amazon Admits it Keeps Data That it Obtains Through its Voice Assistant Alexa

The American people deserve to understand how their personal data is being used by tech companies

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Amazon, Voice Assistant, Alexa
The answers came as a follow-up to a request from Coons dating to last month when the Senator questioned how long the company holds on to voice recordings. Pixabay

Retail giant Amazon has reportedly admitted it does not always delete the stored data that it obtains through voice interactions through its voice assistant Alexa and Echo line-up of smart devices.

As first reported by the CNET, Brian Huseman, Amazon’s Vice President of Public Policy, responded to Delaware Senator Chris Coons on June 28, informing that Amazon keeps the transcripts until users “manually delete the information”.

“Huseman also noted that Amazon had an ‘ongoing effort to ensure those transcripts do not remain in any of Alexa’s other storage systems’.

“There are still records from some conversations with Alexa that Amazon won’t delete, even if people remove the audio, the letter revealed,” the report said on Wednesday.

Amazon, Voice Assistant, Alexa
Retail giant Amazon has reportedly admitted it does not always delete the stored data that it obtains through voice interactions. Pixabay

The answers came as a follow-up to a request from Coons dating to last month when the Senator questioned how long the company holds on to voice recordings and transcripts from Echo interactions.

“The American people deserve to understand how their personal data is being used by tech companies, and I will continue to work with both consumers and companies to identify how to best protect Americans’ personal information,” Coons was quoted as saying in a statement by CNET.

Also Read- Things You Don’t Know about the US Constitution

According to Amazon, other types of Alexa requests, like setting an alarm, reminder, or calendar event, also leave data. (IANS)