Thursday December 12, 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

Alexa Voice Controls Reach Out To Low-Powered Devices

AWS is also introducing more connectivity and control services to make life easier for IoT developers

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Amazon Alexa
Amazon Alexa, known simply as Alexa, is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon. Pixabay

To the delight of third-party developers, Amazon’s Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) has decided to bring Alexa voice control capabilities to low-powered devices.

Currently, Alexa Voice Service (AVS) has a minimum requirement of at least 100MB of on-device RAM and an ARM Cortex “A” class microprocessor, reports SiliconANGLE.

Amazon is also expanding the capabilities of its AAWS IoT Greengrass service, which extends AWS functions to connected devices.

“When you know the state of your physical assets, you can solve a lot of things,” AWS Vice President of IoT Dirk Didascalou told SiliconANGLE.

“You can also create a lot of new services. A lot of our customers have this need,” he added.

To cut back on costs, Amazon is transferring tasks such as processing requirements, retrieving, buffering, decoding and mixing audio on devices to the cloud, making voice control, and potentially biometrics, possible even for light switches, the report added.

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Amazon Web Services offers reliable, scalable, and inexpensive cloud computing services. VOA

AWS customers can also create their own machine learning image analysis thanks to a new feature added to Amazon Rekognition called Amazon Rekognition Custom Labels, available from December 3.

AWS is also introducing more connectivity and control services to make life easier for IoT developers.

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These include Fleet Provisioning for AWS IoT Core, which makes it simpler to onboard a wide range of connected products, be it vacuum cleaners or construction excavators, the report mentioned.

AWS is set to kick off its flagship annual re: Invent conference here from Dec 2. (IANS)