One in six Americans owns a voice speaker, and 40% of adults perform a voice search of some kind (Siri, Google Now, etc.) every day. That’s a number that’s really too large to ignore; voice adoption is exploding.
At HIMSS19, I saw marquee health systems, such as the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, starting to promote their voice applications. While healthcare can be slow to adopt new technologies, this is one they seem to be embracing wholeheartedly. It’s fairly inexpensive to optimize website landing pages and social sites for search, and it’s not cost prohibitive to develop and update a voice speaker application.
Here are ways voice will transform healthcare in each category.
Voice applications that inform the community
Health and wellness news alerts
Health systems are always looking for ways to elevate their brand in the community. Voice applications allow them to easily disseminate health alerts, such as measles outbreaks, wellness regimes, and human interest stories. Cleveland Clinic has a daily audio flash briefing based on its popular Health Essentials website.
Voice applications that support patients
Finding local healthcare providers
Consumers usually locate a healthcare provider using local searches. Voice is often the most efficient, for example, “Find me a podiatrist in my area” or “Get me a pediatrician in Groton, Connecticut.” Potential patients will shift from using smartphone-based voice search to also using smart speaker apps to pinpoint the closest providers in their area.
As voice speaker applications continue to evolve, we’ll soon see the ability to schedule appointments and check availability. Yoga studios and hair salons already are using voice-based appointment bookings, so healthcare is not far behind.
Understanding healthcare jargon
Healthcare IS hard. It probably is second only to the military in its number of industry-specific acronyms and cryptic terms. Health Care Genius defines terms, such as co-pays, for patients; Clarity Quest’s Health Acronyms spells out healthcare acronyms, so you don’t have to remember what PHI and QCDR are.
Voice apps that aid patients
Basic first aid information
Several health systems and web-based health sites, like Web MD, have voice apps that give advice on simple self-care treatments such as treating minor burns, bee stings, and poison ivy rashes. Mayo Clinic’s First Aid app even gives CPR instructions.
Help for parents
Informed parents are less stressed parents! KidsMD is an Alexa skill created by Boston Children’s Hospital. Users can request health information for common pediatric ailments and medication dosing.
The future: voice apps that treat patients
In Your next doctor’s appointment might be with an AI, Douglas Heavens details how London-based Babylon health and other digital-first healthcare companies are striving to provide voice-based care using machine learning and in-depth medical databases.
Looking to jump into voice?
Clarity Quest has a voice speaker applications development platform and services that make application creation and maintenance affordable and easy. Contact us today for a free consultation.