Amazon digs deeper into healthcare with Alexa Smart Properties

The news: Amazon is rolling out a new Alexa-powered healthcare solution, Alexa Smart Properties.

  • The solution lets healthcare providers and patients easily communicate with each other from separate rooms.
  • It also enables patients and residents at senior living facilities to use voice commands to perform basic tasks like changing TV channels or requesting a caregiver.

What’s the potential impact? Alexa Smart Properties can help burned out healthcare staff better optimize their time, and can boost communication among seniors and their loved ones at a time when older cohorts grapple with loneliness as a social determinant of health.

For hospitals, Alexa Smart Properties allows clinicians to quickly and easily check in on patients without having to travel to and enter patients’ rooms.

  • This helps free up time for hospital staff to focus on providing more personalized clinical care, optimize use of medical supplies—and most importantly, minimize clinician burnout.
  • 47% of nurses say burnout is a top reason for wanting to leave their position, per American Nurses Foundation’s One Year COVID-19 Impact survey.
  • Big-name hospitals like Cedars-Sinai, Boston Children’s, BayCare, and Houston Methodist have already piloted Alexa in their hospital rooms and will now integrate Alexa Smart Properties into their care delivery workflows.

Meanwhile, in senior living centers, residents can use Alexa devices to get in touch with their loved ones and stay up-to-date with community events and news.

  • This can minimize loneliness, which is a social factor that afflicts many older adults and is connected to poorer health outcomes.
  • The senior living centers can also use Alexa devices to streamline administrative tasks like check-ins with residents and maintenance requests.
  • Alexa is already being deployed at senior living communities Atria and Eskaton.

The bigger picture: Amazon’s Alexa Smart Properties launch comes as little surprise since it’s been working on building out its Alexa-based healthcare applications for years now—but this could be a sign that it could try to dig deeper into the senior care space.

  • Since 2018, Amazon has been developing Alexa’s health and wellness capabilities.
  • It scored HIPAA compliance for the voice assistant, and last November it introduced Care Hub, a system for caregivers to monitor seniors and help them age at home.
  • Now, it seems to be edging deeper into senior care—a smart bet considering more and more US adults are using voice assistants.
  • In 2021, 40.5% of the US population used voice assistants, and that’s expected to grow to 42.6%, per our forecast.
  • To add, older age groups (55+) use Alexa more than any other voice assistant on the market.

Go deeper: Check out our Amazon Delivers Healthcare report to learn more about how it’s taking on different corners of healthcare.