Cedars-Sinai hospital in the US has commenced a trial programme to test the effectiveness of an Alexa-powered platform called Aiva as a voice activated assistant for patients.

Aiva, a patient-centred voice assistant platform for hospitals, will enable the patients to contact nurses during need and control the entertainment devices.

Under the pilot project, more than 100 patient rooms are equipped with Amazon Echos, which operate on voice commands.

Cedars-Sinai’s Medical and Surgical Services executive director Peachy Hain said: “Patients young and old are now used to voice-activated devices in their homes. Since it’s familiar to them, it helps enhance their hospital experience.

“In the hospital, patients have little to distract them from pain or loneliness.”

All patients’ requests for assistance are routed through the mobile phone of the appropriate caregiver to ensure swift help. If the request is left unanswered, the Aiva platform sends it up the chain of command.

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Additionally, the devices are equipped with standard Alexa features. The patients can place requests to play music and receive information on sports, weather and games.

Aiva founder and CEO Sumeet Bhatia said: “Smart rooms are all about improving satisfaction for both patients and nurses.

“Cedars-Sinai and Aiva are giving patients more entertainment options, more control over their environment and closer communication with their care team.”

Earlier, in a step to further improve the hospital experience for the patients, Cedars-Sinai installed MyChart Bedside app in more than 250 tablets.

Through the app, the hospitalised patient can check their medical records.