Hands-Free Voice Assistant Brings Independence, Convenience to Patients

Magee introduced new integrated smart room technology into all 83 inpatient rooms using the Aiva Health voice platform in early November 2021. “Our goal in introducing voice-controlled technology into patient rooms is to enable greater independence while we help them recover and return to their best possible way of life,” said Jeff Brown, director of IT Strategy at Jefferson Health.

This automation experience is the next step in creating an optimal experience for our patients. In 2020, Magee completed a facility renovation transforming all patient rooms into private suites. Each room is equipped with 55-inch flat screen TV’s, sleeper sofas for family members, and other home-like amenities.

How Patients Can Use Alexa

The biggest benefit of the Aiva Health platform is a better, more self-directed experience for patients, who can use Amazon’s Echo devices to control their rooms just by speaking. Patients can ask “Alexa” to open and close the blinds, change the room temperature and control the lights. “This not only assists the patient, but also helps staff. In the past, patients would need to call a staff member to help with these environmental controls. Patients can also ask Alexa to play music and sleep sounds, or answer questions about the facility, like visiting hours.

“We’ve gotten such positive feedback from patients, who are so excited to have some sense of independence during their stay at Magee,” said Jeff.

Protecting Privacy

All devices are specifically configured through Aiva and the Alexa Smart Properties management services to protect privacy and security. No personal information is shared with Alexa to use the device, and voice recordings are not saved. “The messages that patients relay to Alexa are encrypted. There’s no human review of the conversations,” said Jeff. For example, if a patient says, “Alexa, close the blinds,” the request, along with the room number, is sent to Aiva. Aiva then performs the action through its integration with the building management system.                                   

Looking to the Future

Bringing the new smart room technology to Magee was made possible thanks to the support and generosity of donors. Moving forward Magee plans to introduce even more functionality to the Aiva Health platform. “Soon, we’ll be able to add television controls to the list of tasks that the devices can perform,” said Jeff. The team is also working on adding functionality to call a nurse or other staff member when patients ask certain questions, connect patients to an interpreter for language assistance and send requests to the environmental services (EVS) team.


“We’re constantly looking at more ways for patients to use these devices to improve both the patient experience and staff workflow,” said Jeff.

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