If you believed in the limited abilities of smart speakers like Google Home or Amazon Echo, it is time to think again. Doctors are now using these devices to provide better voice-based medical care. During many medical procedures like surgeries, it is often impossible to use computers. In such cases, doctors are relying on voice commands to ease varied surgical procedures. Recently, interventional radiologists at UC-San Francisco has introduced the Google Home, smart speaker system in the surgical suite.
At the annual conference of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Austin, Texas, a group of researchers headed by Kevin Seals, MD, announced this innovative approach. It will allow hands-free sizing of various devices and supplies such as implanting stents and sheaths. According to Seals, it is difficult to use computers in the middle of any procedure. And it is also imperative to remain sterile. Therefore, smart-speakers can be a favorable solution to this problem. They can be effectively used to retrieve information without using a traditional computer.
Innovative System to Ease Surgical Procedures
The team of researchers focused on the development of an innovative app which can process spoken questions related to devise sizing. The properties of the smart system were customized in accordance with IR procedures. To create this customization, size specifications for 475 devices were given. A number of keywords like stents, catheters, sheaths, and vascular plugs were used to create the specifications. It allows doctors to ask voice-based questions regarding any specific equipment and the speaker can then act exactly like a human assistant.
Natural language processing software is utilized for extracting information. But, the logical operations along with other data processing is carried out by a cloud-based script. The researchers used Google Home to develop their exclusive smart-speaker app. However, it is expected to also work on Amazon’s Alexa platform, also known as the Amazon Echo device.
Technology to Aid Physicians
Seals further clarified that a number of devices are introduced every day. This makes it even more difficult for physicians to determine the correct sizing. Even the materials needed for a particular circumstance keeps changing. But Seals believes this innovative app will help physicians to concentrate more on patient care. Instead of diverting attention to new devices and materials used for various procedures, doctors can now save energy for life-saving processes. It will also avoid the hassles of devising new technicalities for handling each and every new machine.
Going ahead, the research will adopt this technology to assist the tracking of material costs and inventory databases. The researchers also wish to extend the use of smart speakers in other projects, beyond the scope of interventional radiology. In order to widen its scope, efforts are being made to utilize it for cost-effective healthcare procedures.
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