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IBM Develops Virtual Assistant to Aid Stroke Patients


Andělín answers questions and provides general information related to post-stroke rehabilitation.

virtual assistant

Stroke patients at the Czech Neurorehabilitation Center ERGO Aktiv can now receive alternative care after IBM today announced that it developed a virtual assistant to help these individuals and their families navigate the rehabilitation process.

The assistant, Andělín, is built on the IBM Watson Cloud and is designed to help patients return to work and an active life. Andělín answers questions and provides general information surrounding post-stroke rehabilitation.

“The virtual assistant guides the users by asking specific questions needed to provide an answer or help,” said Jan Konig, head of ERGO Aktiv. “It also gives pointers to the other reliable sources of information (such as) ERGO Aktiv and other online sources.”

The assistant can react to specific situations and suggest the patient’s next step in the therapy process.

Andělín is available 24/7 on ERGO Aktiv’s website for clients.

IBM is not the only company leveraging artificial intelligence and speech-recognition technology to help improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs and physician burden. The healthcare virtual assistant market is growing and expected to reach $1.76 billion by 2025.

Nuance’s Dragon medical voice-enabled virtual assistant includes a text-to-speech features and cloud-based speech recognition. The assistant helps with scheduling, navigating electronic health records and patient summaries.

Sameday Security’s Addison Care virtual caregiving system reminds patients to follow through on nutrition plans, take medication, check vitals and can connect the user to a medical professional 24/7 to provide assistance during emergencies.

And last month, Amazon announced that its Alexa Skills Kit will offer six new skills that operate in a HIPAA-eligible environment. The skills are designed to help customers manage healthcare needs at home by using their voice. Users can book a medical appointment, communicate with clinicians and check the status of a prescription delivery.

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