Voice’s Growing Healthcare Opportunity 

Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance Communications has generated a new level of conversation around voice technology’s potential in the healthcare space. Many voice assistants built for doctors have been custom-made to handle private patient information, allow for hands-free data entry and retrieval as well as interface with hospitals’ electronic health systems. These features have already begun to advance and innovate the patient care experience, but a new area of application is emerging for physicians. This week’s introduction of Bayer’s voice app on Google Assistant shows how mainstream voice platforms can be used to enhance healthcare workers’ tasks, allowing them to get information and ask questions about products. The idea behind the Bayer assistant materialized when a doctor realized that the speaker provided him with medical information, sometimes inaccurate, from random websites. As smart speakers and chatbots continue becoming commonplace, healthcare companies are finding ways to make their experiences more accessible.  

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The Physician’s Assistant

Pharmaceutical company Bayer launched its own voice assistant on Google Home. The AMI assistant provides information about prescription drugs to physicians, who can invoke the experience by saying, “Hey Google, talk to Bayer Pharmaceutical.” Currently, doctors can ask about two oncology drugs and three women’s health products. AMI is also available on the Bayer website as an online chatbot that provides information on all of Bayer’s products. Although the consumer side of Bayer has explored voice-enabled ads, this experience illustrates how voice can help healthcare professionals quickly access key information on their own smart devices. More on Fierce Pharma

Sound the Alarm

Customers can now use voice commands on their Nest Mini and Nest Hub devices to control their ADT security and alarm systems. Back in August, Google invested $450 million in ADT to jumpstart a partnership in which ADT technicians will sell and install Nest smart home devices. Now, that initiative has started and customers with specific ADT plans can use voice or touch on smart displays to arm and disarm security systems, manage their connected lights and thermostats, or ask questions about system status. This partnership shows how consumer technology companies are leveraging big tech partnerships to offer their customers added smart home value. More on ADT

Service Now

Kia released its new “Kia Service” Google Action in Ireland that helps customers request service information related to warranty terms and service, service quotes, and answers to frequently asked questions. Kia car owners can also obtain directions to their nearest Kia dealer based on location. The Action will roll out to additional European markets later this year. Voice assistants have become staples in cars, but many manufacturers are now turning to voice apps as core touchpoints to provide customer service and answer questions. More on Kia

Emerging Tech Stories

  • Amazon Salon.Amazon is opening a London salon where it will test augmented reality for trying on hair colors and “point-and-learn” tech to learn more about products.
  • Phone Comeback.Samsung’s upcycling program for old Galaxy phones will turn them into devices with light and sound sensors and smart home control capabilities.
  • Palm Payment. Amazon is installing its technology in a Seattle Whole Food Store that allows shoppers to pay by scanning their palm prints.

Stats Don’t Lie

19.5 million customers now use Bank of America’s Erica assistant, up from 12.2 million at the end of Q1 2020. (data from Bank of America via Voicebot.ai)

$290 billion The total spend that conversational commerce channels will reach by 2025. (data via Juniper Research)

How Voice Technology Can Reshape Employee Training

Employee training has seen major transformation through technology but still represents a major cost for employers and laborious headache for employees. However, voice technology’s ability to provide interactive conversational training has tremendous potential to transform how training works in a host of fields, from sales executives to kitchen cooks to factory workers. 

Read more here.