UCHealth announced this week it now offers a virtual assistant called “Livi” who allows patients to interact universally across the healthcare system using conversational AI, accessed through smart speakers.
Introducing Virtual Assistant “Livi”
Livi is a fully functional, all-inclusive virtual assistant sets the healthcare system apart from others that have launched virtual assistants only for a few services or specific tasks. Visitors to www.uchealth.org can chat with Livi through text commands, and now spoken conversation is available via Amazon Alexa smart speakers. She can answer questions and share information about various health topics, and in just a few weeks she’ll be able to provide updates about weather, sports and other Colorado-specific inquiries.
Unlocking the Power of Conversational AI
“Conversational AI is truly the future of how we will interact with almost everything in our lives, from our cars, to the web, and even health care,” said Ram Menon, founder and CEO of AI enterprise software company avaamo. “UCHealth’s CARE Innovation Center has partnered with us to develop and test this cutting-edge technology, and the health system is pushing the technology further than any other health care provider in the nation. Using voice recognition technology, this AI platform emulates human interaction.”
How “Livi” Works
To get started with Livi on an Alexa device, first add the UCHealth skill. The opening greeting is “Alexa, ask UCHealth.” In addition to being live now on Amazon smart speakers, the technology is currently undergoing testing as part of Google Assistant voice-enabled devices.
On the UCHealth web site, Livi appears at the lower righthand corner of the screen. She introduces herself, and through a variety of links or dropdown menu options, users can message Livi about what they are looking to do – and the conversation appears on your screen like a messaging app.
Examples of voice-enabled smart speaker queries include:
– I need an urgent care.
– I’m looking for information on diabetes.
– Get me the phone number for (specific doctor name).
– Can you find me a neurologist?
– Tell me a story. (Livi sends the latest UCHealth Today patient stories.)
Virtual Assistant Integration with Epic EHR
UCHealth also is working to integrate its virtual assistant, Livi, into its electronic medical record system and its mobile app. Soon, Livi will go beyond helping patients find a physician, services and health information online – she will be able to connect patients with their personal health information. When the mobile app version launches, users will be able to ask Livi questions such as, “When is my next appointment?” or “What are my latest test results?”.
Availability for Patients
Livi does not diagnose any conditions or replace conversations with a doctor. The UCHealth app, available for ioS or Android, provides patients with their medical record and will be able to connect to Livi later this year.
Why It Matters
The technology ensures HIPAA compliance, guards Protected Health Information (PHI) and integrates into existing systems used by UCHealth, said Steve Hess, chief information officer for UCHealth.
“By leveraging the benefits of AI and implementing this technology at UCHealth, ultimately we are creating an efficient, seamless way for patients to get the information they need and gain greater access to preventive health care and the most advanced medicine and specialists in the Rocky Mountain region,” Hess said. “We worked with avaamo to ensure data privacy and regulatory compliance. Livi is a one-of-a-kind virtual assistant who will continue to grow smarter as questions are asked and answered, and can truly help create a unique patient experience.”