How will home assistants (e.g. Alexa) affect my dental practice?

By November 19, 2017Dentistry
Amazon Alexa

Heard of Alexa? Perhaps you already have one lying around in your living room. Ever wonder how this single technology could affect your life and your dental practice?

Could you perhaps use it to set a dentist appointment? Yes, Alexa now will provide feedback on your fixed problem and, if it deems necessary, connect you with one of the associated physicians or dental professionals. Sounds too good to be true? Yes, and everyone now can leverage this technology to make their lives easier. This means that if you’re not adept at using screens, no problem. Just use your voice, state your complaints and see which dentist will Alexa recommend. For example “I have a severe toothache at the lower right side of the mouth”. Perhaps you will be fascinated by the answer given. The technology is so mindblowing, even now in the year 2017.

It’s an ambitious effort, though hardly an altruistic one. The more Alexa-enabled devices there are in the world – and there are already “tens of millions” of Alexa-enabled devices already — the more people interact with Alexa. And the more engaging Alexa becomes, the more probable they are to utilize Amazon’s vast array of services and buy things, whether it’s a new album off Amazon Music or dinnerware from Amazon.com.

This innovation is deemed transformational to how we communicate with healthcare professionals. It’s amazing how we can connect to our home’s Wi-Fi network using the free Amazon Alexa App, with its simple guided setup. Today you can stream all of your music, listen to radio stations, and have access to information, entirely by voice — or with the Amazon Alexa App’s intuitive interface.

Have you thought how this technology would sooner or later be incorporated into dentistry? Today’s voice-activation applications have evolved into user-friendly devices that assist dental practitioners to input periodontal readings of depths, suppuration, bleeding points, as well as soft-tissue exam findings directly into dental patient records. These applications make it easier to retrieve and create visual analysis from the voice integration of that information for patient education and documentation.

Even at the moment of their introduction, voice-activated apps were seen to be practical tools. It is very unlike previous versions of voice-activation applications, however, modern generations have evolved into more user-friendly devices that are highly effective and programmed to be specific for the sounds they hear. At the same time with dental-specific software on the market, voice-activation applications have extensive vocabulary databases that know the dental terminology and make clinical transcription simple.

For the dentist side, as technology continues to advance, modern dental offices will see more types of voice activation about patient records. Additional technology even for digital radiographs and photographs of patients may be done with voice activation and will show useful results by using voice to command the capture and storage of images in patient records. As we observe, voice activation and integration continue to evolve; it will be an area of this integrated field that will emerge as the fastest growing and changing areas of any of the new technologies coming to the marketplace. Continue to watch how it will affect the dental industry.

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