Voice Interfaces for Patient Engagement

Voice is possibly the most natural user interface and a natural fit in healthcare, where a conversation is the most prevalent form of patient/provider conversation. Voice interfaces have the potential to help clarify communications, enable patients to self-serve, and deliver empathy in healthcare settings.

Applications for voice interfaces aimed at patients both in in-patient and outpatient settings include:

  • Educational content delivery
  • Patient self-discovery and triage
  • Collecting patient-generated health data

This paper focuses on the benefits and considerations for using voice interfaces to engage with patients outside the clinic. It also touches on when to use voice interfaces and when to consider alternative modalities. At the end of this paper you should have a framework for thinking about voice interfaces for your patient interactions in your care setting.

Note that we assume the availability of HIPAA-compliant infrastructure for collecting and delivering PHI to covered entities. A future paper on implementation will address HIPAA concerns.

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