Philly Voice: Jefferson plans 'smart hospital rooms' powered by IBM Watson
By Michael Tanenbaum
Patients staying at Thomas Jefferson University's three Philadelphia hospital facilities may soon be able to convalesce with greater comfort and convenience, directing their care teams by ambient voice command.
In a groundbreaking partnership, IBM Watson announced that it will work with Jefferson to launch a series of "cognitive hospital rooms" powered by the artificial intelligence division's Internet of Things (IoT) platform.
The move to enhance hospital room design, a collaboration between physicians and engineers, comes in response to overstretched doctors and nurses who struggle to coordinate the delivery of care to patients in rooms throughout their wards.
Approximately 81 percent of physicians describe themselves as overextended or at capacity, according to The Physician's Foundation, while 20 percent of their time is spent on nonclinical paperwork.
"Being in a hospital can often be a hectic, anxiety-ridden, or even an intimidating experience for patients and their loved ones," said Neil Gomes, vice president for Technology Innovation and Consumer Experience at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. "If we can minimize that discomfort, even a little, we are doing a lot to increase the well-being and care of our patients."
Watson's speaker systems aim to bring "deeper levels of personalized, agile and responsive care" to patients at Jefferson. Using IBM's cognitive computing and natural language capabilities, patients will be able to request information and specific actions from people or modify their hospital room environment by dimming lights, adjusting temperature and turning on music.
To further assist physicians and nurses, the platform can even carry on an interactive dialogue with patients that can be recorded and stored for later medical review.
“We are in the post-development phases of this program and are testing the cognitive care environment with our care givers," Gomes said. "We expect to deploy several of these systems in select areas of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in the near future so patients can start enjoying the benefits.”
Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals has 900 acute care rooms across its three facilities.
Additional Media Coverage
- Forbes: IBM Aims To Bring Cognitive Computing Closer To Internet of Things
- IBM Internet of Things Blog: How Watson IoT may transform your next hospital stay
- TechRepublic: IBM pours $200 million investment into its Watson IoT business
- Engadget: IBM gives its Watson IoT headquarters a $200 million boost
- VentureBeat: IBM to pour $200 million into Watson Internet of Things A.I. business in Munich
- ZDNet: IBM boosts Munich Watson IoT operations, hits 6,000 customer mark
- Fierce Healthcare: Thomas Jefferson, IBM Watson effort focuses on patient satisfaction
- SDxCentral: IBM Slots $200M for Watson IoT Headquarters in Munich
- Zacks: IBM Allocates $200 Million on IoT Initiatives in Munich
- Seeking Alpha: IBM investing $200M in Watson IoT's Munich HQ