The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the need for Tele-Health and other Digital Tools to deliver health care remotely. Voice Assistants enable communication with users via natural language, achieved through speech recognition and response based on rule-based dialogue or Machine Learning Mechanism. Voice Assistant Tools allow healthcare professionals to remotely monitor and assess the way a patient is coping with their chronic condition, identifying patterns that may otherwise be overlooked.
When the pandemic began earlier this year, Voice Technology released apps or features to share COVID-19 information and updates via their Voice Assistants. However, limitations and concerns still exist about Voice Assistants’ wider use in health care, including the need for reliable internet connection, deficiencies in speech recognition and comprehension.
These challenges will need to be addressed if Voice Assistants are to become a regular part of health care delivery throughout and even after the current health crisis. In addition to providing reliable and up to date COVID-19 information and guidelines to the public, Voice Assistants could potentially assist in health screening and remote monitoring of patients, reducing the impact of delayed care, and decreasing dependency on providers for routine tasks.