Millions speak daily with mostly banal commands like “play music” or “set timer for 11 minutes for pasta” with Amazon’s voice assistant. At the Houston Methodist Hospital, the same technology hears, “Begin the operation” instead.

Last year, a connection between the network of eight hospitals and its cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, resulted in voice activation being integrated into an experimental operating room powered by the same technology as the Alexa assistant. The commands go through important steps in the operation and allow the surgeon to verbally confirm when he or she has performed certain actions, such as: B. anesthesia.

“It uses my voice to complete these activities so that no step is left out,” says Dr. Nicholas Desai, foot and ankle surgeon and Chief Medical Information Officer for the Houston Methodist. “When it is finished, [the assistant] writes it back to the electronic medical record as …

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