Wolters Kluwer launches new Alexa healthcare skill for patients recovering at home

Called Emmi Care Plan, it aims to restore the patient-provider dialogue after discharge simply by using the voice service.

Emmi Care Plan for Alexa

Typically, patients who are discharged from hospitals return home to face the often-daunting journey of a successful recovery. For their care providers, the stream of valuable patient information essential for quality care decreases to the occasional phone call once patients leave the hospital.

To keep health consumers engaged with their providers while recovering at home, Wolters Kluwer Health launched Emmi Care Plan, a new Alexa healthcare skill that restores the patient-provider dialogue after discharge simply by using the voice service.

How does it work?

Emmi Care Plan empowers patients to play a proactive role in their health, whether they are in recovery at home or are managing chronic conditions. Using a natural dialogue that automatically adjusts to patient responses, customers can engage with the skill on Alexa-enabled devices simply by saying, “Alexa, ask Emmi Care Plan” to complete periodic health assessments, reminders and additional education.

The new skill launches with the Wolters Kluwer EmmiTransition series focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Patients at home periodically receive an Emmi Care Plan notification from Alexa and are asked basic follow-up questions such as:

How are you feeling today? Have you used a rescue inhaler? Have you smoked or been around someone smoking today? Are you taking your medications?

The new skill focuses on chronic conditions like COPD, and targets health challenges that not only incur high costs for patients and hospitals, but also exact a high toll on a patient’s quality of life. By giving the care team access to connect with patients via Alexa-enabled devices, they have visibility to a more longitudinal stream of patient condition information. As a result, they can tailor and optimize care plans in real-time, with an aim to improve engagement and outcomes.

Early feedback from test users has been overwhelmingly positive, saying the skill “made them feel heard, cared for, and offered encouragement.” Other feedback included “easy to answer the questions,” “the skill was efficient and well-planned,” and they liked “not having to speak to a human.”

On the record

“The COVID pandemic forged a path to healthcare’s digital front door, accelerating the adoption of virtual care. Health systems are looking for effective ways to nurture a spectrum of quality patient encounters beyond video appointments,” said Jason Burum, Vice President of Patient Engagement for Clinical Effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer, Health.

“For providers, the Emmi Care Plan skill adds a new layer of interaction to stay connected to consumers using the Alexa-enabled devices that are already an integral part of their day-to-day activities,” Burum added.

The context

The new skill is part of Wolters Kluwer’s EmmiTransition solution which keeps patients connected to their care teams post-discharge through empathetic voice design, interactive phone calls and now, Alexa-based interactions. EmmiTransition can be seamlessly integrated in a healthcare system’s IT and clinical workflows. Patients can access the Alexa skill through participating healthcare providers by using an Alexa-enabled smart speaker or device. To learn more, please visit our website.