Bethesda, MD – If your travels include select Marriott properties in the future, you could walk into your hotel room and notice a new device sitting on the nightstand. Greg Sterling, Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land, recently reported on Amazon & Marriott’s new venture. Their goal: to bring Marriott customers a virtual concierge by adding Alexa voice devices in each room. This move will bolster the largest hotel chain in the world’s laundry list of features and benefits when staying with them.

Alexa For Hospitality, as Marriott has called it, enables guests to leverage the popular device for housekeeping services, to find local establishments to visit, playing music and even ordering room service, just to name a few. This move is in response to the predictions that 50 percent of all searches will be voice and about 30 percent of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020 - two shifting expectations that just 10 years ago most of us couldn’t comprehend.

The potential downside is one that has been following voice since inception: privacy. How will Marriott use all of the new data produced from their (potentially) 6,000 properties? And those conversations captured within each room – how would Marriott ensure ironclad privacy is of their upmost concern?

You can read Greg’s entire article here, reported on Search Engine Land.

Why This Matters – 

I love hearing about new ventures that brings a needed upgrade to a customer’s experience. And of course, how can this new venture help influence a patient’s experience within the healthcare landscape?

Two possibilities come to mind (and of course there are several more) that any healthcare influencer could take and run with:

1. Hospital In-Room Concierge: Anybody that has spent time as an overnight guest in the hospital or had a loved-one stay overnight knows how frustrating it can become when you, the patient or caregiver, are starving for answers. And any answers, like when can I eat solid foods, or when is my physician doing their rounds on a particular day, etc.

A possible solution – Develop an in-room hospital concierge program. Bringing a voice device within the hospital room setting has tons of potential. It could be used to help the patient find out what time their physician is doing rounds, what time it is (if they are bed ridden), the weather and ordering lunch, for example.

It could also bring the benefits of controlling the lights, television or the ability to call a loved one. The possibilities are endless!

2. At-Home Care Concierge – You or your loved-one just had an operation and now resting at home. You need to remember to take your post-op medicine, move around and make sure you’re adhering to the plethora of things your doctor laid out for you to ensure a speedy recovery. How do you keep it all together?

A potential solution – Develop an all-encompassing program that includes your entire post-surgery care plan. The program keeps the patient on schedule with everything included in the post-surgery brief, medication reminders, physical therapy reminders, etc. The program could include a two-way scheduled live conversation with the patient and the physician’s staff as well as the patient’s caregiver team. And with the IOT evolving daily, the program can help turn on lights, control the thermostat and even automatically tune in to The Price Is Right (because who doesn’t love daytime game shows to pass the time when sick?).

What new and exciting ways have you experienced voice (inside and outside of healthcare)? What do you ‘wish’ you could experience within the healthcare landscape that is commonplace within your daily life? We’d love to hear from you and help find new ways to connect to your customers and/or audience. Reach out to us today to set up time to connect!

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.