Paulette Thomas writes:
….. Because of the unlimited capabilities of a smart speaker, healthcare providers are beginning to use these virtual assistants in pilot programs with patients in the hospital and home care settings and with other healthcare providers. Smart speakers can be used to remind a homebound patient to take scheduled medications or to check blood sugar at certain times during the day, or about other activities of daily living. Smart speakers have the potential to relieve some of the documentation burdens physicians and other healthcare providers complain of with the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems. With a smart speaker, a physician can request the retrieval of specific information from the EHR or enter data into the EHR while conversing with a patient, thereby reducing the amount of time spent documenting and retrieving data. However, smart speakers were developed for commercial use, and lack the security necessary to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of patients’ health information. Healthcare providers should be wary of using smart speakers to access, use and disclose protected health information (PHI) from these devices until the privacy and security concerns are resolved.
Read more on BakerHostetler Health Law Update.