Reducing Patient Wait Times with AI and Microsoft’s Azure Cloud: Integrating Virtual Assistants, Wearables, and IoT

The Patient is in reduces patient wait times by integrating a series of technologies including AI and natural language processing, the Siri virtual assistant, the Apple Watch wearable, and the iBeacon IoT micro-location technology.

In this blog post, we will discuss two features of the Patient is in app which use Microsoft’s Azure cloud: Apple Watch notifications and Skype for Business. The Azure cloud was selected over Amazon’s AWS cloud as well as Google’s and IBM’s cloud for many reasons but the most important is that Azure supports the latest iOS and Apple Watch technologies and provides greater flexibility in managing devices.

Realtime patient assignments and updates

From the perspective of your doctor, the charge nurse sends a patient assignment from the Patient is in iPad app to the doctor’s Apple Watch and iPhone. On her Apple Watch, the doctor can accept the assignment and provide an estimated time of arrival, reject the assignment, and update the charge nurse that she has completed her assignment and thereby allowing the cleaning staff to prepare the room and consequently reduce the wait time for the next patient.

In this screenshot, we see the charge nurse using the Patient is in iPad app to visualize doctor availability and room status:


and here we see the charge nurse creating a patient assignment by assigning a doctor to treat a patient in Recovery Room 3:

The patient assignment is encrypted and securely sent from the Patient is in iPad app to the Microsoft Azure cloud which notifies the doctor on her Apple Watch of the assignment as we see here:

The Patient is in watch app will alert the doctor with:

  • A discrete vibration felt on the doctor’s wrist
  • An optional, audible sound

The doctor can then update the charge nurse with her estimated time of arrival and likewise updated the charge nurse after she completes her assignment as seen here:



In large clinics and hospitals multiple iPads may be deployed to administrators and charge nurses and of course, a new iPad may be running side-by-side an older iPad during repairs. The Patient is in iPad app will securely synchronize its patient assignments to all other Patient is in iPad apps via iCloud and thereby provide a realtime global view of:

  • Doctor availability
  • The status of each doctor assignment
  • The status of rooms
  • Location of off-site doctors with live map and traffic view
  • Location of on-site doctors using iBeacon micro-location technology

In this screenshot, we can see that the doctor is onsite and near Nurse Station 6. The doctor’s onsite location is provided by the doctor’s iPhone proximity to a charge nurse’s iPad all of which use iBeacon micro-location technology to determine proximity. A doctor may enable or disable this feature from the Patient is in iPhone app.


Group conference calls with Skype for Business

The Patient is in iPhone app is integrated with Skype for Business which is Microsoft’s HIPAA compliant audio and video conferencing solution for groups. Unlike Microsoft’s consumer version named Skype, Skype for Business enables medical staff to record their conference calls and comply with the various HIPAA requirements regarding conference calls. While hospitals may choose to install their own Skype for Business servers on their own premises, smaller organization can choose the Microsoft Azure cloud-based solution which costs a few dollars a month per staff member.

Much like how the charge nurse sent a patient assignment with Patient is in iPad app, she can also send a conference call request to the doctor and the doctor can join the conference call directly from the Patient is in iPhone app as seen here:




and here is a clip showing the integration between the Patient is in and the Skype for Business iPhone apps:




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