Siri integration for a voice interface

The Patient is in apps are integrated with Siri on both the iPhone and Apple Watch to provide a voice interface for messaging.

Conversations with the charge nurse using Siri on the iPhone: “Hey Siri, read my Patient messages” allows the doctor to hear her patient assignments and “Hey Siri, send a Patient message saying I’ll go to Therapy Room 2 in 10 minutes” allows the doctor to respond to assignments from either her Apple Watch or iPhone with an estimated time of arrival. Notice of assignment completion is supported from both the Apple Watch and iPhone with “Hey Siri, send a Patient message saying I’ve completed my assignment in Recovery Room 2”.

All of these statements are processed by the Patient is in natural language processing (NLP) engine fixing homophones (“Exam Room 2″ vsexam room to” vsexam room too” vsexam room two”) and other linguistic and transcription impediments to create a structured message upon which the charge nurse’s iPad app can visually display and drive real world processes such as cleaning the room so that the next patient’s wait time is significantly reduced.

For a truly hands-free experience on the iPhone, the doctor needs only to use AirPods or another bluetooth headset and use the phrase “Read my Patient messages” after activating Siri either with a double tap on either AirPod or with the “Hey Siri” trigger phrase.

And then the doctor may respond to the assignment using the phrases: “Hey Siri, send a Patient message…” as seen in these Apple Watch screen shot:


and on the iPhone as seen in this screen shot we see the natural language processing (NLP) engine of the Patient is in fixing homophones (“Exam Room 2″ was transcribed by Siri as exam room to” ) and other linguistic and transcription impediments to understand the doctor’s intent:


To ensure the best experience, the internal NLP engine used in the Patient is in apps has been optimized for Siri in a medical environment.

The following are some sample phrases which the doctor may use with Siri on both the iPhone, Apple Watch, and HomePod:

  • Send a Patient message saying I’ll go to Exam Room 1 in 15 minutes
  • Send a Patient message saying I’ve completed my assignment in Recovery Room 2
  • Send a Patient message saying I cannot go to Exam Room 2

Exclusive to the iPhone and HomePod, the doctor may ask Siri the following:

  • Read my Patient messages
  • What are my messages on Patient?

Understanding the AI integration with Siri

Click below to learn more about the technology powering the integration with Siri:

Videos of using Siri with the Patient is in app

In the following HomePod video, a group of anesthesiologists use Siri to respond to patient assignments:

In the following iPhone video, the doctor uses Siri to listen to her patient assignments:


An iPad App for the Charge Nurse

Doctor assignments, room status, and doctor location

With the Patient Is In iPad app you can notify the doctor on her Apple Watch or iPhone that a patient is ready to be treated. Also, the Patient is in iPad app allows the charge nurse to quickly:

  • View doctor availability
  • Visualize the status of each doctor assignment
  • Visualize the status of rooms
  • Location of off-site doctors with live map
  • Location of on-site doctors using iBeacon technology
  • Start an audio or video FaceTime call with the doctor (without knowing the doctor’s FaceTime information)
  • Receive an audio or video FaceTime call from the doctor (without the doctor knowing your FaceTime information)
  • Schedule a Skype for Business conference call
  • Announce a patient assignment on any AirPlay-compatible speaker such as Apple’s HomePod  wireless speaker
  • Broadcast a general announcement to any AirPlay-compatible speaker such as Apple’s HomePod wireless speaker
  • Synchronize doctor assignments and room status with other charge nurses and administrators


Sending an assignment to the doctor

You send a notification to the doctor’s iPhone or Apple Watch containing

  • The name of the room in which the patient is waiting
  • Important notes about the patient such as if he has elevated vital signs

and the Patient Is In watch app will alert the doctor with

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

If an AirPlay compatible speaker such as Apple’s HomePod wireless speaker is set up in a doctor’s office and authorized to be used by the charge nurse’s iPad, then the doctor can hear a wireless announcement similar to “The charge nurse says that Dr. Quinn has an assignment in Exam Room 2”. Here is a link to learn more about using multi-user Siri support and HomePod: HomePod and Multi-User Siri in Health Care: It’s how to reduce patient wait times

Additionally, this assignment is synchronized with the Patient is in iPad app managed by other charge nurses and administrators. This provides large clinics and hospitals with a global, real-time view of doctor availability, patient assignments, and room status.

In this video, we see how the charge nurse is able to quickly send a patient assignment to the doctor, visualizing doctor availability and see which doctor is onsite and connected to the real time peer-to-peer network or through iCloud, if the doctor is receiving patient assignments on her Apple Watch or iPhone, if the doctor is available for a FaceTime conference call, the status of assignments (accepted with an estimated time of arrival, decline, or completed), and the status of each room.




Locating an onsite doctor with iBeacon technology

In large hospitals, it is sometimes critical to locate a doctor who may be busy attending to another patient. The Patient is in app allows you to locate an onsite doctor. First tap the icon representing the doctor and then tap the magnifying glass icon as seen in the following video:



You will then be presented with a map view displaying the general location of the doctor as seen here:



The Patient is in app implements Apple’s iBeacon technology to automatically register each time a doctor’s iPhone passes near a charge nurse’s iPad running the app. In the above screen shot, a map pin shows that at 9:21 PM, the doctor was “Near Nurse Station 6”. And likewise, a few minutes after the doctor leaves the area of the iPad named “Nurse Station 6”, the map pin will be updated to show that the doctor has “Left Nurse Station 6”.

iBeacon uses Bluetooth, so for this feature to work both the iPad and the iPhone must enable Bluetooth.

If you are a fan of TV science fiction and specifically Star Trek, you may recognize this feature as a real world example of the Enterprise computer knowing the location of a crew member by passively tracking the location of the communicator badge as seen in following snippet from the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation



iBeacon technology and your privacy

It is important to note that the Patient is in iPhone app is only able to report on the last time the iPhone was in the Bluetooth proximity of a charge nurse’s iPad which was at the time both running the app and had Bluetooth enabled. The Patient is in iPhone app is unable to determine its proximity to other iPhones.


Locating an offsite doctor

If the doctor allows, the charge nurse may see the doctor’s offsite location on a live map. This map will also display current traffic conditions and is similar to apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Glympse. This feature helps the charge nurse estimate the doctor’s time of arrival for emergency surgery and other time sensitive activities.


Offsite location data and your privacy

It is important to note that only the doctor can decide if her offsite location should be disclosed to the charge nurse. The doctor can at anytime enable or disable the setting “Update charge nurse” in the section “OFFSITE AND ONSITE LOCATION UPDATES” as seen in the following screen shot:



If this setting is enabled and due to the imprecise nature of mobile location technologies, the app may update the charge nurse with the doctor’s location up to 1 mile or more from the location of the charge nurse’s iPad. Consequently, if the doctor is using her personal iPhone and not a hospital issued device, the doctor may choose to manually disable this feature when leaving work.

This setting is disabled by default.