Startups, Patient Engagement

Both Google and Amazon have recently backed this small Los Angeles digital health startup

Los Angeles Aiva Health is developing a voice-enabled operating system that is tailored for a hospital setting

In the course of the last week, both Amazon and Google, two titans of the technology industry and major business rivals have announced that they’re investing in a small Los Angeles-based digital health startup called Aiva Health.

The idea behind the startup is relatively simple: leverage voice assistant technology to make care better by engaging patients and connecting them to their care teams and families. Aiva was founded in 2016 by Sumeet Bhatia.

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Essentially the company is developing a voice-enabled operating system that is tailored for a hospital or a healthcare setting. The technology is largely platform agnostic and can be used with smart home assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Using Aiva’s platform patients can talk to their assistant to ask for specific requests like housekeeping or food items, freeing up nurses and other clinical staff for higher-level tasks. It can also help with performance reporting for clinical staff, pain management and connect to other IoT devices to control devices like the lights and television.

The company is also positioning its technology for use in locations including skilled nursing facilities, senior communities and to help seniors age in place in their homes. Aiva claims that their product can connect seniors with friends, family and neighbors through hands-free phone and video calls, alleviating loneliness and social isolation.

The company was the first healthcare company to be supported by the Google Assistant Investment Program, an investment vehicle designed to support the company’s voice-enabled and smart assistant technologies.

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“Google Assistant is already giving millions of people easier access to information, more entertainment options and better control over their environment,” Google Assistant Investment Program lead Ilya Gelfenbeyn said in a statement.

“It’s exciting to see Aiva pushing the technology even further, using voice to improve vital human interactions like caregiving.”

Aiva has also been the benefit of largesse from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, which was launched in 2015, to invest in voice technology. As part of the investment, Aiva will also have access to mentorship and resources from Amazon’s Alexa team.

Aiva is not the only company trying to develop a voice enabled platform for health care with competitors including Boston-based startup Orbita, Robin Healthcare and Notable Health.

The startup previously participated in the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator program, where it was piloted in the health system’s facilities. Other investors in the startup include Act One Ventures, Mucker Capital and Techstars.

Photo: Flickr, Rob Albright