The Voice in Our Dreams

by Staff Writer

Science can’t tell us with certainty why we dream. Maybe the answer is, instead, in where dreams take us. They are a secret passage into knowledge, to test our limits, to expand our thinking beyond the confines of what is… into what could be. While every dream is different—what they offer in common is that voice. Whether a shout or a whisper, the voice in our dreams offers imagination, inspiration, and possibility. Here’s what it had to say to our Ogilvy Health dreamers….

Dream Another Language

Martha Maranzani: SVP, Engagement Strategy

The ultimate voice skill in healthcare would be in the spirit of sci-fi author Douglas Adams’ universal translator: a “Babel Fish” that could translate healthcare data across all electronic health record (EHR) systems so that all data for every patient can be unified. A simple voice request could access data across proprietary patient portals from different doctors and practices. A word would export patient data from these portals to files that could then be brought to a new doctor on another system. With a voice command, healthcare professionals (HCPs) would have that exported data imported into their own EHR system. And payers would only have to ask to perform population analyses across data from myriad EHR systems to make decisions about treatments for their patients. The healthcare Babel Fish would be able to access all of this data and deliver it in whichever way the patient, HCP, or payer needs it.

Dream Being Someone Else

Peter Von Bartheld: VP, Customer Experience

Some patients don’t have the words to use—the vocabulary, or the knowledge to really explain to their doctor the details of a symptom they are experiencing or deliver the emphasis of how painful or uncomfortable something is feeling or how an adverse event (AE) is affecting their quality of life. But a dream voice skill will coach patients on better ways to talk with their doctors about their diagnosis and symptoms. This Voice Coach will take on the role of the healthcare specialist and conduct a dialogue where the voice skill listens to the words the patient says, then makes recommendations for different phrases and alternative vocabulary.

Instead of patients talking with their doctors and saying:The voice skill will train patients to:

“I guess you’re right”
to a doctor’s response when the patient knows they feel otherwise
Describe with details, how they are feeling

“I guess I’m feeling alright”
when, in fact, they haven’t slept in 9 nights or haven’t left their homes in 2 weeks because of an AE, but don’t want to bother the doctor with their problems
Recommend phrases on how to talk about symptoms they are having

“I guess this is all part of getting older”
when what they are experiencing has nothing to do with just getting older
Try an alternative therapy

Giving patients the verbal skills they need to become their own advocates to improve their conversations can help lead to more positive outcomes.

Dream a Guardian to Watch Over You

Bill Miranda: Director, User Experience

The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that healthcare needs updated methods of patient diagnosis. With a voice-first system of telemetry, the patient can have conversational alerts to changes in health status and proactively seek healthcare.

Infection presents in many ways in a human body: fever, elevated heart rate, the sound of a cough. A patient wearing a voice-enabled monitoring device can be alerted of changes in baseline health metrics and take the necessary action. They can walk into a hospital while the device continues to monitor their condition before interacting with medical staff. Of course, the voice-enabled wearable would anonymize the patient data. Let’s look at an example of how this voice-enabled device could help patients get the proper care.

Joan, an office worker, is presenting with pre-symptoms of a viral infection but is not aware of it. She is wearing a voice-enabled telemetry wristband. Alexa monitors Joan via biosensors on the wristband and initiates a dialogue…

Alexa: Joan, I’ve noticed a small change in your health readings. How do you feel currently?

Joan: I feel okay, I guess. Maybe a little tired. Alexa, run a vitals report.

Alexa: [*Performs vitals check*] Joan, your heart rate is increased over your normal rhythm, your temperature is slightly elevated, and your breathing appears somewhat labored. I’d like to run a cough analysis. Please cough three times, near your BioBand, while keeping your distance from other people.

Joan: [*Coughs as instructed*]

Alexa: Joan, preliminary audio analysis of your cough indicates you may be at the beginning of a viral infection. I suggest you go to the nearest medical facility to be diagnosed by a medical professional.

Joan goes to her local doctor’s office, where she is checked by a healthcare professional. Her voice-enabled device displays her telemetry data through Bluetooth on her phone for the doctor to review. Based on this data and Joan’s present condition, the doctor advises Joan to rest and self-quarantine for 14 days.

Walt Disney famously said, “All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Healthcare can benefit from these amazing experiences that voice can bring to life. If only we will listen!