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April/May 2019
Hello there,
On April 4, Amazon announced a HIPAA-eligible version of their virtual assistant technology, Alexa, that makes it available for applications subject to the data privacy and security requirements of HIPAA.  Amazon is now offering the new HIPAA-eligible versScreen Shot 2019-05-08 at 8.54.29 AMion of the Alexa Skills Kit to a limited number of developers by invitation only.   

The topic is highly relevant. A Google search shows wide coverage of this topic across healthcare trade media and beyond. A Wall Street Journal article, for example, is headlined Amazon Wants You to Use Alexa to Track Health Care. Or, read an article from The Verge titled Amazon’s Alexa Can Handle Patient Information Now — What Does That Mean for Privacy?

Orbita CEO Bill Rogers shared this comment via his LinkedIn profile:

Congratulations to Amazon. Their news about Alexa and HIPAA eligibility is a solid step forward. They are joined by a full range of innovators seeking to leverage voice, chatbots and conversational AI to improve healthcare. We are truly in the midst of a digital revolution and I’m confident this will bring positive change to patients and clinicians.”

So what's different? Until now, Alexa’s use in healthcare has been mostly limited to question answering services – voice apps, or “skills” in Alexa parlance, that answer general questions about health conditions, treatments, symptoms, etc. Amazon Echo users, for example, can access health benefit information from a skill like Answers by Cigna, or tap into one of many symptom checkers in the Alexa marketplace.   

The big change is that Alexa can now be used in certain applications that collect and transmit protected healthcare information  (PHI.) This opens a whole new world of voice applications beyond basic Q&A such as remote patient monitoring, population health, medication adherence and clinical trial optimization. Read more about this announcement and our customer's work in these areas in a blog titled Amazon Alexa is now HIPAA Eligible. What's Next? 

Just last week, we hosted a webinar titled Secure Voice in Healthcare: The What, Why and How of HIPAA-Eligible Voice Assistants. Thanks to our hundreds of attendees and to our guest, Devin Nadar, Senior Partnerships Manager at the Boston Children's Hospital's (BCH) Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator. BCH is a longstanding leader in advancing the use of conversational AI in healthcare. NOTE: We are pleased to offer monthly webinars on a range of topics. Access our archived webinars here

Please read below for updates about Orbita and to learn where we'll be exhibiting and presenting. If you're attending an upcoming industry event and we're also there, please reach out to We'd love the chance to say hello!

Happy Spring to you and yours,

Nathan Treloar
Orbita Co-Founder & President

linkedin Connect   


PS: To learn more about HIPAA-related issues related to voice in healthcare, don't miss my session titled Securing Voice:  Ensuring Privacy and Security in a Voice-First World  at the Voice of Healthcare SummitAugust 5-6 in Boston!


The power of Orbita PrototypeScreen Shot 2018-12-27 at 9.56.38 PM
In a recent blog post, Orbita Chief Product Officer Bill Cava highlighted four main challenges experienced by voice UX designers: creation, testing, measurement, and iteration and introduced Orbita Prototype, a powerful engine that enables rapid prototyping of conversational dialogues without requiring any coding - much like creating a wireframe for a web site or a sketch for a mobile app. Now, we're pleased to offer a new Orbita eBook that dives more fully into this topic. 

New Orbita eBook Available now for download: 
Prototyping Conversational Applications:
Process, Tips, and Tools for Effective Voice UX Design
Healthcare leaders and voice UX designers will discover what it takes to create well-designed conversational applications that satisfy the needs of consumers and glean insights about best practices and common obstacles among voice teams seeking to design and prototype conversational applications in real time. Download the eBook here

Why we added knowledge management capabilities to our platform
We encourage you to read the recent journal article titled Patient and Consumer Safety Risks When Using Conversational Assistants for Medical Information. Researchers reviewed answers to health-related questions given by virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. The findings: Nearly 30% of answers given by virtual assistants could have caused harm if implemented and 16% could have caused serious injury or death.

Development and maintenance for virtual assistants requires a different approach than that now used for web and mobile content. It’s not practical for a voice-powered virtual agent to answer a question by simply reading two pages of text from a website. Yet, those two pages may contain valuable information— content that has been carefully created, vetted, and approved to answer as many possible questions a visitor might have. 

How can organizations make this content available to a virtual assistant in a scalable, meaningful way? And, how can you ensure that a virtual assistant provides the right answer to a single health-related question that can be asked in a myriad of ways? Our customers are addressing these challenges using Orbita Answers, a new capability of the Orbita platform. Read our recent blog post to learn about how Orbita Answers is used to deliver timely and relevant answers based on modeling of relationships inherent in the content and the users’ unique situation (context).

Also new in the Orbita platform
Orbita Flow is an intuitive, graphical studio with a flowchart-like interface for creating rich, conversational applications. Now, anyone can quickly build voice and chatbot applications using ready-made controls and pre-built templates. Orbita Flow adds to our rich set of tools for accelerating creation of voice and chatbot-powered healthcare applications. Think of Orbita Flow as the Visio of voice.


White Papers

Recent Webinars

How are you getting started with voice and chatbots?

Schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation
Our experts will help you share insights to assist in defining your voice strategy and aligning it to your organization’s strategic business initiatives

We welcome your suggestions for blog topics and webinar guests.
Contact Orbita SVP of Strategic Communications Beth Strohbusch

Where's Orbita? Upcoming Events

The State-Of-The-Art Of Voice Technology And How to Leverage It For Older People (Hosted by Aging 2.0 Boston Chapter)aging2.0
May 8, 2019 – Boston
Orbita President Nathan Treloar will serve as a panelist along with James Wyman of Pillo Health, Stuart Patterson of LifePod and Kendra Seavey of Care.Coach

Connections – Hosted by Parks AssociatesC19-Banner_website_header-768x145
May 21-23, 2019 – San Francisco
Kristi Ebong, Orbita SVP of Strategy and GM/Providers will present on May 22: Voice: Gateway to Connected Home Use Cases 

Using Clinical Data from the Wild: HIPPA Compliant Wearables & Virtual Assistants (hosted by Mass Bio)MassBio
May 22, 2019 – Boston
Join us from 8-10 am to hear about HIPPA compliance in wearable and virtual assistants. Orbita President Nate Treloar will be speaking

Healthcare Innovation + Investment Conference (HI2)HI2_4C_Horizontal

June 17-19, 2019 – Chicago 
Orbita CEO Bill Rogers will share an overview of Orbita on Tuesday, June 18

AHIP Institute and ExpoScreen Shot 2019-05-07 at 9.43.03 PM
June 19-21, 2019 – Nashville
Check out our demos and talk with Orbita staff on the exhibit floor. Learn how today's most innovative health insurers are leveraging voice applications and chatbots to enhance consumer and member engagement

Voice Summit AIScreen Shot 2019-05-07 at 5.43.45 PM
July 22-26, 2019 — Newark, NJ
Orbita is a pleased to be a gold sponsor. Make plans to attend Nathan Treloar's session The State of Voice and Chatbots in Healthcare.  Register here and use ORBITA15 secure your 15% discount on registration

Voice of Healthcare SummitScreen Shot 2019-05-07 at 5.47.28 PM
August 5-6, 2019 —Boston
In addition to sponsoring the event, Orbita will present a session titled Securing Voice:  Ensuring Privacy and Security in a Voice-First World. Register here and use promo code ORBITA2019 for a 20% discount

On the Radar, Discounted Registration, Calls for Speakers


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