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Ottawa Hospital welcomes new AI staff member to help patients, visitors

The Ottawa Hospital has a new addition to its staff members and it’s an AI-powered teammate, starting Thursday. (The Ottawa Hospital/ handout) The Ottawa Hospital has a new addition to its staff members and it’s an AI-powered teammate, starting Thursday. (The Ottawa Hospital/ handout)
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The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) has a new addition to its staff members and it’s an AI-powered teammate, starting Thursday.

The AI-powered teammate is designed to provide human-like interactions with staff, patients and visitors. To assist you, all you have to is choose your preferred language -- English or French -- and start speaking with it. It is displayed on a computuer screen. It will be answering various questions about the hospital’s new campus during its initial test phase, the hospital said in a news release on Thursday.

"Our goals for innovation at The Ottawa Hospital are to improve patient care, create a better experience for patients and staff and enhance value in the health system," said Kara Kitts, director of Digital Innovation at TOH. "The Digital Teammate has the potential to reduce administrative tasks for our staff and enhance the patient experience."

After the initial test phase, the hospital notes, the AI teammate will be updated according to the recommendations and feedback that will be received from its staff and patients.

"Improvements can be made before it is fully implemented. Following an interaction with the Digital Teammate, people will be invited to provide feedback about their experience, which will inform the next round of testing and project development," reads the release.

Starting Thursday, the digital teammate is available 24/7 for the next two weeks outside the cafeteria at the Civic Campus, in the critical care wing lobby at the General Campus and near the main entrance at the Riverside Campus, reads the release.

The hospital will determine whether the innovation can further help its patients in the future and in collaboration with Deloitte Canada. The extended help could include answering questions, providing directions and sharing helpful resources.

 

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