Innovations in Healthcare - Leveraging Alexa for Patients on the Box Platform

At Box we spend a lot of time thinking about the future of work and building the cloud content management platform that will make this future a reality. Today we’re delighted to highlight one of the our partners on this journey, Y Media Labs, who is working with Box to develop a series of visionary demo applications for regulated industries.

Their first app imagines a future scenario in healthcare, applying Amazon Alexa and Box Platform to the challenge of tracking medications and compliance to a medication regime for patients in the home. We fully expect that as natural language technology and bots take over unregulated industries, we will see the underlying security protocols advance to the point where we could use similar technologies in healthcare, financial services, government, and other regulated industries. But this all starts with a vision, and we’re delighted to have Y Media Labs working with us to share their ideas and proof of concepts on our platform.

As our Box Healthcare team is just wrapping up at the 2017 HIMSS trade show last week in Florida, I am joined by Raina Malik, Product Strategy Lead, and Vivek Rajanna, VP Engineering at Y Media Labs. Welcome to you both!

Can you tell me a little bit about Y Media Labs and what you all specialize in?

Raina: YML is a creative technology firm that helps companies such as Apple, Paypal, L'Oreal, First Republic Bank, CreditOne and Cook Medical build disruptive products that impact their core business and revolutionize the way they interact with their customers. We worked closely with the top medical institutions to deliver the first 5 Apple ResearchKit Apps that reshaped the world of healthcare. Enrolling more than 60,000 participants in just the first few weeks, the data provided by Research Kit gave researchers and clinicians insights into diseases that would have taken decades to unravel. We focus on creating digital products that have real impacts on our clients' outcomes. That’s what we’re about at YML: the business of innovation

Why did you pick the Box Platform to build on top of? What were some of the things that drew you to our platform?

Vivek: The connection to Box was very natural to us. Many of our clients come to us for help with mobile, either making their mobile workforce more productive or leveraging mobile as a channel for their partners and customers. With Box Platform, not only are we getting SDKs that significantly reduce time to value in our projects, but we can also provide peace of mind that the content flowing through the apps we are building is secure and compliant and has the right administrative controls. All in all, this helps us build better software for even the most secure content.

The demo you’re going to show us today reimagines a key use-case in healthcare, why did you select healthcare for this proof of concept?

Raina: While the healthcare industry has typically been slower to adopt new technologies, we are seeing some very big changes right now all stemming from the rapid adoption of the cloud, mobile and big data. Virtually every day we see new applications that are leveraging these technology entrants in healthcare. But what we are the most excited about of late is how smart assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home can help patients in the home.

What exactly have you built?

Vivek: We have developed a prototype using Alexa to manage patient's drug compliance (MDC) in their home. This is new skill set built for Alexa that leverages the Box APIs, which can collect data on patients while storing it directly in the cloud. This new app collects important health-related information from patients who own an Echo or Amazon Dot device. This information is captured during a simple conversation between a patient and Alexa, after which it is sent directly to the Box cloud for easy storage and retrieval.

How would this app apply to a real-world scenario?

Vivek: Well, let's take a look at how this app can be applied to a patient at home just getting out of the hospital after a stroke.

A patient is released from a hospital post a stroke and is now back home. The doctor has prescribed a wide variety of medications and the patient's family needs to help him monitor his medication intake, special diet and exercise schedule. This new Alexa app can remind the patient to stay compliant with his new medication regime and ask him questions about symptoms post discharge while securely sending the data directly to the HIPAA compliant Box content layer for any attending physician or hospital to retrieve and analyze.

Wow, this is great and very interesting to see. What other types of applications do you think AI and Alexa could have in healthcare?

Vivek: We are super excited to be working with Box Platform on these ideas. We think that AI in healthcare is just the beginning of new technology trends that can be applied to a ton of other use cases beyond medication management. For example, what if you could use conversational UI for filling out various healthcare forms. AI can also be used to help patients with personalized engagement and education post a hospitalization or even for a new form of chronic disease management. The sky is the limit!

What other types of applications could you build for other regulated industries that Box serves today, like Government, Financial Services or Life Sciences. I am sure many of our customers in these industries would be interested in other apps that you could prototype that they may want to use?

Raina: If you think about the industries and companies in them that Box serves on a regular basis and how end users interact with these companies, there is a ton of opportunity for digital transformation. For example, whether it be a consumer requesting a loan from a retail bank, or a patient filing an insurance claim for an out- of-network claim, or a consumer logging a request to update their drivers license, many of these workflows are currently delivered on legacy technology. With the inflection point of pervasive mobile access and best of breed cloud services from companies like Box, we have all the tools to rethink these workflows so they can be more efficient to end users. We can use simple UI to delight users as well as build backends that are secure and compliant. You’ll see us explore these ideas more through our thought leadership, as we did here, by building out this proof of concept using Alexa and Box Platform, and through our future client projects in the months to come.

Vivek: Thank you Ross and the Box team. We are super excited to be working with a cloud innovator like Box who also has a deep presence in regulated industries. We look forward to continued innovation with you all.

To learn more about YMedia Labs, visit, and to learn more about Box Platform, visit us at