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ESRA19–0583 ‘Alexa, how do I do a serratus plane block?’ – Development of a voice-enabled regional teaching and training device
  1. A Barron1,
  2. C Razavi2,
  3. C Johnstone1,
  4. A Pawa1 and
  5. T Wojcikiewicz1
  1. 1Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS, Anaesthesia, London, UK
  2. 2University College London, Research Department, London, UK


Background and aims There is an ever-increasing number of blocks available within the armamentarium of regional anaesthetists. It is a common for such specialists to be called upon to teach with a particular regional technique. We have aimed to collate some of the free-access, high quality training provisions into an Alexa ‘Regional Skill’ to aid teaching.

Methods Alexa is speech-to-text software allowing voice interaction with devices. Amazon have released a rich developer environment alongside Alexa allowing developers to create their own ‘skills’ – programmes that respond to a user’s voice command and return customised pictures and videos. The user can invoke the device by saying ‘Alexa, open Regional Wizard’. This opens a launch screen, allowing users to ask questions relating to regional anaesthesia, such as how to perform a particular block, or the anatomy of a particular body area. This skill was coded through an Amazon Web Service (AWS) developer account in JavaScript Object Notation and Node.js runtime environment which handles the request all within the AWS developer environment.

Results We have developed an Alexa-enabled regional teaching device for use with an Amazon Echo Show device, which could be used by clinicians to help teach regional blocks. The skill has a number of supported requests including video footage, examples including serratus plane, adductor canal and supraclavicular blocks. Schematic anatomical diagrams are also supported.

Abstract ESRA19-0583 Figure 1

Conclusions We have developed what we believe to be the world’s first medical Alexa regional training device, which could be utilised within a theatre environment to aid the delivery of regional anaesthesia techniques.

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