New Technology Supports Our Healing Mission

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“I held my little ‘pancake’ on my chest, which was reading to me Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. When I woke up the next day, I was healed. After being bed-ridden for more than two weeks, I stood up on my feet and walked out to attend the Easter church service at Fern Lodge. I can’t tell you how much inspiration I have gained from listening to my speaker every day. It opened a whole new world for me” —Testimony from a current patient

The “little pancake” from this patient’s testimony is what she calls Alexa, Amazon’s smart speaker, which was recently installed in every patient’s room. By using a third-party application, Fern Lodge was able to create their own playlists that play Science and Health, the weekly Bible Lesson, hymns, Daily Lift, Sentinel Watch, and other Christian Science-related talks and lectures. Patients can now listen to anything whenever they want to without any set schedule.

After taking down our old nurses’ call system, we no longer had the ability to broadcast content through pillow speakers. We know it’s important for patients at Fern Lodge to have access to Christian Science audio content in support of their healing demonstration.

“It was not an easy solution to reach,” Jamie Stock, who introduced Alexa to Fern Lodge, recalls. “ I knew I wanted the patients to have a choice as to what they listen to and when they can listen to it. At first, I had trouble finding the most cost-effective and user-friendly solution. Then, it dawned on me that a smart speaker could do all of that if I was able to upload our own content. After hours of researching, testing, and programming, we finally found a way to make it work, while maintaining privacy for each patient. Introducing such a new device to every patient and Christian Science nurse takes time and patience. But I was amazed by how open and receptive everyone was.”

What Robin, our Director of Activities, loved most about Alexa is that, instead of tuning into audio programs at certain time, patients now have the freedom to listen to whatever they feel inspired to at any time. That’s a huge blessing to those who are not able to leave their rooms to join group activities. God’s words and spiritual truth are an “ever-present help in trouble.”

“Besides Christian Science-related content, Alexa can also play all types of music, make jokes, tell the time and forecast the weather,” Jamie added. “One day, I passed by one patient’s room and heard her asking Alexa to play Frank Sinatra. As soon as the music started, her face lit up and she started to sing along. We sometimes take for granted the technology we use. For many residents at Fern Lodge, who have never used a computer in their life, being able to listen to their favorite songs really makes their day.”[:]

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