Amazon's Alexa now handles patient health information

Henrietta Brewer
April 6, 2019

The new healthcare skills allow customers to use Alexa-enabled devices for tasks such as scheduling medical appoints, checking on the status of prescriptions and accessing hospital post-discharge instructions. "These skills are just the first step in making it easier for customers to manage their healthcare needs using just their voice-we're excited to see what developers build next", the company said in a statement.

Amazon announced the news in a blog post. For now, the Atrium Health skill's focus is on helping customers in North Carolina and SC locate an urgent care location near them and schedule same-day appointments.

The medical insurance firm is piloting a voice skill aimed at increasing proactive health engagement; eligible employees can opt in to track personalized wellness incentives and receive daily motivational tips.

Swedish Health Connect, a network of 51 hospitals in seven states, built a voice program to help patients find a nearby urgent care center and to schedule same-day appointments.

Livongo-the digital health company tackling chronic conditions while scooping up former executives from Allscripts and Cerner-has also built a new skill as part of the HIPAA-compliant service.

·My Children's Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) (from Boston Children's Hospital): Parents and caregivers of children in the ERAS programme at Boston Children's Hospital can provide their care teams updates on recovery progress and receive information regarding their post-op appointments.

·Atrium Health (a healthcare system with more than 40 hospitals and 900 care locations in North and SC and Georgia): Customers in North and SC can find an urgent care location near them and schedule a same-day appointment.

Amazon's voice assistant has gained several skills that will allow consumers to ask questions such as "Alexa, pull up my blood glucose readings" and get prompt responses, CNBC reported.

John Brownstein, chief innovation officer, Boston Children's Hospital says the hospital first piloted the service four years ago, and that the ERAS service was very convenient for patients and their families. We're in a renaissance of voice technology and voice assistants in health care.

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