Voice assistants, such as the Amazon Alexa, have become very common in American households. They’re used to inquire about the weather, set alarms, and to search for trivia, among other things. Lately, though, voice assistants have been expanding their capabilities by integrating new apps and skills from third party vendors to do specialized tasks. While there have been thousands of skills and apps that have come into existence, companies and organizations that provide healthcare information have been mostly absent. Now Amazon is unveiling the first batch of skills, developed by six healthcare organizations, that provide their users important medical information directly through any Amazon Alexa device.
Amazon has provided a “HIPAA-eligible” environment for these skills to work through the Alexa platform, but the company isn’t quite rolling out the capability to other healthcare providers. It is currently offering the opportunity on an “invite-only” basis, but we expect that Amazon will want to have many other providers joining its platform.
Here are the new health-related skills that are appearing on Alexa, and the companies behind them:
- Express Scripts (a leading Pharmacy Services Organization): Members can check the status of a home delivery prescription and can request Alexa notifications when their prescription orders are shipped.
- Cigna Health Today (by Cigna, the global health service company): Eligible employees with one of Cigna’s large national accounts can now manage their health improvement goals and increase opportunities for earning personalized wellness incentives.
- My Children’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) (by Boston Children’s Hospital, a leading children’s hospital): Parents and caregivers of children in the ERAS program at Boston Children’s Hospital can provide their care teams updates on recovery progress and receive information regarding their post-op appointments.
- Swedish Health Connect (by Providence St. Joseph Health, a healthcare system with 51 hospitals across 7 states and 829 clinics): Customers can find an urgent care center near them and schedule a same-day appointment.
- Atrium Health (a healthcare system with more than 40 hospitals and 900 care locations throughout North and South Carolina and Georgia): Customers in North and South Carolina can find an urgent care location near them and schedule a same-day appointment.
- Livongo (a leading consumer digital health company that creates new and different experiences for people with chronic conditions): Members can query their last blood sugar reading, blood sugar measurement trends, and receive insights and Health Nudges that are personalized to them.
Amazon announcement: Introducing New Alexa Healthcare Skills…