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Amazon Alexa will now let you book doctor appointments, track wellness goals, and more

All the new skills are compliant with HIPAA, as well.

amazon alexa healthcare tools
Image: Amazon

Alexa, book a doctor’s appointment

It’s now as easy as a one-sentence ask of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to book doctor’s visits, check on prescription shipments, and other healthcare needs. Amazon announced on Thursday that the erstwhile voice assistant is getting a doctor’s bag full of skills from partnerships with organizations like pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts and Boston Children’s Hospital.

All the new skills are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the piece of legislation that protects patients’ private health information. Amazon has also started an invite-only program to add more healthcare providers as time goes on.

The six new Alexa skills that rolled out this week are:

  • Express Scripts: Status of home delivery prescriptions can be checked, including setting Alexa alerts for when prescriptions are shipped
  • Cigna Health Today: Some Cigna members can use Alexa to track their health and wellness goals
  • My Children’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS): Boston Children’s Hospital is leveraging Alexa to pass post-operative recovery updates on patients to the relevant doctors and manage post-op appointments
  • Swedish Health Connect: Providence St. Joseph Health is using Alexa to help members find their nearest urgent care center and schedule same-day appointments
  • Atrium Health: Alexa can find your nearest urgent care center and schedule appointments, as long as you live in North or South Carolina
  • Livongo: Alexa reads the blood glucose monitoring data from the company’s devices, allowing users to keep on top of their glucose levels in a simple way.

Boston Children’s Hospital, in particular, was one of the first hospitals with an Alexa skill, four years ago, when Alexa was still new. Now, of course, she’s everywhere, so it makes perfect sense to leverage her ubiquitous presence to make dealing with the US healthcare system a little bit easier on patients.

I can’t wait for the inevitable Amazon Alexa skill that tries to make sense of Explanation of benefits (EOB) statements. Maybe Amazon can digitize a medical coder into the database…

What do you think? Will these new Alexa skills prove useful? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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