Since Amazon launched its Alexa skill store in 2015, developers have created over 10,000 skills that enable users to interact with their Alexa-enabled devices. These skills allow owners of the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and other connected devices to utilize natural language to interact with the platform in a variety of ways ranging from gaming and shopping to gathering news, weather, travel, health and fitness information.
New technologies, like Alexa, enable organizations to innovate within healthcare at the same time as individuals continue to take more control of their personal health via these platforms. As partnerships between healthcare professionals and tech continue to increase, this convergence has led to a spike in new Alexa skills focused on health. Below are our picks for the top 7 Amazon Alexa Skills focused on helping people control their health.
Lenovo Health Applications
In February of this year, Lenovo announced a partnership with Amazon to create an Alexa-integrated platform focused on virtual patient care. The voice-based communication system allows users to interact with their healthcare team in a variety of new and exciting ways. For example, a user can inform their Alexa-enabled device, “Alexa, I need a prescription refilled” or “Alexa, can you inform my care coordinator that I need a driver to pick me up.”
The platform also extends its capabilities by integrating with several wearable devices that give users the ability to monitor and record vitals like heart rate, blood pressure and more. The data can then be stored and shared with an individual’s health care team or be accessed by a user by simply asking their device.
Web-MD Healthcare Q&A
Web-MD announced in March that users can now utilize Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot and Fire TV to ask a long list of health related questions related to any medical conditions, medications, treatments and more. A user can access WebMD’s rich database of medical know-how simply by prompting their Alexa-integrated device with commands such as, “Alexa, ask WebMD to tell me the symptoms of the flu.” The integration provides a quick and seamless interaction between users and detailed medical information related to their needs.
The Fitbit Alexa Skill allows users to stay in tune with their fitness goals by checking in on their tracking device via their Alexa-enabled device. Alexa can inform users on a long list of personal tracking items including items like hours slept, steps taken, flights climbed, calories burned, resting heart rate and more. The skill even allows users to compare daily progress metrics related to their exercise and wellness with previous days, weeks and months data. Through Alexa’s Fitbit skill, users can get a holistic understanding of their fitness data at a moment’s notice enabling more informed decisions about their daily health.
In February, HealthTab, a health practice that provides 24/7 access to doctors via text, video, and voice launched its Doctor A.I. service through Amazon’s Alexa. The focus of this service is to provide patients with meaningful solutions to their health related inquiries. The voice-controlled service can make health suggestions based on patient’s symptoms and even connect patients directly with doctors for a live virtual consultation. The company has both a consumer version of the product as well as an enterprise offering for clinics, hospitals, insurance companies and governments.
Health Care Genius
The Healthcare industry can be complicated. Health Care Genius looks to help users better understand the world of healthcare by providing easy-to-understand explanations of common healthcare related questions. A user can simply enable the Alexa skill and ask questions like, “Alexa, ask Health Care Genius ‘what’s a deductible?’”. Those unfamiliar with the industry will find the skill’s explanations perfect to better acquainting themselves with the complexities of the industry.
KidsMD is an Alexa skill created by Boston Children’s Hospital. Powered by Thermia.io, this skill enables users to request health information for common ailments and medication dosing, allowing for more informed decisions. While the skill makes no claim to be a substitute for individualized medical advice, reviews on the wealth of information contained within the data reflect lots of early positive feedback.