Assistive Technology, News, April 5 2019
Amazon announced yesterday that healthcare companies such as Cigna and Boston Children’s Hospital have equipped the Alexa Skills Kit with HIPAA-compliant voice apps, which are limited in number and foolproof while complying with the United States’ 1996 HIPAA regulation.
The launch introduces a total of six HIPAA eligible Alexa skills to perform crucial tasks such as prescription checks and team updates through a voice-controlled application.
Specifically, the Atrium Skills Set will permit patients residing in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia to set-up same day appointments – whereas the Livongo Alexa skills will allow people to check on their recent blood sugar reports. Developer teams who are willing to infuse their own skill sets in Alexa need to fill out an application in the invite-only program.
This is just the tip of the iceberg! Near future may see caregivers recording patient information on their Echo devices, or, patients using the same Amazon device to find out more medical information about themselves.
Amazon’s penetration into the healthcare sphere opens a world of possibilities for both, doctors and patients. The company’s conversation AI platform along with a smart speaker and an assistant will help doctors to question a patient’s health records or input new information about patients. A large number of healthcare skills are already available in the Alexa Skills Store.
Recently, Amazon invested $200 million in Avia’s Healthcare Assistant as one of its investments in a series going towards AI for healthcare. Last week, Amazon launched Alexa for business blueprints. Before that, Amazon launched an array of skills for Alexa at home. The company’s current launch is specific to healthcare and is set to grow considering the current trend of AI deployments in the medical technology landscape.