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Amazon Looks to Expand Alexa’s Use in Healthcare

by Sara Foster | Aug 20, 2019

As voice technology becomes more prevalent, the opportunities for businesses to leverage the technology for various purposes are growing. Healthcare is an industry where voice technology can be beneficial, so Amazon has big plans for integrating voice technology into healthcarephoto of an Amazon Echo device and a stethoscope

Alexa-enabled smart speakers from Amazon are already able to perform some healthcare-related tasks like describing symptoms, track blood sugar levels and schedule appointments at the nearest urgent care location. But Amazon has bigger ideas, such as using Alexa to help diagnose conditions such as mental illness, autism, concussions and Parkinson’s disease. Alexa may even be able to detect a heart attack in progress.

These enhanced skills may come about with Amazon’s partnerships with various healthcare companies including providers, payers and vendors. With its recent approval to use protected health information, Amazon looks to go even further with its offerings, using the ability to send and receive patient records to create home-based services for consumers.

With Alexa devices holding a 70% share of the smart speaker market, Amazon’s big plans make sense. Most sales of smart speakers are of devices at the low price end of the market (Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini), and Amazon uses aggressive discounts for Echo Dot devices to maintain grow market share. In addition to having a commanding share of the market, Amazon looks to capitalize on research that has shown that machine learning and voice technology can react faster and more accurately than humans. Furthermore, voice technology may offer possibilities for remote healthcare applications in rural areas and provide clerical assistance by entering information into health records that is heard during provider-patient interactions. 
  • Alexa
  • voice assistant
  • healthcare trends

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