In what is described as a “world-first” collaboration, Amazon has teamed up with the UK National Healthcare Service to provide healthcare advice to individuals through its Alexa devices.
Users will be able to ask Alexa easy questions like “How do I treat a migraine?” or “What are the symptoms of flu?” according to the British government-an algorithm will then check the website of the NHS and react with suggestions.
The hope is that this new service will assist the elderly or blind patients who are unable to use traditional means to access the Internet. The NHS also hopes that by offering patients with data for prevalent diseases, it will decrease the pressure on its physicians.
However, this is not the only time that the Alexa device is used for medical reasons. Business Insider revealed in June that Washington University is developing new AI technology that could be used on Alexa to identify if someone has a heart attack by listening for distinctive sounds.