"Alexa, find me a doctor. & # 39; Ok, I find you a girl. & # 39;



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Photo: Alex Cranz

To answer sensitive questions about healthcare, Alexa must comply with the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). And, as of Thursday, Amazon said its voice assistant offered quality services. In an article published today on his blog, the company announced that a number of new health skills could now be enabled on its hands-free speakers, making possible commands such as Alexa, ask Livongo for my last blood glucose reading. "

According to Amazon, Alexa's "HIPAA eligible environment" is currently reserved for potential healthcare developers, but six skills are already available for those who trust the company to manage their prescription information. , their blood glucose levels and their recovery after an operation.

The Boston Children's Hospital has one, called Improved Recovery after My Children's Surgery, which, as its name suggests, allows you to both provide recovery updates and get information about follow-up appointments, according to the Amazon blog. Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefits management organization in the United States, has a skill that allows you to request details on prescription orders. The skills of the Livongo Digital Health start-up allow you to ask questions about reading blood glucose. Other skills allow you to interview Alexa about wellness goals and emergency care centers, as well as schedule appointments.

Although Amazon seems confident that its new Alexa environment can comply with the HIPAA standard, the company has literally been pissed off in the past in terms of protecting users' privacy. Last year, Amazon's home assistant reportedly recorded someone's conversation and then sent it to an acquaintance. A few months later, the company allegedly sent some 1,700 audio recordings of a stranger by accident.

Asked for comments, an Amazon spokesperson pointed out that many of the skills require the use of "account links and / or voice code". "In addition, the interactions with the skills will be written in the application Alexa," added the spokesman.

While Amazon continues to expand in the healthcare sector, it seems inevitable that the retail giant will end up processing tons of medical data. Let's just hope that Alexa is suitable for both doctor's appointments and accidental spying.

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