Amazon Alexa and NHS partnership launch

Continuing to make inroads in the healthcare sector, a new partnership announced by the Department of Health will see the NHS collaborate with Amazon to provide health information and advice from devices which have the company’s Alexa technology.

Users of Amazon’s popular Alexa enabled device will be able to ask the voice-assisted technology health-related queries, with Alexa searching the NHS Choices website to provide NHS-verified health information in seconds.

According to the Department of Health in England, the technology will particularly benefit the elderly, blind and those who cannot access the internet through traditional means to get advice quickly and easily.

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In addition, it is hoped the ease of access to NHS-certified advice on common illnesses will reduce pressures on the NHS and GPs.

Finding a voice

The trend of voice search has been increasing rapidly says the Government, with half of all searches expected to be made through voice-assisted technology by 2020.

Stating that the new collaboration supports a key commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to make more NHS services available digitally, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “We want to empower every patient to take better control of their healthcare and technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists.”

A growing presence in healthcare

This latest collaboration marks a further step into the healthcare arena with its Alexa technology for the online marketplace giant.

In January 2018, Hampshire County Council declared it was pushing the boundaries of adult social care by using Amazon Echo to help residents, using a customised version of their Echo device to support people to live independently.

Additionally, in June 2019, YPO, one of UK’s largest buying organisations, launched a major new agreement with Amazon Business, providing public sector organisations access to the digital behemoth’s extensive product range, including mobility and independent living equipment.

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