Amazon Alexa to offer NHS health advice

Written by Sam Trendall on 10 July 2019 in News
News

Health service agrees partnership with tech giant

Credit: PA

Patients are now able to access NHS health advice via the voice recognition technology of Amazon Alexa.

The health service has agreed a partnership with the tech giant in which Amazon’s algorithms can process information from the NHS website and respond with answers to people’s health queries. Example questions cited include “how do I treat a migraine?”,  and “what are the symptoms of chickenpox?”.

The government claims that the use of the technology will “reduce the pressure on the NHS and GPs” by providing citizens with helpful information on the most common illnesses and health concerns. It will also benefit blind people, the elderly, and others who have difficulties in accessing the internet using a PC or mobile device, according to the government.


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Health secretary Matt Hancock 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.”

Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX, added: “The public need to be able to get reliable information about their health easily and in ways they actually use. By working closely with Amazon and other tech companies, big and small, we can ensure that the millions of users looking for health information every day can get simple, validated advice at the touch of a button or voice command.”

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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