Amazon launched six new Alexa skills that protect health information when transmitted without breaking any HIPAA rules. Previously, Amazon hit roadblocks with the HIPAA Privacy Rule which limits the use of voice technology. Now, HIPAA compliant data transfers allow select healthcare groups use voice assistants to communicate with patients.
Amazon’s six new HIPAA Alexa skills allow patients, caregivers and the healthcare industry to communicate and complete tasks. Here are the Alexa skills and what they do:
Members of the Express Scripts pharmacy services organization can ask Alexa to send notifications about the status of their home-delivery prescriptions.
Employees enrolled in a Cigna health plan can ask Alexa to check their wellness program goals and ask about things like health tips and rewards.
Parents and caregivers enrolled in Boston’s Children’s Hospital’s ERAS program can ask Alexa to send updates between families and care teams. These updates include recovery progress, post-op appointment reminders and guidance. Right now, this program is only running for cardiac surgery patients.
Livongo Diabetes Program participants can ask Alexa to check their most recent blood sugar reading, monitor blood sugar trends, and give personalized health tips.
In North and South Carolina, patients can use the new Atrium Health Alexa skill to find urgent care centers near them, schedule same-day appointments and find hours and current wait times.
Providence St. Joseph Health created a new Alexa skill for patients on the west coast. These patients can find Swedish Express Care Clinics near them and schedule same-day appointments.
The new skills were developed by six different companies that participated in the Amazon Alexa healthcare program. The new rollout of HIPAA-eligible Alexa skills was limited to six skills. However, in the future Amazon plans to work with more developers to expand the skills to other companies on an invite-only basis.
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