Boston Children’s Hospital has announced a new “skill” for Alexa powered devices, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Tap, and Fire TV, which provides health advice on children’s symptoms.
This is all done through listing in the noticeable symptoms. Once finished, the KidsMD app will quantify if the child should see a doctor, and can also provide guidelines on dosing guidelines depending on weight or age.
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“The KidsMD skill makes it easier to access medical information from Boston Children’s Hospital,” says Rob Pulciani, Amazon Alexa Director to Eurekalert. “We’re thrilled to be working with Boston Children’s on such a unique and valuable skill. We now have over 500 Alexa skills, and we’re looking forward to adding more important skills like this for our customers.”
For Amazon customers looking to access the KidsMD skill, you need to go to the Alexa app and activate it. Users can access the data by starting a question with “Alexa, ask KidsMD…” and proceed to ask about dosing or fever.
“We eventually intend to enable Alexa to give broader kinds of health care information via KidsMD, but we’re starting with symptoms that are of common concern to parents,” says Boston Children’s Chief Innovation Officer Dr. John Brownstein.
Amazon wants to give parents a smarter option than online search
Getting health advice from the internet has always been questionable, but the Boston Children’s Hospital is trying to give parents a safer and smarter option for figuring out if their child has a major issue or is just feeling under the weather.
Even with the expert advice, Boston Children’s Hospital still calls on parents to phone the hospital or an expert if they’re worried about their child’s health.
Healthcare, like all industries, is slowly moving to an online age. But the early issues of false advise and poor web services has lead to worries over the credibility of any health application or service, regardless of what organization is backing it. KidsMD might be the start of a movement to accept advice online, provided it doesn’t run into any early issues.