If you're not feeling well, help can come from an unlikely source. Your Amazon Echo can help you get better by providing medical advice using an app created by HealthTap, an online healthcare startup.
Users of HealthTap will be able to use the app via the command "Alexa, talk to Dr. A.I." Alexa will then walk the user through a series of questions designed to simulate a doctor's visit, and provide medical insights along the way. Doctor A.I. was first introduced in 2013, and is currently supported by both iOS and Android devices.
What makes Dr. A.I. effective is its ability to combine both context and clinical expertise from its network of more than 105,000 doctors.
HealthTap Partners With Alexa To Help Those With Limited Mobility
The team behind the app wants to bring it to an audience that is probably much more in need of it than regular smartphone users. By integrating with Alexa, the Amazon Echo's voice assistant software, the app can now be used by people with limited mobility, such as the elderly and the disabled.
"We'd been doing text and video before, then expanded into voice and that's exciting in healthcare because we serve many populations that are older, disabled, or frail," says Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap.
How HealthTap Works
Gutman adds that the partnership will fulfill a need for "people who have difficulty using their hands or whose eyesight is not that great." The HealthTap app will have an A.I. doctor on hand that will ask questions in natural language using an "intuitive conversational user interface."
The A.I. will analyze the profile of the patient, including their current medical conditions and existing medications. Next, the A.I. will converse with the patient and direct him or her to effective solutions based on a vast repository of medical knowledge. The A.I.'s response will also be based on what other doctors have previously recommended in similar situations.
In the event that the A.I. determines that the situation warrants medical care, it can connect the patient to a doctor for a live consult, or schedule either an in-person appointment with a specialist, or a more urgent visit to the emergency room.
The addition of Alexa functionality to HealthTap's services is certainly great news for people who have limited mobility and want basic medical advice. By using their own voice, they will be able to determine what's wrong with them and seek medical help if needed.