Amazon Alexa Launches HIPAA-Compliant Medical Skills

Alicia Farmer
April 6, 2019

The skills will helps users with answers for their healthcare-focused inquiries, such as checking on the status of a prescription delivery, accessing hospital post-discharge instructions, and booking a doctor's appointment. Amazon has announced that its voice assistant just became HIPPA-compliant.

The tech company announced yesterday that its Alexa Skills Kit, a cloud-based software service, can be used by U.S. health firms to create products that securely transmit and receive patient data.

Caremerge, the award-winning HIPAA Compliant senior living technology company, is teaming up with Amazon, provider of Alexa voice technology, to bring Caremerge Voice to the fast growing senior living marketplace and deploy Alexa devices community-wide through a robust fleet management system.

Providence St. Joseph Health: West Coast patients can schedule same-day appointments at urgent care clinics through the Swedish and Providence Health Connect skills on Alexa. Patients of the ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) program at Boston Children's Hospital can receive information about appointments through Alexa.

And Livongo, a digital health startup that helps patients manage chronic health conditions, developed a voice tool that allows patients to ask about their last blood sugar reading and their blood sugar trends.

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The tech giant can now sign business agreements with health providers under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which means approved third-party health developers can meet the rules that govern how sensitive health information is shared.

Commenting on the launch, Mark Bini, vice president of Innovation and Member Experience, Express Scripts said: "With our new Express Scripts skill, we are trying to make it easier for people to make better informed health care decisions".

And it's an obvious fit: voice can be a hugely enabling technology for seniors and people with disabilities in particular.

"Voice is going to be a big part of the future in all areas of our lives, including health and healthcare", Providence St. Joseph Health Chief Digital Officer Aaron Martin said in a news release emailed to Becker's Hospital Review. We're in a renaissance of voice technology and voice assistants in health care.

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