Amazon's voice assistant Alexa is tackling cardiac health: 4 notes

Jessica Kim Cohen - Print  | 

Amazon is teaming up with healthcare products developer Omron Healthcare to build out a first-of-its-kind blood pressure skill for its voice assistant Alexa, CNBC reports.

Here are four notes on Alexa's new healthcare skill:

1. Omron Healthcare's blood pressure monitors can now integrate with Alexa to help users manage their health. Users can ask Alexa to read their latest blood pressure results, calculate their average blood pressure readings or set reminders for future readings, among other capabilities.

2. Omron Healthcare CEO Ranndy Kellogg told CNBC his team worked "extremely closely" with Amazon to build the blood pressure skill for Alexa. Amazon declined CNBC's request for comment.

"We have the first [Amazon] Alexa skill to connect to a blood pressure monitor" Mr. Kellogg said. "My team here who wrote the skill worked hand-in-hand with Amazon's Alexa and Echo teams to build the skill, test it and even add new features as Amazon makes them available to healthcare companies."

3. Amazon has been investigating various ways to bring its voice technology into healthcare, including building a dedicated team within its Alexa division to explore these applications. In April 2017, Amazon worked with Merck to launch a challenge exploring how Alexa could support diabetes care management.

4. Cardiac care is proving a popular entry point for technology vendors looking to work in healthcare. Amazon, Apple and Google's parent company Alphabet all have hired cardiologists in the past year, according to a separate CNBC article.

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