Northwell Health launches Amazon Alexa skill to help patients avoid ER wait

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health rolled out a program in the Amazon Alexa "skills" store to help patients identify nearby urgent care centers and emergency rooms with the shortest wait times, according to Newsday.

To interact with the free program, a user would ask their Alexa-enabled device a question about emergency or urgent care, paired with the phrase, "Alexa, ask Northwell." For example, a user might ask, "Alexa, ask Northwell for the shortest emergency department wait time," Newsday reports. A user is also able to limit their search to one region by including their ZIP code.

The Alexa responses might include a facility, address and estimated wait time. The program, created by web developers at Northwell Health, aggregates information using the health system's emergency and urgent care wait times portal. The portal analyzes check-ins at Northwell Health's 50-plus ERs and urgent care centers.

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