Mayo Clinic arms Amazon Alexa with first-aid skill

Users can ask Amazon devices basic questions and listen to answers based on Mayo Clinic advice and information.
By Tom Sullivan
02:17 PM
Amazon Alexa with first-aid skill

The Mayo Clinic on Friday said that Amazon Alexa users can now access first-aid information via Amazon’s voice-based tools.

All patients have to say is: “Alexa, open Mayo First-Aid.” From there, they can access first-aid topics, including care instructions and quick answers concerning common mishaps.

A skill is Amazon’s name for functionality that third-party developers create to run on Amazon’s platform. In making its first aid skill available, Mayo is joining a growing base of health-related options, including fitness-centric ones, such as Fitbit and workout offerings. And WebMD in March unveiled an Alexa skill essentially giving users access to its content library.

[Also: Hospitals forging patient experience of the future with voice AI technologies]

Some hospitals, are already conducting early work using Alexa to improve patient experience with scheduling, travel and other voice interactions.

“Voice-enabled experience is a new and growing channel for reaching people and delivering information they are seeking, whether or not they have an existing relationship with Mayo Clinic,” said Sandhya Pruthi, MD, associate medical director at Mayo.

Mayo’s first aid skill runs on Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, Tap, and other systems. While this is the first skill Mayo released, the health system also offers a 60-second audio news feed called the Mayo Clinic Flash Briefing for Amazon Alexa.  

The Mayo Clinic was careful to point out that it’s first-aid skill should not be used in emergency or life-threatening situations.

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