May 26, 2022

Need some medical advice? Try asking Alexa

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Too busy to call your doctor’s office? Well now you can simply shout at Alexafrom the comfort of your couch for slightly similar results.

Amazon’s helpful, know-it-all bot is working with WebMD, aka a hypochondriac’s BFF, to deliver users a variety of answers to their burning health-related questions, like “how to treat a sore throat.”

Starting Tuesday, in addition to tens of thousands of existing commands, Echo owners will be able to hear physician-reviewed answers to questions about certain medical conditions and symptoms, drugs, side effects, tests and treatments by simply asking Alexa about them.

So now it’ll be even easier to spend hours on end trying to determine whether that teeny, tiny, probably harmless splinter you got in your pinky finger could lead to your imminent demise. Woo!

Though nearly one-third of the U.S. online population looks to WebMD for guidance every month, according to the site’s Vice President Ben Greenberg, many are still a biiiit skeptical of WebMD results. But nevertheless, here we are.

Some nifty commands include:

  • “Alexa, ask WebMD to tell me about amoxicillin.”
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD what is an echocardiogram.”
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD what are the side effects of steroids.”
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD what are the symptoms of a heart attack.”
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD what I can eat after a workout.”

In a press release, WebMD’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Zatz explained that the Alexa answer integration is an important part of the company’s commitment to “providing consumers with health information that they can trust whenever and wherever they need it.”

WebMD’s convenient library will be available on the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Fire TV and other Alexa-savvy gadgets. And hey, if the voice feature isn’t your style there’s also an option to send additional information via text to users’ Alexa apps.

To enable the life-changing skill, simply say, “Alexa, enable WebMD skill.” But remember — Alexa is not a real doctor.


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