Amazon Echo speakers now provide health advice from the NHS

Amazon Echo Dot
Image credit: Shutterstock
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

You can now ask your Amazon Echo device for health advice and Alexa will give you an answer based on information from NHS Choices, which the Department for Health in England hopes will reduce strain on NHS services.

Previously, Alexa had pulled information from various popular sources when asked a question about health and wellbeing, but the virtual assistant will now only provide information from NHS Choices if you ask a question like "what are the symptons of flu?" or "how do I treat a migraine?"

Voice search is particularly helpful for people who find screens tricky to use, such as elderly people, who are more likely to need health advice and may not always be able to reach a GP easily.

It's hoped that the change will make reliable advice more accessible, and even relieve pressure on NHS services.

Is there a doctor in the house?

“Technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists," said health secretary Matt Hancock.

Other companies, including Microsoft, are working on similar NHS partnerships, so it looks like Cortana may be getting her nursing qualification too.

Via The Guardian