Ways Amazon Alexa will become your new health coach

On I-395 at mile marker 4 in the City of Alexandria, motorists can expect potential delays due to a vehicle accident. The north right shoulder is closed.

If you own an Amazon Alexa, you’ll already know just how much the smart speaker can do. From telling you the time through to switching on the lights, it proves useful in lots of ways. During a recent episode of the RX411 podcast, Amazon’s expansion into health insurance was discussed. This included the ways Amazon Alexa could help you monitor your health. Now it appears we have more details about what the speaker can do, it’s time to investigate whether it’ll improve your health in 2019.

Amazon Alexa will make a diagnosis using your voice

As anybody who works in the medical profession already knows, forming a diagnosis is tricky. You often need to have your eyes, ears, and hands on a patient. Using those tools alone, you can create a rough idea of what’s affecting someone’s health. After that, imaging and other tests are often necessary.

At present, there are plans to train Amazon Alexa to recognize deterioration in someone’s condition. Two examples of this include signs of stress in someone with depression or husky tones that could indicate a sore throat. We’re not sure how Alexa will achieve this, but we’re guessing she’ll need to spend time getting to know you first.

Working alongside wearable devices to monitor your health

It’s thought that Amazon Alexa will also help you manage chronic conditions by working alongside your usual wearable devices. For example, if you suffer from diabetes, you’ll already know how important it is to maintain healthy blood pressure. If you regularly wear a smartwatch that can monitor such vital signs, it’s easy to worry about every number that falls outside of your personal norm. Amazon Alexa may start focusing on worrying trends that should prompt you to approach your physician for advice.

Reducing pain, stress, and anxiety

Chronic pain, stress, and anxiety can have a significant and negative impact on any patient’s life. It’s thought that anxiety alone affects 40 million people over the age of 18 in the United States. When the condition grows out of control, socializing, working, and going through your day without worrying all feel impossible.

Although it’s not yet clear how Amazon Alexa will achieve this, it’s thought she will engage with other virtual reality devices to reduce pain, stress, and anxiety. Some professionals have predicted she could be used to relieve PTSD and some phobias too. At present, there are some Alexa tools that make living a less stressful life easier. For example, you can ask Alexa to remind you to use your meditation app. Similar tactics include asking her for happy quotes, zen music, and creating yoga routines.

It appears that Amazon Alexa is rapidly expanding the skills she can use to promote better health. If all goes to plan, it’s unlikely that your device will replace your current doctor. However, you may find that you can use it to take charge of your health at home.


About the Author

Laura McKeever
Laura has been a freelance medical writer for eight years. With a BSc in Medical Sciences and an MSc in Physician Assistant Studies, she complements her passion for medical news with real-life experiences. Laura’s most significant experience included writing for international pharmaceutical brands, including GSK.