Alexa can currently play your favorite song or tell you if it’s going to rain, but soon, you might be able to say the popular voice assistant to contact a doctor if you’re having health problems.
According to the Associated Press and US News, the service from Amazon and telemedicine company Teladoc Health will be available 24 hours a day on Amazon’s Echo devices.
Customers will receive a call from a Teladoc physician after telling Alexa they want to speak with a doctor. According to details revealed Monday, doctors would be permitted to prescribe drugs in select instances.
Teladoc spokesperson Chris Savarese told the Associated Press that whether patients get a call back the same day they make an Alexa request may depend on doctor availability.
The substance of the subsequent call will not be accessible, recorded, or stored by Amazon, he said. The patient’s insurance coverage will determine the price. The price will be $75 if you do not have insurance.
The Associated Press said the service would be audio-only at first, but the firms said they intend to add video shortly.
Amazon already provides prescription medications and is expanding Amazon Care, a telemedicine service with the option of an in-person visit that was launched in 2019.
Alexa is already being used in some hospitals as a voice assistant in inpatient rooms. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom utilizes it to answer medical questions with advice from the service’s website.
“Telehealth is now something that patients have grown accustomed to and may come to expect as a treatment option,” Lori Uscher-Pines, a senior policy researcher at Rand Corp, told the Associated Press. “There might not have been this much understanding that this was a service that was offered before the pandemic.”