Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service now offers a range of drug information provided by First Databank, Inc. (FDB), a provider of drug and medical device knowledge that helps healthcare professionals make decisions. The new content helps answer medication-related questions asked by consumers on Amazon Alexa.
This new service will leverage clinical drug information authored specifically for Alexa by FDB clinicians, based on their review of the most relevant content from the company’s proprietary consumer drug information monographs.
This activity follows Amazon’s recent introduction of a medication management feature for Alexa owners. The feature allows customers to set up their own medication reminders and request voice refills using their prescription information. At launch, these capabilities were only available to customers of Giant Eagle Pharmacy. Amazon is working with medication management solution and adherence tool provider Ominicell to enable the new features.
These activities may forecast Amazon’s plans of recent acquisitions in prescription management and healthcare: PillPack in prescription ordering, and Health Navigator in the development of APIs for online health services.
Amazon Alexa announced in 2019 that it now is capable of transmitting and receiving protected health information. Its HIPAA-compliant status means that operators and residents alike may find more reasons to use the device.
Amazon is able to add these service because the company can now sign business associate agreements with health providers under HIPAA, which means third-party health developers who follow certain guidelines can meet the rules and requirements that govern how sensitive health information is transmitted and received.
Takeaway: Amazon Alexa’s new capabilities are setting the stage for additional company inroads in healthcare.