Amazon’s Alexa is Tying up with Mayo Clinic to Offer First Aid Assistance

It’s no secret that Amazon Echo’s Alexa can help you with everything from emailing your boss, to implementing voice-activated commands, to playing your favorite show on a smart TV. Now the voice assistant could even save your life.

The free Mayo Clinic First Aid program is designed to help users with non-life-threatening medical problems like how to care for a spider bite or treat a cut although it can provide information in emergency situations, such as how to do CPR, according to Amazon’s product description.

Jay Maxwell, a senior director in health information with the Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions, told the Star Tribune that – We provide health information in a print newsletter, digital newsletter, desktop web, mobile web, Mayo Clinic app. We view this voice interface, specifically the Amazon Alexa application, as basically a new channel to provide that information.

Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant for the home, has learnt a new skill – allocate medical information about first aid from Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic.

We view this voice interface, specifically the Amazon Alexa application, as basically a new channel to provide that information.

Users are told multiple times to call 911, who enable the free Mayo Clinic First Aid program and then ask Alexa for information about CPR. The device also advises to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation for one minute in its robotic female voice and then call 911 if the person is not responding from stifle. If the user asks for it, the device will go on to discuss specific techniques for doing CPR on an adult, child or baby.

The service provided by the Mayo Clinic mostly involves basic information or simple procedures, as emergency situations will require someone to call 911 or get help from a doctor. Some of the ways that Alexa Mayo First-Aid can help you include instructions on how to treat a cut, or answers to common questions related to insect bites.

Amazon spokesman Daniel Gabis said Mayo developed its First Aid program using Amazon’s self-service Alexa Skills Kit, as other organizations have. We’re excited that Mayo Clinic developed its health information skill for Alexa customers. Other developers such as WebMD have built skills for Alexa using our self-service Alexa Skills Kit – Gabis said via email.

The content was adapted from entries in the medical library that Mayo already offers for free online. The information is updated in real time as medical evidence evolves. – said, Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, associate medical director of Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions.

The voice-enabled experience is a new and growing global innovation, and may be the largest shift in how people interact with devices since the development of smartphones – Mayo spokeswoman Duska Anastasijevic wrote in an email. Mayo Clinic is among the first health care organizations in the voice space, and will take what it learns to apply it toward other projects that provide trusted information or potentially address a market or consumer need.

The app works for all Amazon Alexa devices. It also comes equipped with a 60-second audio news feed, aptly named the Mayo Clinic Flash Briefing for Amazon Alexa.


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