Alexa can now be your doctor, thanks to its new WebMD integration

Amazon’s Alexa can now be an on-call Doctor should users find the need to find out any health-related queries from the Smart device. Alexa will fulfil users’ queries by going through WebMD and providing those much-needed answers.

The new service was released on Tuesday that puts the entire skill set of WebMD at the mercy of users. WebMD jumped at the offer to have its service be a part of Alexa’s features, with the company saying that it was a natural progression for them to see their platform move to a more accessible place, and with the rise of Alexa as one of the most reliable smart devices out there right now, it seemed like a no-brainer. Ben Greenberg, the VP of WebMD, according to Digital Trends, said that the company was interested in being where all the computing was going on. He gave the very unique example of why one would want this service in their Alexa, hypothetically describing a situation where a mother would need to know the source of her baby’s rash and he does not know what to do in the heat of the situation. That is when WebMD would come to the rescue!

The responses given by WebMD will be physician reviewed and approved, with answers that will be easy to understand in plain English. Should the users choose, they can also receive additional information about their query in the form of a text to their Alexa app. Although it still is not impossible for users to search on Google about health queries through their voice input thanks to Alexa, having WebMD on-board makes for a more tailor-made experience that is made for the platform and will be better interactive with the user.

Amazon’s Alexa already has more than 100,000 skills and this one could just be another feather on the cap; or could it? The Verge had pointed out various risks regarding the usage of a specific medical app like WebMD being implemented on Alexa. Worrisome issues such as the wrong diagnosis or solution could potentially be life-threatening. It also means that the platform can direct users to specific drugs and brands to be used, without providing any alternatives. But Greenberg reassured that the company is not thinking about going the promotional route just yet and just wants the service to be more accessible to users. They are betting big on the speech aspect as that will be the most important while understanding the kind of query that the user is talking about.

Of course, it will be improved with further updates as long as users have it installed on their Alexa. Perhaps later on, it will be able to connect with other apps for drug deliveries as well as even have a Doctor on call. There are a lot of good possibilities for an app like this.