Health |Emerging

Amazon steps into medical arena with Alexa ‘health and wellness’ team

Amazon has built a “health and wellness” team within its Alexa voice assistant department in an apparent effort to expand into the U.S. healthcare sector, according to an internal document obtained by American news channel CNBC.

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According to the document, the team already comprises over a dozen people including Rachel Jiang, a senior manager at Alexa Domains, Amazon engineer Larry Ockene and Missy Krasner, a former health specialist at Box, a content management system (CNBC).

The team’s aim is to eventually provide services to new mothers and infants, people with diabetes and the elderly, reports CNBC.

It says it will work to comply with regulatory and data privacy requirements laid out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which dictates that health data be kept private and secure.

Amazon is not talking about the venture publicly, and those who spoke to CNBC did so anonymously (CNBC).


You can add to or expand these questions

  • Are there any other sources with information about the initiative?
  • Is Amazon’s alleged Alexa health and wellness team a sign of the future of healthcare?
  • How can this ensure total privacy and security compliant with HIPAA?
  • Could voice technology help people with health issues?

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Lydia is a staff journalist at WikiTribune, where she writes about politics, women's rights, inequality, sexual politics and more. Previously she headed up the women’s rights and political content at Konbini for over two years. In 2016, she made ‘Building Big’, a documentary about bigorexia and male body image. Her work has also been published in Dazed & Confused, Refinery29, Vice, Lyra, Banshee and Buffalo Zine. She is based in London.

History for stories "Amazon steps into medical arena with Alexa ‘health and wellness’ team"

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15 May 2018

21:50:30, 15 May 2018 . .‎ David Barry (Updated → changed "aging" to "the elderly")
10:58:50, 15 May 2018 . .‎ Angela Long (Updated → publishing)
10:56:42, 15 May 2018 . .‎ Angela Long (Updated → summary)
10:56:26, 15 May 2018 . .‎ Angela Long (Updated → HIPAA link)
10:54:44, 15 May 2018 . .‎ Angela Long (Updated → medical)
10:52:42, 15 May 2018 . .‎ Angela Long (Updated → medical)
10:48:23, 15 May 2018 . .‎ Lydia Morrish (Updated → adding citations)
10:47:12, 15 May 2018 . .‎ Lydia Morrish (Updated → adding another question for more sources)
10:46:12, 15 May 2018 . .‎ Lydia Morrish (Updated → creating stub)

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