Amazon launches medication management features for Alexa

TechCrunch | 11/26/2019 | Staff
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As Amazon moves further into the healthcare market, the company today is rolling out a medication management feature for Alexa owners. The feature will allow customers to set up their own medication reminders and request voice refills using their prescription information. At launch, these capabilities are only available to customers of Giant Eagle Pharmacy, a regional retailer in the Midwest and East Coast.

That being said, there are obvious ties to Amazon’s larger plans with regard to prescription management and healthcare. Amazon has now acquired two health startups, first with online pharmacy PillPack in 2018 for slightly less than $1 billion. This was followed by last month’s acquisition of Health Navigator, which will become a part of Amazon’s pilot healthcare service program for its employees, the recently launched Amazon Care.

Alexa - Integrations - Amazon - Care - PillPack

The new Alexa features seem to be custom designed for integrations with both Amazon Care and PillPack prescription ordering, even though neither of the two services are referenced today as part of Amazon’s current or future plans with the Alexa features.

Asked about this, an Amazon spokesperson said only that the company would not “comment or speculate on the future.”

Amazon - Medication - Management - Solution - Adherence

Instead, Amazon says it has teamed up with medication management solution and adherence tool provider Ominicell to enable the new features, which were inspired by how people were already using Alexa’s reminders system and other feedback.

For example, some customers said they would like to set time frames for reminders like “twice a day.”

Alexa - Medication - Management - Customers - Giant

To use the new Alexa medication management, customers will first need to enable the Giant Eagle Pharmacy skill and link their accounts. They’ll also need to create an Alexa voice profile, which helps Alexa to verify the person who is speaking, and they’ll need to create a personal passcode for an extra layer of security. Amazon notes that it had already rolled...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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