STAT April 4, 2019
Casey Ross

Amazon unveiled software on Thursday that allows health care companies to build Alexa voice tools capable of securely transmitting private patient information, a move that opens the door to a broad array of uses in homes and hospitals.

The announcement was accompanied by the launch of six voice programs built by large health businesses ranging from Boston Children’s Hospital, to the insurance giant Cigna, to the digital health company Livongo. The new tools allow patients to use Alexa to access personalized information such as progress updates after surgery, prescription delivery notifications, and the locations of nearby urgent care centers.

Perhaps more significant than the individual uses is Alexa’s ability to now traffic in patient information that is protected by the...

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