Friday, 19 April, 2019

6 organizations team up with Amazon to release HIPAA-compliant Alexa skills

Amazon adds HIPAA compliance to Alexa Skills, opening door for secure health apps Amazon's Alexa is now HIPAA compliant
Celia Hoffman | 06 April, 2019, 20:40

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. "We're excited to be one of the first health systems in the U.S.to build Alexa skills that help our patients connect to our providers and get faster access to care", Aaron Martin, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Providence St. Joseph Health, said in a statement. It invited six health companies to develop voice programs - which Amazon refers to as "skills" - using their systems.

Amazon revealed new software that allows hospitals and health insurers to use voice tools to transfer patient information that is protected by the US health privacy law known as HIPAA.

"These new skills are created to help customers manage a variety of healthcare needs at home simply using voice - whether it's booking a medical appointment, accessing hospital post-discharge instructions, checking on the status of a prescription delivery, and more", Head of Alexa Health and Wellness Rachel Jiang wrote in a blog post.

Cigna: Cigna Health today allows eligible employees to manage health improvement goals and earn wellness incentives. Meanwhile a new skill from Boston Children's Hospital lets parents and caregivers ask Alexa for updates on recovery progress and other information.

More news: U.S. revokes ICC prosecutor's entry visa over Afghanistan probe

·Atrium Health (a healthcare system with more than 40 hospitals and 900 care locations in North and SC and Georgia): Customers in North and SC can find an urgent care location near them and schedule a same-day appointment. Livongo's skill will allow users to get their last blood sugar reading by simply asking Alexa.

Providence St. Joseph Health: West Coast patients can schedule same-day appointments at urgent care clinics through the Swedish and Providence Health Connect skills on Alexa.

"In the future, we expect to enable additional developers to take advantage of this capability", Jiang wrote. "In particular, we believe voice technology, like Alexa, can make it easy for people stay on the right path by tracking the status of their mail order prescription, helping us further solve the costly and unhealthy problem of medication non-adherence".

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