Amazon’s Echo smart speaker continues to add new ‘skills’ to its repertoire with every update the online retailer rolls out to the Alexa intelligent voice assistant on its app store and on Google Play. Of course, these days it is not just the original Echo that acquires the new set of skills, seeing as the gadget now has company from a couple of new devices called the Echo Dot and the Amazon Tap that were launched recently by the online retail giant in order to expand its smart speaker lineup. Now all these devices along with the Amazon Fire TV have just received a new update which has reportedly brought an all-new ‘skill’ to the devices that can potentially prove to be a life-saver someday.
The ‘KidsMD’ feature that is now a part of the Amazon Echo thanks to the latest update received by Alexa, tries to help anxious parents decide whether their kids need a trip to the doctor’s chambers if they’re suffering from common ailments like fever, cough, headache, rash, vomiting, sore throat, diarrhea, fatigue or shortness of breath. The feature can also reportedly offer medication guidelines based on information about children’s age and weight. The way to activate Amazon’s intelligent voice assistant remains the exact same as it has always been. Just saying “Alexa, ask KidsMD” activates the new feature, which “makes it easier to access medical information from Boston Children’s Hospital”, according to Mr. Rob Pulciani, Amazon Alexa Director.
The ‘KidsMD’ software was developed at the Boston Children’s Hospital by its Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator (IDHA) team, led by the medical institution’s Chief Innovation Officer, Mr. John Brownstein. One important thing to note here is that both Amazon and Boston Children’s Hospital know all too well that this new ‘skill’ can potentially become a liability nightmare for them should something go tragically wrong. That being the case, users are being advised to exercise extreme caution when it comes to acting on the remote advice provided by the technology. According to the advisory then, the KidsMD feature “is intended to provide general guidance and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment”.