WebMD Announces Its Own Alexa Skill For Medical Advice

American health publication WebMD announced the launch of its own Skill for Amazon's artificial intelligence (AI) assistant Alexa. The Skill was designed to work with all devices infused with Alexa, i.e. the Echo, Echo Dot, and the Fire TV. WebMD revealed that its first Alexa Skill was programmed to provide people with quick access to information pertaining to their health. The solution supports a broad range of inquiries related to the subject and can define diseases, common ailments, medical procedures, general treatments, and even the side effects of some drugs, WebMD claims.

As expected, the company is specifically highlighting the fact that its new Alexa Skill was designed to offer general information and isn't meant to serve as an alternative to consulting with a medical professional. Furthermore, the Skill is still in active development and will likely support more features in the future, in addition to being regularly updated with new information. Ben Greenberg, Vice President of Mobile Products at WebMD said that the company's decision to develop a Skill for Amazon's Alexa was prompted by the fact that the firm believes that's the direction in which the technology is going. Due to that state of affairs, WebMD wants to be a part of the new tech revolution that it believes will be prompted by AI solutions and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Greenberg explained. In addition to offering health-related information, the new Alexa Skill can also be used to access WebMD itself on a device that's compatible with Amazon's voice-enabled helper via the Alexa app.

The current version of WebMD's Alexa Skill mostly works as advertised and can be activated by starting a query with "Alexa, ask WebMD." The Skill is already available for download from Amazon by following the source link below. WebMD's new creation is currently enjoying a mixed response from users as its initial rating is sitting at exactly three stars out of possible five. Some users are claiming that the Skill has issues with some generic drug names, while others are displeased about the fact that certain queries are only getting answered if they're phrased in a highly specific manner.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]