Mayo Clinic Reveals Amazon Alexa Skill Focused On First Aid

September 19, 2017 - Written By Daniel Golightly

Mayo Clinic is looking to make administering first aid much easier with the introduction of a new Amazon Alexa Skill. That’s according to an announcement that the organization posted to its official blog on September 15. As the Skill’s name implies, users who enable Mayo Clinic First-Aid to their Alexa-enabled devices will be able to get “voice-driven” assistance with a wide variety of first-aid-related tasks directly through Alexa-enabled devices, simply by saying “Alexa, open Mayo First-Aid.”

Although Mayo Clinic is quick to remind prospective users that the skill should not be used if a person is in a life-threatening or emergency medical situation, the skill should still be useful in a number of other circumstances. Mayo Clinic lists several examples. Asking Alexa how to treat a babies fever or telling Mayo First Aid that you need help for a burn will result in spoken responses that walk a user through well-researched, trusted treatment approaches for the given condition or situation. There are plenty of other first-aid solutions covered by the Skill, as well. Those range from help performing CPR to insect bites. Unfortunately, the above-mentioned disclaimer does mean that the Skill can’t be used in more urgent situations. That may, in fact, be a good thing, since improperly performed procedures can cause more damage than they help. Bearing that in mind, what makes this particular skill so intriguing and useful is that users can get an auditory response without having to touch any screens or devices. That effectively frees the user’s hands up, so that they can follow any directions they may be given while the response is still being read out to them.

The new Alexa Skill actually marks the second effort from the Mayo Clinic on Amazon’s hugely popular A.I. platform. The first was made with Mayo Clinic Flash Briefing, which gives a brief overview of the most recent breaking news in the field of medicine. Mayo Clinic is also not the only organization working on health-care based solutions for A.I. platforms. Even Amazon has been rumored to have its own project in the works on that front. However, Mayo Clinic is a very well-known health organization and users can make use of Mayo Clinic First-Aid knowing, at the very least, that the advice on offer is backed up by research and should be helpful.