GlobalData, market research firm, suggests the e-retail giant is now building a health and wellness team based on how consumers use Alexa, primarily, for now, in the US.
Amazon’s efforts in this area focus on health rather than beauty, but offers yet further evidence that the separation between the two sectors is increasingly blurred.
Find our recent feature on Amazon and its efforts in beauty here, for the full overview on how Amazon is tapping into the beauty industry’s potential.
Alexa already has widespread reach, says GlobalData, with up to 11% of US consumers using it in their home and in September 2017.
Now, the company has announced that basic health information and advice provided by Mayo Clinic is to be available on the device.
Mark Needham, Healthcare Analyst for GlobalData explains: “Users are now able to download the Mayo Clinic First Aid skill on their device, voice their concerns to the machine, which will then give answers to dozens of everyday health issues or other self-care instructions.’’
Additionally, according to Harvard Business Review, the KidsMD skill, a platform for parents with information on common illnesses, has logged more than 100,000 interactions with Amazon’s voice assistant.
The Amazon health and wellness team's main job is to make the Alexa voice assistant more useful in the US healthcare field, says GlobalData.
This requires working through regulations and data privacy requirements laid out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
“With the right compliance and licenses in place, Amazon could let customers share their medical records with Alexa-powered devices, which could then allow them to communicate with a medical professional from home, and share their sensitive medical records with qualified third parties,” explains the market research firm.
Diabetes management, care for mothers and infants, and tools for the ageing population will also be reviewed by the team.