Tuesday, March 21, 2017

You Can Now Ask Alexa for Medical Advice

By  Dave Parrack  

Alexa has learned a new skill, and this one turns Amazon’s smart assistant into a fount of medical knowledge. This new WebMD-powered skill means you can now ask Alexa for medical advice. You probably shouldn’t, but you can. Just make sure you get a second opinion, eh.Where Can You Find Reliable Medical Advice Online? Where Can You Find Reliable Medical Advice Online?READ MORE

Dr. Alexa Will See You Now

Alexa’s latest skill utilizes the power of WebMD to field questions about health. You can enable the skill by simply saying, “Alexa, enable WebMD skill.” Once enabled, you can then ask Alexa a range of questions which cover different aspects of your health and wellbeing.
Example questions include:
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD to tell me about type 2 diabetes.”
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD what is an echocardiogram.”
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD what are the symptoms of a heart attack.”
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD how to treat a sore throat.”
  • “Alexa, ask WebMD what I can eat after a workout.”
WebMD promises that users will be given “physician-reviewed, medically appropriate answers in plain, accessible language”. This is essentially the same information you can find on WebMD’s websites and apps, just delivered in a new way. But at least Alexa has a good bedside manner.

Seeking Medical Advice Online

We have previously warned of the dangers of seeking medical advice online, but it’s worth repeating. While you can search for anything online these days, your health is the one thing you shouldn’t put in the hands of Google. And the same goes for Alexa too.The Dangers Of Searching For Medical Information Online The Dangers Of Searching For Medical Information OnlineSearching for and relying on online medical information to diagnose/treat yourself, someone you know, or even a pet, can prove costlier than you think. Here's why...READ MORE
If you’re genuinely worried about your health, please seek professional medical help. With a little help from WebMD Alexa could be a good source for very general information. However, she is never going to be able to deliver a definitive diagnosis.
Are you likely to ask Alexa for medical advice? Do you regularly search for medical information online? What sites, if any, do you trust? Have you ever taken something written online as a definitive diagnosis? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: NEC Corporation of America via Flickr Source: www.makeuseof.com

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