Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

6 organizations team up with Amazon to release HIPAA-compliant Alexa skills

Amazon adds HIPAA compliance to Alexa Skills, opening door for secure health apps Amazon's Alexa is now HIPAA compliant
Anna Jefferson | 06 April, 2019, 20:44

The new skills are part of an invite-only program that Amazon said allows only select covered entities and business associates subject to HIPAA (the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) to create specialized skills for healthcare-related services.

Less than two months after MedCity speculated whether Amazon would release a HIPAA-compliant Echo device, the tech giant announced that select skills for Alexa - the voice-activated personal assistant service powering those devices - are indeed HIPAA-compliant.

Amazon announced the service in a blog post Thursday, with information about the first six skills to be developed as part of the program. The skills in question let the patients ask the virtual assistant for help with tasks such as booking appointments, accessing their post-discharge instructions, checking the delivery status on a prescription and more.

·My Children's Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) (from Boston Children's Hospital): Parents and caregivers of children in the ERAS programme at Boston Children's Hospital can provide their care teams updates on recovery progress and receive information regarding their post-op appointments.

Through the health system's Swedish Health Connect skill, customers can find urgent care centers near them and schedule same-day appointments.

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This will allow patients to use Alexa to access communications from their doctors following surgery, notifications of prescription deliveries and receive messages to help maintain healthy habits and medicines adherence.

·Atrium Health (a healthcare system with more than 40 hospitals and 900 care locations in North and SC and Georgia): Customers in North and SC can find an urgent care location near them and schedule a same-day appointment. We began this journey with one of the first Amazon Alexa skills from a hospital four years ago and are thrilled to participate in the initial launch of Amazon Alexa's HIPAA-eligible service for developers.

"In the future, we expect to enable additional developers to take advantage of this capability", Jiang wrote.

"We believe that voice technology will have an impactful role in helping our members better manage their chronic conditions, and health in general", Livongo President Jennifer Schneider said.

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