3 great health care Amazon skills and what we can learn from them

Amazon Alexa market health and fitness

I’m giving a lightning talk on voice healthcare market data at this week’s VoicetechTO meetup on voice in healthcare. Here are 3 of the best use cases of voice in diverse healthcare verticals I found and some important lessons for anyone looking to get into that space.

Integration of data sources can be hard for users
If your skill requires the user to integrate several apps/databases, the process needs to be flawless. If integration is not simple, users might not know how to do, get frustrated, and abandon your skill (and leave a bad review)

Voice recognition is still not flawless (can be a serious problem)
People have different accents and speech patterns that Alexa doesn’t always perfectly understand. This become problematic if your skill offers a functionality that someone can’t access when they need it. It’s also problematic if you need perfect input to inform subsequent actions (ex. “when did you take your medication this morning?” if drugs need a specific time period between administration).

Using “intents” is not natural
People will probably not remember to say “Alexa, ask virtual nurse how do I perform CPR” when they’re in a moment of stress (see the example review for Virtual Nurse below). Your skill may contain information that could save someone’s life, but it’s very likely your user won’t remember exactly how to access it when it’s required.

Voice can replace email
Almost any information that can be delivered by email can be reported with voice. The ability to integrate skills in routines allows users to access this information in a way that suites their lifestyle without having to look at their phones.

Virtual Nurse by Lowaire Digital

???????? 63 ratings, 4.1/5, 16 ratings
???????? 27 ratings, 3.6/5, 7 reviews
Virtual Nurse provides you with information about medications, first aid, and illnesses.

“It must have an issue with my accent because I asked for help with CPR 10 times and got “the application didn’t know what to do” response everytime, even when I asked the virtual nurse in the exact same wording as advertised.”

“Echo devices via Alexa could be used for vital lifesaving instruction. “Alexa how do I perform  CPR?” Sorry I don’t know that one “ !!! But she can make a fart and whistles and laughs at random, so that’s a fair pay-off I guess !!!”

Withings Health Mate by Withings

???????? 36 ratings, 4/5, 8 ratings
???????? 61 ratings, 4.1/5, 12 reviews
Up your motivation or simply check in with progress you’ve made. Just ask Alexa about your weight trends, how you slept last night, or ask for stats about your activity.

I have tried a number of times to link Alexa to my Nokia Health Mate acct. it says it is linked, but when I ask Alexa something she says it is not linked. WTH?”

“Unlike the other reviwes I had no problem getting this skill working and making Alexa a little more useful in my life. Take your time and agree to all of the permissions it seeks.”

Zyrtec – Your Daily AllergyCast by Johnson & Johnson

???????? 4 out of 5, 351 ratings, 47 reviews

This real-feel forecast contains weather, pollen count and predominant allergens for your area. Most importantly, it contains your Allergy Impact score, letting you know how that day’s allergens may make you feel! Track how you feel over time and learn what’s making you sneeze.

“The report includes two numeric values. I don’t have any idea what either of them mean.”

“Works for me and is much easier than getting the pollen forecast via email.”

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