Health IT, Hospitals

Mayo Clinic delivers first aid advice through Amazon Alexa

As part of the Mayo Clinic First Aid program, users of Alexa-enabled devices can ask for first aid information, such as advice on how to treat a cut.

Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic has equipped Amazon’s Alexa digital voice assistant with first aid information, according to the Star Tribune.

Through the free Mayo Clinic First Aid program, users can ask Alexa for everything from how to treat a cut to information on spider bites.

People can also request advice on how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The Alexa voice will instruct individuals to administer CPR for one minute and call 911 if the victim is unresponsive.

Despite this available advice, Mayo Clinic First Aid includes a disclaimer that it should not be used in emergency or life-threatening situations.

The program is available on Amazon devices like the Echo and the Echo Dot.

“We provide health information in a print newsletter, digital newsletter, desktop web, mobile web, Mayo Clinic app,” Jay Maxwell, a senior director in health information with the Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions, told the Star Tribune. “We view this voice interface, specifically the Amazon Alexa application, as basically a new channel to provide that information.”

Mayo Clinic Business Solutions developed the program using Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit.

Mayo Clinic isn’t the first organization to jump on the voice assistant bandwagon.

Back in March, WebMD announced that users of Alexa-enabled devices can access its archives of health-related information. After setting up the WebMD program, they can ask questions about type 2 diabetes, treating a sore throat, the best foods to eat after a workout and more.

And last year, Orbita released Voice Experience Designer, a tool for providers to customize voice assistants. It was originally unveiled for Alexa-powered products.

Photo: monique28, Getty Images