19 ways Alexa brings the doctor to you

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Want to ask medical questions whenever you think of them? Alexa can oblige. 

There are lots of Alexa Skills that can provide health tips and other information. Some skills now even record health concerns, provide first aid advice and find wait times at your local emergency room, all of which is potentially more beneficial for your health than just statistics. While none of these skills should be relied upon for a diagnosis any more than you rely on Google, they can still be a good place to start before seeing a qualified medical professional.

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Alexa can interview you about your symptoms

Dr. A.I. by HealthTap listens to your symptoms and suggests possible conditions. The skill learns more about you as you use it, making its suggestions more personalized over time. Symptom Checker has similar functions and also leads you through a series of questions to clarify your condition.

Mayo Clinic First Aid is a helpful, respected source of medical advice. British users can utilize a virtual nurse that answers questions and can pull information from the National Health Service. Finally, First Aid Advice provides similar information, although this skill claims to know just 35 common ailments.

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Alexa takes notes on your health stats

Some Alexa Skills can monitor and track chronic health conditions, collecting data to help manage a medical condition and even share it with doctors.

Pharmaceutical company Merck ran a competition, the Alexa Diabetes Challenge, looking for an Alexa Skill to manage diabetes. Sugarpod, a voice app that’s still in the prototype phase, snapped up the $125,000 grand prize. The app will help those with Type 2 diabetes add self-care routines to their day.

Diabetes tracking skills that are currently live include One Drop, Sugarmate and Insulin Calculator. To track other chronic conditions, myNurseBot records symptoms, medications, doctor’s appointments and more. The skill then emails you a summary to take to the doctor with you.

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Before you pop that pill

The WebMD skill is helpful when it works — unfortunately, many users report that it has trouble recognizing drug names when they’re spoken aloud. Drug Facts pulls up information from both the Food and Drug Administration and the National Library of Medicine, but you must know your 10-digit National Drug Code number to get your questions answered.

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Your doctor and hospital connect to Alexa

Various local Alexa Skills are launching for urgent care clinics. OhioHealth delivers phone numbers, wait times and hours of operation for facilities that operate under the OhioHealth umbrella. Average ER is a great way to see the average wait times at emergency rooms near you.

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Babies and kids

KidsMD by Boston Children’s Hospital is a bit too chatty for children’s health — but it’s still useful for answering questions. The skill also provides dosing recommendations for children’s over-the-counter medicines. Baby Shot is effective for looking up childhood immunization recommendations based on the U.S. vaccination schedules, as well as for telling you what medicine is best for your child according to their age.

Need help in the middle of the night? Or honestly, need help any time at all? Hatch Baby provides doctor-recommended advice while also keeping track of a baby’s sleep schedule. The app even tracks dirty diapers. The Baby Stats Alexa Skill is even more expansive and can track due dates, kicking, bottles drunk and diaper activity for multiple babies.

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Future professional medical Alexa skills

Digital tools are shifting some of our health care needs out of the doctor’s office and into our homes. From smartwatch devices that take an EKG to gadgets that may eventually track sugar levels in diabetics, more control of our health is working its way into our hands.

We expect that Alexa Skills that deliver information and healthcare support will help grow this trend. Perhaps eventually, our own doctors will be just an Alexa Skill away.

You can find all of these Amazon health skills by visiting Amazon.

You can also check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker, to see the other compatible products that work with Amazon Alexa.

This article originally appeared on GearBrain and was syndicated by Mediafeed.org.

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