Amazon’s Alexa is Now HIPAA Compliant
Alexa is moving into health care. After a trial of Amazon speakers at patients’ rooms in Cedars-Sinai Hospitals in Los Angeles, the company this morning announced a program enabling select programmers to create and launch HIPAA-compliant health care skills that can be incorporated in Alexa. New Alex add-on abilities allow customers to ask Alexa assistant for help with matters like booking an appointment, obtaining hospital post-discharge instructions, checking on the status of more and prescription delivery.
Amazon stated the program will only allow only picked entities and business associates subject to HIPAA (the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) to make these abilities for Alexa. It itself provides the environment for skill building, while the programmers are required to comply with the laws. Voice program developers who follow HIPAA guidelines now will be able to create abilities for Alexa, this is a substantial step for Amazon.
Referring to CNBC reports dated last year May, Amazon was building a healthcare team to make the voice helper useful in the health care industry. This included working through the HIPAA regulations which would be asked to achieve that.
Additionally, Amazon itself is entering healthcare alongside JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, which were teamed up to take on rising healthcare costs for workers. Amazon year that was last obtained online pharmacy PillPack for less than $1 billion. Along with its own capabilities that are HIPAA-compliant are enlarging. Amazon also introduced a new machine learning tool – Amazon Comprehend Medical that aggregates information using doctors’ notes & One’s health records.
Now, Amazon Alexa is supplying its “HIPAA eligible environment” to voice app developers on an invite-only foundation in the U.S. but says it hopes to enable more developers to access this capacity later on.
Developers will be able to use the Alexa Skills Kit, which supports abilities that are able to transmit and receive protected health information.
This expansion of Amazon’s Alexa to health care is very likely to raise questions. While it’s one thing to allow Alexa to play some music or to turn on your lights, whereas enabling access for Voice assistants to one’s medical records is a giant leap. Consumers will need to know how Amazon is securing their data before they feel comfortable using Alexa’s healthcare abilities.
As per Techcrunch, Amazon told them it uses several layers of safety to all skill data, such as encryption, access controls and safely storing information in the Amazon cloud. HIPAA,on the other hand, has its own set of safety measures in place that includes identifying protected health information (PHI) and controlling and auditing access to PHI.
Amazon now is launching six skills that demonstrate the potential of all healthcare-related skills. These come from payors healthcare providers, pharmacy benefit managers, and health coaching businesses.
One such skill from Cigna, for example, allows qualified employees to manage their health improvement goals and earn wellness incentives; another from Livongo allows members inquire Alexa for their final blood glucose reading; parents and caregivers may give their care teams updates at Boston Hospital’s ERAS (Improved Recovery After Surgery) program.
The health care skill publishers are enthusiastic about the ability to achieve their customers through voice technology.
Amazon launched a site for its new health care abilities, which supplies a sign-up form for those who want to get”updates”. The form also includes a location to describe cases are used by the health care ability you have in mind — significance Amazon is currently using this to vet the next round of programmers to invite into the app.