A “skill” is what enables Amazon’s Alexa digital personal assistant to do things like stream music, read the news, search the internet, call you an Uber, and more. There are over 10,000 skills available for the assistant and now the latest one enables Alexa to dish out medical advice. This is made possible by the Alexa WebMD skill. As many of you might be aware by now, WebMD is one of the most popular online resources for medical advice.
The Alexa WebMD skill enables the assistant to answer basic health queries so it can give treatment options for common ailments like a sore throat or provide an explanation about certain diseases and drugs.
WebMD is quick to point out that much like its website, the Alexa WebMD skill isn’t meant to replace a real doctor. It just provides supplementary information and also points out that the skill is a work-in-progress.
This skill is certainly going to come in handy in situations when you quickly want to find out something hands-free. For example, a mother can find out if diarrhea is a side effect of amoxicillin if her baby’s got a rash and is on amoxicillin, “and there’s poop all over the place and it’s scary,” explains Ben Greenberg, the vice president of mobile products at WebMD.
The WebMD skill for Alexa is live now and can be configured for use on all devices that feature Amazon’s assistant.