Some senior living residents and other users of Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant are now able to review prescriptions and set medication reminders by using their pharmacy prescription information, as well as request prescription refills by voice command, using a new feature announced last week.
In a blog post on the company’s website, Rachel Jiang said the new capability was developed in response to a trend Amazon noticed after introducing Alexa five years ago. “Many customers were using Alexa to remind them to take medications on a regular basis,” she said.
The new feature, launched in partnership with Omnicell, became available Nov. 26 to customers of the pharmacies inside the 229 grocery stores operated in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia by Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle. The blog post contains instructions on how older adults can use the “skill.”
More pharmacy providers will be added to the program in 2020, Jiang said.
“We’ll learn a lot from this initial launch, and we’ll continue to evolve the experience and expect to expand to additional pharmacies next year,” she wrote.
In April, Amazon announced HIPAA-compliant skills for Alexa, with senior living parent companies in the mix, to enable users to issue voice commands to Alexa to complete tasks such as checking the status of home delivery of a prescription, scheduling medical appointments, looking up their blood glucose readings and blood glucose measurement trends, and managing health improvement goals.