Amazon Alexa users in the US can now get basic COVID-19 diagnosis from the Amazon virtual assistant, the company has announced in a blog post. Users in the country can now engage Alexa to ask them about their symptoms, travel history, and possible exposure to the virus. Queries like “Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?” or “Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?” will prompt the voice assistant to ask the above mentioned questions. It will then offer basic advice on the guidelines of the CDC.
This update comes weeks after Amazon Alexa was given the functionality to list simple facts about coronavirus or COVID-19. In the blog post), Amazon has also listed out all its efforts to help support users amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In Japan, people can use Alexa to check their risk level at home. Based on the responses, Alexa will provide guidance matching your risk level and symptoms, on the basis of guidelines set by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.
Amazon Alexa users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, the UK, and the US can also ask Alexa to sing a song for 20 seconds, while they wash their hands, the blog post said. This feature, however, is more likely to motivate kids to wash hands properly.
Amazon’s announcement comes after similar moves from other tech giants. According to The Verge, Apple’s Siri voice assistant was also recentlly updated to offer diagnosis advice. Apart from that, CNET reported that Google has also added a hand washing timer, similar to the Amazon Alexa feature that plays music for 20-seconds.