Amazon Alexa is missing one big thing before it gets into health care




Source: Amazon
Diagram showing Amazon "Alexa" technology on an Echo device

Amazon’s voice technology Alexa has a lot of opportunity to be used in health care, whether it’s for remote monitoring of sick patients or in helping doctors take notes during patient visits.

But there’s one big problem.

Alexa is not yet HIPAA-compliant, meaning it doesn’t meet the federal rules that protect patient privacy when it comes to their personal health data.

Not all health app developers will be subject to HIPAA, but the law requires that “covered entities,” such as doctors and health plans, as well as their business associates, are compliant.

That means that health developers can build Amazon Alexa skills around things like recommending nutritious food, but not to record patients’ lab results or other types of health information in a clinical setting.




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