Ever have your hands full with a sick kid? Not exactly easy to reach for your phone or computer to look up medical advice in such situations. Boston Children’s Hospital teamed up with Amazon to create KidsMD to address this problem. KidsMD is an Alexa Skill on the Amazon Echo which can be activated by voice to give parents basic pediatric health advice, such as fever and medication dosing.
Chief Innovation Officer John Brownstein explains how KidsMD is part of a larger plan of the esteemed hospital’s plan to share their medical expertise more broadly with consumers. “We’re trying to extend the know-how of the hospital beyond the walls of the hospital, through digital, and this is one of a few steps we’ve made in that space. We’re very mission-based around that.”
The Amazon Echo has been a bestseller with families and become a central fixture in many homes. The voice activated device enables people to get breaking news, check the weather, play music, and ask basic questions, but healthcare options for parents prior to KidsMD were non-existent.
“In my family with my kids there’s been a lot of love for the Alexa tool. So it occurred to us, Alexa can give information about the weather, the news, play music, tell jokes, but in the context of healthcare there’s got to be an opportunity to engage with consumers in a quick way,” muses Brownstein.
If you’re an Echo owner, ask Alexa to “enable Kids MD”. You can also activate the Skill from inside the Alexa mobile app.