Senior Health Monitoring Alexa Skill Adds Coronavirus Quiz
Voice app developer WellSaid.ai has added a COVID-19 screening questionnaire to its My Day for Seniors Alexa skill. The new feature tracks potential infection by the novel coronavirus on a daily basis while keeping the user whoever they wish updated regularly on their health with regard to the virus.
Voice Health Check
The COVID-19 pandemic is dangerous for everyone, but senior citizens may be at particular risk due to existing health issues, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The questionnaire within the Alexa skill runs the user through symptoms they may have as a way of ideally spotting the onset of infection early and improving the chances that treatment will work. After the daily quiz, My Day sends an update to family, caregivers, and anyone else who the senior has previously designated. Regular updates not only help identify infection but can reassure loved ones, especially at a time when traveling and in-person contact is curtailed for the sake of public health.
The coronavirus aspect of My Day is new, but it’s essentially a specialized element of the voice app as a whole. The Alexa skill is designed to improve the quality of life of older people while connecting them to their family and friends, sending regular updates on the user’s health and safety to those chosen by the user. The company says more than 11,000 people have used My Day, with the coronavirus questions and monitoring included as more and more people went into quarantine.
“Now more than ever, advanced technology has the opportunity to provide support and engagement for people who would have been hard to reach even five years ago,” said WellSaid.ai founder Randall Williams. “My Day for Seniors is just one way we can help flatten the curve while providing support to seniors and peace of mind to loved ones.”
Augmenting the existing skill is the only way WellSaid.ai could have included the COVID-19 questions. Alexa and Google Assistant both removed every non-governmental voice app related to the coronavirus from their catalogs to combat misinformation and rumors about the virus. The My Day Alexa skill isn’t the only way to use the voice assistant to asses potential infection, though. While coronavirus skills are not an option in the Alexa Skill Store, Amazon did add a COVID-19 set of questions directly to Alexa, including recommendations on what to do if you may have the disease. That said, the My Day skill takes things a step beyond with its updates to the people who the user wants to have that information.
The integrated Alexa quiz, along with the 20-second handwashing song the voice assistant sings upon request, are part of a widespread movement to get people to keep tabs on their health while staying home using voice AI. Apple includes some of the same features in Siri, while Google Assistant offers its own pandemic tips. Chatbots fulfilling the same purpose are also mushrooming, from government WhatsApp bots in India and the UK to ones built by healthcare providers off of templates by Orbita or Hyro’s free coronavirus-focused version of its virtual assistant.