Technology is giving us more help with our healthcare. We can now ask the digital device Alexa for advice about our health. Alexa is a virtual assistant created by Amazon.com. It can listen to people and answer their questions. It can talk to people, make to-do lists, play music when asked to, and tell us the latest news. Now Alexa can answer our health questions. Amazon has teamed up with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK to add health advice to Alexa. Alexa will search the NHS website for information and find an answer that is agreed on by health experts.
Alexa's new health advice function has had a mixed response. The UK Health Secretary said it is, "a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading advice" from their home. He said it will reduce the pressure on hardworking doctors and pharmacists. He wants to let patients take more control of their healthcare. Other people say we must be careful about trusting software for health advice. They say we must see a doctor for serious health problems. Other people are worried about privacy and hacking. A privacy group said Alexa is, "a data protection disaster waiting to happen".