Technology has taken another step in helping us with our healthcare. We can now ask the digital device Alexa for advice if we are worried about our health. Alexa is a virtual assistant created by the website Amazon.com. It is capable of listening to people and answering their questions. As well as voice interaction capabilities, Alexa can make to-do lists, play music upon voice request, and give us the latest news. Now Alexa can answer our health queries. Amazon has linked up with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK to add a health advice capability to the software. Alexa will be able to search the NHS website for information and find an answer that is agreed on by many health experts.
Alexa's new health advice capability has been met with a mixed response. The UK Health Secretary said: "Technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking doctors and pharmacists." He added: "We want to empower every patient to take better control of their healthcare." Other people say we need to be careful about trusting the advice of a piece of software. They say we must go to a human doctor if we have serious health problems. Other people are concerned about privacy. The group Big Brother Watch is worried about hacking. It said: "It's a data protection disaster waiting to happen."