Alexa is useful for a great many things, from starting up a music playlist to talking you through a morning workout, so it should come as no surprise that Amazon’s virtual assistant just became a doctor, too. A new Alexa app built by personal wellness startup HealthTap lets you actually simulate a doctor visit right from your couch, using the combined knowledge of the company’s 100,000 doctor network.
HealthTap’s Dr. A.I. — which is already available as an app for both iOS and Android — is kind of like a virtual WebMD, allowing you to describe your symptoms and respond to questions from a digital doctor with your own voice. The app provides feedback including tips on how to mitigate symptoms, but stops short of definitively diagnosing any actual ailments for obvious legal reasons. However, if HealthTap’s computerized physician thinks the situation is serious enough, it can connect the user to an actual doctor for a live consultation, or even schedule an appointment with a patient’s primary care doctor or specialist.
Once the skill has been installed on Alexa, simply saying “Alexa, launch Dr. A.I.” will prompt the virtual doc to spring to life and begin gathering information. The app also logs information about your medications as well as your height, weight, age, and other vital stats to help customize its advice to each individual’s specific needs. It’s a slick little bit of Alexa functionality, but it obviously won’t replace your regular doctor visits, at least not yet.