Amazon Alexa Improvement; Now Handles Patient Health Information


By: Maryam Malik, Journalist

As you may know, Alexa is a virtual assistant that has been incorporated in an increasing number of households these past few years. Amazon, one of the largest e-commerce companies of this day and age, produced this voice assistant. In fact, it sold 55% of all the voice assistants on the market during January 2019. It has the ability to perform commands such as play music, order food, hear sports updates, message, call, etc. The latest development on this product allows it to access health data from 6 different companies.

This image depicts voice assistant sales in 2019. As you can see, Amazon has the upper hand compared to Apple and Google during this time frame.
“Amazon Echo & Alexa Stats.” Voicebot, 16 Mar. 2017,

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) states that health data can only be distributed between patients and healthcare workers. Medical diagnosis and other personal records will not be made available to third-party companies. Amazon claims to have found a way to make medical information easily accessible via Alexa while following the HIPAA.

Amazon asked six health companies to create voice programs using their various systems. This will help patients monitor information using their voice, permitting them to schedule appointments and check prescription delivery in the comfort of their own vicinity. This is one of the biggest moves on Amazon’s part. They anticipate that the number of companies using their software will grow.

When an engineer decides to release a new product that seems out of the ordinary for their products, there is a risk/reward system along with skepticism that plays out. Consumers may like the product immensely and continue to purchase more. On the contrary, buyers could view the product and be skeptical about it, leading them to not obtaining it. In other words, Amazon took a shot at the blue when releasing this item.

An executive function used in the creation of this product is organization. This was used to fabricate Alexa and other Amazon voice products because these voice assistant products meant new materials to keep track of, and more information. Patient information will be kept, and new software will be developed. Another executive function utilized in the construction of this item is flexibility. As being a new development, Alexa may have required a ton of trial and error. Amazon’s team may have spent lots of time trying to fix bugs and verifying that the voice works every single time. They might have had to switch from making the best speaker they could to programming Alexa’s commands. Engineers use flexibility to test their products to their full potential while accepting that something could go wrong, causing them to focus on another part of their products.

The Amazon Alexa alongside the Echo Dot.
Assistant, BestAI. “Amazon Echo Series.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 6 Mar. 2018, 


Chen, Angela. “Amazon’s Alexa Now Handles Patient Health Information.” The Verge, The Verge, 4 Apr. 2019,

Catalog, Stock. “Alexa.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 22 July 2018,

Amerling, Leila. “Amazon’s Alexa Now Handles Patient Health Information.” Voice.Health, Voice.Health, 4 Apr. 2019,