Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant apart from making our lives easy has now joined the vaccine conversation. The voice assistant is now able to answer questions about COVID-19 immunization sites and eligibility. The Amazon Alexa enabled devices will now be able to answer their users where they can find a COVID vaccine near them and can now direct the users to COVID-19 vaccination sites where they can check for vaccine availability or schedule an appointment.
The “Where can I get a COVID vaccine?” ability for Alexa is firstly rolled out for the users in the US. For users outside of the US, Alexa can be used to learn more about vaccine availability and eligibility and find a nearby testing location. In addition to this, Alexa, which is built into Amazon’s suite of Echo smart home devices, can also answer questions about vaccine availability and eligibility in over 85 countries and can help users find a nearby COVID testing site.
Why this feature?
With the rising number of COVID cases, Amazon found it important to add this feature in its voice assistant tool, Alexa. This feature comes as a sign of relief for people who are struggling to spot the nearest COVID-19 vaccination centre. Apart from this, once the user after finding the information regarding the vaccination centre, Alexa will help them also call the vaccination site in order for the user to get the details related to the availability of the appointment.
As more and more people are searching for COVID vaccines, the tech companies are also aiming to assist people in order to help people facilitate appointment bookings and information.
Amazon since the last few years is also trying to get into the healthcare space. In November 2019, the company announced a feature that allowed its users to link up their pharmacy prescription information with Amazon Alexa and get reminders about when to take their pills and order refills. Later in 2020, the company also rolled out features that helped US users keep a check on aging family members from afar.
Other tech companies also making efforts:
Amazon isn’t the only tech corporation who is trying to help get more information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. Facebook too in its bid to help people get more aware about the vaccine centres, added new features to its COVID Information Centre. The social media giant is also offering a tool that shows users when and where they can get vaccinated, plus a link to make an appointment.
Apart from Amazon and Facebook, other tech giants like Google and Apple are also working towards creating COVID-19 vaccination tools that can help users find information about where they can get vaccinated and about the opening times.