Healthtap’s Doctor A.I. app is now an Alexa skill. Users can give Alexa their symptoms and the Doctor A.I. app will tell them the necessary actions to take or if they should go see their doctor. Doctor A.I. was already supported by iOS and Android devices, but this its first foray into voice-only assistance.
The Healthtap staff used the Alexa skill kit to build the skill but the back end development is where the real magic happens. With Healthtap’s artificial intelligence technology, Doctor A.I. uses the patient’s personal information and data from all the company’s medical records to translate a user’s symptoms into an accurate diagnosis. This ability could be a key differentiator for Healthtap’s Alexa skill. A 20-year old and an 80-year old could have the same symptoms, but what those symptoms indicate could be very different due to their stage in life. Using both context and clinical data increases the likelihood that the first answer is the right answer. This is crucial for voice-only applications, as there is no audio scanning of search results available today.
Healthcare voice apps may have their own challenges but they do provide unique opportunities to improve quality of care, especially for the growing elderly population. Doctors and other healthcare professionals see voice as a way to communicate effectively without a screen or keyboard. “Voice is cool, but more importantly, it fills a real need of people who have difficulty using their hands or whose eyesight is not that great” said Ron Gutman, founder and chief executive of Palo Alto, a California-based digital health company.