Got questions about coronavirus? Amazon's Alexa has answers, from the CDC

Alexa TV Hero
Alexa TV Hero (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Alexa can now help you decide what to do if you think you've contracted coronavirus.
  • The digital assistant can respond to a limited number of queries and ask screening questions in other to give best advice.
  • The assistant will also help sing for 20 seconds in regions like the UK and Canada to optimize handwashing.

Amazon's Alexa will now help you answer your coronavirus (COVID-19) queries from the comfort of your living room. For American users, it will deliver into guidance from the CDC when educating you.

It is crucial to note that like the CDC's own self-checker bot released this week, it cannot diagnose you — only a hospital can. Rather, it can offer you advice based o your symptoms, allowing you to decide what steps to take next.

Here's what Alexa can do for users worldwide, as per Amazon:

  • Using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, our Alexa health team built a U.S. experience that lets you use Alexa to check your risk level for COVID-19 at home, using just your voice. Ask, "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?" or "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?," and Alexa will ask a series of questions about your travel history, symptoms, and possible exposure. Based on your responses, Alexa will provide CDC guidance given your risk level and symptoms.
  • In Japan, you can also use Alexa to check your risk level at home. Based on your responses, Alexa will provide Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare guidance matching your risk level and symptoms.
  • Customers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, the UK, and the U.S. can now ask Alexa to sing a song for 20 seconds, and she'll help you keep time while you scrub your hands with a tune.

Amazon isn't the only tech company using its reach to educate users. Google this week added coronavirus travel advisories to travel-related search results, and WhatsApp has partnered with the WHO and local governments to inform people around the world about infection counts and expected symptoms.

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