Amazon has announced that its voice-operated Alexa service is now compliant with US rules regarding healthcare data privacy.

The tech giant revealed on 4 April that the voice-assistant now complies with regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States.

As part of the news, Amazon also announced number of partnerships which include enabling patients to reorder prescriptions, get updates from hospitals and query blood sugar readings.

The partnerships are:

  • Express Scripts: Members can check the status of a home delivery prescription and can request Alexa notifications when their prescription orders are shipped.
  • Cigna Health Today: Eligible employees with one of Cigna’s large national accounts can now manage their health improvement goals and increase opportunities for earning personalized wellness incentives.
  • My Children’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) : Parents and caregivers of children in the ERAS program at Boston Children’s Hospital can provide their care teams updates on recovery progress and receive information regarding their post-op appointments.
  • Swedish Health Connect: Customers can find an urgent care centre near them and schedule a same-day appointment.
  • Atrium Health: Customers in North and South Carolina can find an urgent care location near them and schedule a same-day appointment.
  • Livongo: Members can query their last blood sugar reading, blood sugar measurement trends, and receive insights and Health Nudges that are personalized to them.

In a blog post, Rachel Jiang, head of Alexa Health and Wellness at Amazon Alexa, said: “Developers of the new healthcare skills are excited to enable their customers to access their healthcare services in the comfort of their own homes simply by asking Alexa.

“These skills are just the first step in making it easier for customers to manage their healthcare needs using just their voice – we’re excited to see what developers build next.”

This latest move by Amazon marks a big step for the tech company as it looks towards entering the healthcare market.

It also follows reports in June 2018 that Amazon had bought US automated pharmacy company PillPack in a deal reportedly worth around £760 million ($1 billion).