A new set of care features are now available to Amazon Alexa customers in the US.

The Care Hub has been designed to help older people maintain independence and provide assurance to family members.

It is an added option to the Alexa app where family members are able to keep an eye on older relatives, with their permission, and receive general information about their activities and to be alerted if the loved one has called out for help.

According to Amazon, customers need to first create a connection between the two Alexa accounts. The elderly family member will need an Echo or Alexa-enabled device but he family member providing support just needs the Alexa app on their phone.

The Care Hub will work once the loved one sends an invitation and the family member accepts.

The family member providing support can receive Care Hub alerts and the activity feed in the Alexa app. Family members can set up and receive alerts when their loved one has had their first activity of the day, or get notified if no activity is detected by a certain time, such as 12pm. When they’re checking in on the app, they can easily tap to call their loved one.

Another feature is the ability for the elderly relative to say “Alexa, call for help” and Alexa will call, text, and send a push notification to alert the family member.

Amazon has stressed that the hub has been created with “privacy in mind”

An Amazon news release said: “We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the activity feed, and taken measures to limit what the family member can actually see. For example, when checking the activity feed, the family member would be able to see their loved one was using Alexa for entertainment, but not the song or podcast they were listening to or what they said to Alexa.”