Teladoc teams up with Amazon on Alexa-Echo enabled devices
Voice-activated virtual care provides customers with ability to experience a whole new level of medical support.
Teladoc Health recently announced that it was partnering with Amazon to launch voice-activated virtual care on Alexa-supported Echo devices. The voice-activated general medical virtual care will be supported on devices like Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. U.S. customers will have the capability to connect with a Teladoc care provider 24/7 and, according to the release, video visits for Teladoc on Alexa will launch soon.
As part of the new offering, customers can say "Alexa, I want to talk to a doctor," to their supported Echo device to get connected with a Teladoc call center. Users will then get a call back on their Echo devices from a Teladoc doctor for virtual visits related to non-emergency health needs, including symptoms of a cold, flu, allergies or COVID-19.
Debra Chrapaty, vice president and chief operating officer for Amazon Alexa was quoted in the release saying that “We’re excited to work with Teladoc Health to offer our customers an easy, hands-free way to connect with a doctor. To get started, customers can say, “Alexa, I want to talk to a doctor,” to their supported Echo device to get connected with the Teladoc call center. Customers will then get a call back on their Echo devices from a Teladoc doctor for virtual visits related to non-emergency health needs, such as experiencing symptoms of a cold, flu, or allergies. The cost per visit can be as low as $0 per visit with insurance or $75 without insurance.”
"We’re excited to work with Teladoc Health to offer our customers an easy, hands-free way to connect with a doctor," said Debra Chrapaty, vice president and chief operating officer at Amazon Alexa. "Whether they’re taking care of their sick child in the middle of the night or wanting to ask a doctor about allergy symptoms in between meetings during the day, we hope this experience will help customers find the convenient help they want from the comfort of their own home," Chrapaty continued.
Teladoc representatives explained that customers will need to have created an Alexa voice ID and grant skill permission before connecting with the call center. Although Teladoc on Alexa will initially launch via audio, the companies say video visits will be coming soon.
Amazon has built several Alexa-powered health tools, largely aimed until now at supporting older adults. For instance, in December 2021 it announced Alexa Together, which allows caregivers to remotely monitor and assist family members in their homes. That feature was built using the company's Care Hub, which it rolled out the year prior. In addition, in October 2021, Amazon said it would launch Alexa at senior living facilities and health systems to allow providers to communicate with patients remotely.
Donna Boyer, chief product officer at Teladoc Health, said in a statement. "We are meeting consumers where they are, to continue to deliver value and high-quality care to members," Boyer said.
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