We’ve known for a while that Amazon has a dedicated team working on applications that relate to the human body and medical care. Now it looks like some of its efforts are coming to fruition as medical device manufacturer Omron Healthcare confirms a new Alexa skill that will allow patients who monitor their blood pressure at home using the company’s blood pressure monitoring devices to manage their condition using voice commands.
In addition to giving users their blood pressure statistics in real time, the new skill will also enable the use of the digital assistant for reminders, average daily blood pressure readings, and flags for blood pressure readings that are higher than usual. Patents can also have Alexa remind them to take their blood pressure in the event that they forget frequently.
The skill pairs an Alexa-enabled device such as an Echo or Echo Dot with Omron’s blood pressure monitors via the company’s mobile app. Omron CEO Ranndy Kellogg said the company’s team worked with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa teams to build and test the new skill Omron used the Alexa Skills Kitch, which is designed to provide tools and documentation for third-party developers.
The new partnership with Omron Healthcare is just one of the dozens of initiatives designed to make Alexa an important tool regarding the future of health care. Last year, Amazon worked with pharmaceutical giant Merck to offer a prize to developers building Alexa skills to help people with diabetes. This year, the company also worked with a company called Arcadia group to offer an exclusive lineup of home health products, branded as Choice, that includes blood pressure and blood glucose monitors. However, the Omron skill is believed to be the first Alexa skill that works directly in conjunction with a blood pressure monitor.
Omron Healthcare is a $7 billion health technology manufacturer and distributor with global headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. Kellogg took the reigns of operations in the U.S. and Canada in 2016 with a vision of transforming the company into a digital technology company with an emphasis on eliminating heart illnesses. In redeveloping the company’s mission, Kellogg has said that he wants to build a company that creates a world with zero heart attacks and strokes.