Jeff Bezos made headlines in January when his company announced that it would be partnering with JP Morgan and Warren Buffet to reduce the cost of healthcare services here in America. Apparently the first step towards this goal is teaching Alexa how to play doctor. According to internal documents obtained by CNBC, Amazon is reportedly putting together a "health and wellness" team within the Alexa division.
The team will be led by 5-year Amazon veteran, Rachel Jiang, and will be tasked with improving Alexa's performance in health-care related fields, such as diabetes management or tips for new parents. This is no small task as the program will have to be HIPAA compliant. That's the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which has a number of data privacy requirements.
Should the team successfully navigate HIPAA's regulatory waters, the service will likely revolutionize how people interact with their doctors. Rather than trawling through WebMD to figure out what ails them, Alexa users will potentially be able to upload sensitive medical documents directly to their primary care physicians. This is similar to the agreement that Fitbit and Google Health recently announced, which would enable the fitness trackers to transmit data directly to doctors.