healthcare tech

Merck Uses Amazon Echo to Develop Voice-Enabled Solutions for Diabetic Patients


echoHealthcare devices have been making big strides over the last few years. And the announcement below from Merck is no exception. Merck plans on using Amazon Web Services to develop voice-enabled solutions for patients. They will be starting with Type 2 Diabetes and then venturing out to other chronic diseases. It’s good to see that Pharma is stepping outside the box to help patients use technology in a smart and intuitive way. The press release below goes into the current details of the project.

“Analysts estimate Amazon will sell more than 110 million Amazon Echo devices over the next four years, and many are already pointing to healthcare as an important item on Alexa’s eventual to-do list.”

It looks like people will soon go far beyond turning on lights or calling an Uber. As we venture deeper into healthcare, helping people better manage their diseases will create effective outcomes. Reminding people of their nutrition intake, or scheduling their insulin dosages, are all great ideas. The Merck-sponsored Alexa challenge will call on developers to push the boundaries of voice technology for people with diabetes.


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Merck Press release:

Merck is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to explore the creation and delivery of innovative digital consumer solutions for people living with chronic disease by using Amazon Lex, the same deep learning technologies that power Amazon Alexa. Merck will initially focus on diabetes, a chronic, progressive disease that currently affects 415 million people around the world.

“We have a deep heritage of tackling chronic diseases through our medicines, and we have been expanding into other ways to help, beyond the pill.” said Kimberly Park, vice president, Customer Strategy & Innovation, Global Human Health, Merck. “We are excited to leverage the AWS Cloud to find innovative ways to leverage digital solutions, such as voice-activated technology, to help support better outcomes that could make a difference in the lives of those suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes.”

“We are pleased to work with Merck to explore how Merck can use the AWS Cloud to help create new solutions within health care that can connect people with information to help improve management of their own health” said Steve Halliwell, director of health care and life sciences, AWS.

This collaboration will leverage the expertise of both organizations — Merck’s expertise in epidemiology, drug development, observational research, medication adherence and patient education programs, and Amazon’s expertise in web services, connected devices and voice interfaces.

In addition, Merck is sponsoring an open innovation challenge that calls on developers to create a skill for Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that powers the Amazon Echo, to help support people living with diabetes. The Merck sponsored challenge will be independently developed and run by Luminary Labs and members of the challenge team from Luminary Labs will be at the 2017 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition.


 

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