David VanderWaal, vice president of marketing for LG Electronics USA, left, and Michael George, vice president of Alexa, Echo, and Appstore at Amazon.com Inc., speak about the Amazon Alexa partnership with the LG InstaView Door-In-Door smart refrigerator during the company's press conference at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Kate Samuelson
March 7, 2017

Instead of turning to Google with a health-related question, Amazon has made it so Alexa can scour WebMD to answer users’ medical queries.

Starting today, users can question their Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Fire TV, about health-related topics, according to a press release. Users can ask about everything from the definition of various conditions (“Alexa, ask WebMD to tell me about type 2 diabetes”), to the side effect of certain substances (“Alexa, ask WebMD what are the side effects of steroids”) and treatment recommendations (“Alexa, ask WebMD how to treat a sore throat”).

With the help of WebMD, Alex devices will respond with physician-reviewed, medically appropriate answers in plain, accessible language, the press release states. In addition to providing answers via voice, WebMD will also give users the opportunity to request additional information be sent in text form to their Alexa app.

“We’re excited that WebMD is bringing its skill to Alexa,” Rob Pulciani, director of Amazon Alexa, said in a statement. “With the WebMD skill, customers can get answers to health questions simply by asking Alexa. It highlights the convenience of a more natural spoken language experience.”

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