Digital voice assistants already help with timely information in a variety of healthcare environments. Amazon’s Alexa helps ambulance attendants follow protocols in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Alexa assists GoodRx members looking for the best price for prescription drugs. Sweden’s KRY healthcare network has an Alexa skill that helps members describe their symptoms, upload photos if necessary, and make appointments with network physicians for video consultations.

In the U.K, the National Health Service (NHS) recently announced a collaboration with Amazon. The partnership uses NHS health information with Amazon’s voice-driven algorithms to answer questions from NHS patients. The Alexa Skill will answer questions such as “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?,” “Alexa, what are the symptoms of the flu?,” and “Alexa, what are the symptoms of chickenpox?” The NHS has engaged in the program to alleviate demand on the healthcare system’s resources and physicians by answering questions about common illnesses with the voice assistant. As voice searching is becoming more widespread, Amazon and the NHS expect half of all health information searches in the U.K. will be voice-assisted.

The U.K. voice assistant program is part of the NHS Long Term Plan to provide more services digitally when appropriate.