There is seemingly no end to applications for digital voice assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. We’ve written several times about Alexa Skills developed for health and medical applications. Ambulance and EMS personnel associated with Weymouth, Massachusett-based Brewster Ambulance Service rely on Alexa to assist by reciting appropriate protocol steps when asked. In the U.K,, the National Health Service (NHS) and Amazon collaborate in a partnership that uses NHS health information with Amazon’s voice-driven algorithms to answer questions from NHS patients.

“Alexa, what’s the difference between Tylenol and Advil?” South San Francisco’s First Databank (FDB) recently announced an initiative that lets consumers query Alexa for answers to their questions about clinical drugs. For four decades, healthcare professionals have accessed FDB’s drug and medical device databases for actionable information to support patient safety and healthcare outcomes. With the new medication-related Alexa Skill, consumers will be able to ask questions about drug interactions, side effects, precautions, and more.

Note that there’s nothing to install; Alexa already knows this information. Consumers who use the Alexa skill will have access to a subset of FDB’s drug information in both English and Spanish. FDB plans to update the consumer-facing database regularly. The partners believe that informed consumers who use the voice-activated technology will have better medication adherence, fewer adverse events, and better outcomes as a result.