Amazon’s Alexa digital voice assistant currently converses with more than 384 million people worldwide, according to the Alexa device sitting on my desk when I asked just now. We’ve written about diverse Alexa implementations in health and wellness, from explaining medication to monitoring a baby’s breathing. Alexa’s role as a medical information source appears to be growing rapidly. In 2018 we wrote about Alexa assisting ambulance attendants in New England by reciting the often complicated and difficult protocols for specific medical incidents. In mid-2019 we reported the U.K. National Health Service’s (NHS) collaboration with Amazon in which Alexa would answer questions from NHS patients using Amazon’s voice-driven algorithm.

Atlanta-based Sharecare is a digital healthcare company that helps people manage their health through virtual platforms. Last month, the company announced that it is integrating its library of more than 80,000 health and wellness questions and answers into Alexa’s knowledge base. Sharecare collaborates with the Boston University School of Public Health and other groups including healthcare providers, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. Sharecare’s medically-vetted questions and answers cover all medical and health topics with the goal of empowering people to understand various aspects of their health.

You can check out the Alexa/Sharecare collaboration yourself by speaking to the Alexa device near you. I just asked my desktop device, “Alexa, when is the peak of flu season?” Her reply began with, “According to Sharecare….”