Amazon’s Alexa can now walk users through CPR

[[{"fid":"22366","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":209,"width":270,"style":"float: right; margin-left: 13px; margin-right: 13px;","alt":"Amazon Echo - Amazon Echo","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Amazon’s voice-activated Echo device can now give instructions to users on how to perform CPR, handle a heart attack and detect stroke signs, features that could help save lives.

“Any system that can reliably reduce delays in medical care for cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke has the potential to improve health outcomes,” said Robert Neumar, MD, PhD, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, in a statement.

To request that Alexa, the voice persona of Echo, give CPR instructions, users first ask “Alexa, ask American Heart” to ensure the information comes from the American Heart Association, according to a statement from the organization.

From there, users can ask how to perform CPR and what the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke are.

“We need to create a culture where everybody is expected to be able to perform CPR who has the physical capability,” Neumar said. “It’s not feasible to have everybody do a CPR course.”

In the future, Alexa could pave the way for voice-activated services being part of the 911 system, said Shawn DuBravac, PhD, the chief economist at the Consumer Technology Association.

“When you can order a pizza, one would think certainly that you could request first responders,” he said.