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Amazon Alexa to answer health queries in NHS tech breakthrough


 The device already answers questions around weather and plays music upon voice command  But now it will be able to answer health questions by linking up with the NHS website to provide advice  The scheme is aiming to help the elderly, blind or people unable to work the internet properly  And it is hoped it will reduce the overwhelming pressure currently placed on the NHS  Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world- leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists    "Through the NHS Long Term Plan we want to embrace the advances in technology to build a health and care system fit for the future " Blind Amazon Alexa user, Adi Latif, hailed the device for him doing everyday tasks  He told The Sun: “Convenience is king and it’s brilliant to know I can ask Alexa about illnesses and receive credible, NHS-verified information  “It cuts out all the searching online, which can be a traumatic experience for many people — especially those who are disabled or not familiar with technology  “NHS services need to be designed in a way that allows all people, including those who are blind or disabled, to access them from home ”    But despite its rise in popularity, Amazon has come under fire for privacy intrusion  Earlier this year the company admitted its employees were listening to customer voice recordings to improve recognition  But Amazon says: “This information helps us train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems, so Alexa can better understand your requests, and ensure the service works well for everyone  “We have strict technical and operational safeguards, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system   “Employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow ”


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