Now, Amazon Alexa will help you find the nearest Covid-19 vaccination centres
Amazon Alexa will now be able to direct users to the nearest vaccine centre aside from providing other Covid-19 related information.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone. Amid all this chaos, finding authentic information has been a challenge. Tech companies have stepped forward in these trying times to address the situation and roll out solutions. The good thing is that they have been able to do so by highlighting information from authoritative domains. Both Google and Facebook show information from various sources such as health ministries from countries across the globe and World Health Organisation (WHO) among others. Now, Amazon is doing the same. The company today announced that it has rolled out a massive update to its virtual assistant, Alexa and that it can now help users get genuine information regarding the pandemic, including locating the nearest vaccination and testing centres and that too by simply using their voice by asking a question.
Last year, Amazon rolled out an update to Alexa in India that enabled the smart assistant to share information about Covid-19 symptoms and cases in India. Today’s update takes Alexa’s skills a step further by enabling her to provide information about testing and vaccination centres, as well as information on vaccination availability, COVID-19 helpline numbers among others. Amazon says all of this information is sourced from Indian government’s CoWIN portal, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website as well as MapmyIndia.
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So, what can Alexa do? Well, for starters, Amazon’s virtual assistant with the help of MapmyIndia can now help users find the nearest COVID-19 testing centre along with the travel distance. All users need to do is say, "Alexa, where can I get a COVID-19 test?".
Next, Alexa will help users identify the closest Covid-19 vaccination centre where vaccines are available. “Alexa recognizes your location from your device registration and provides a list of all the vaccination centres near you. You can use this information to time your visit to the CoWIN portal for booking an appointment. Just say, "Alexa, where can I get a COVID vaccine?,” Amazon wrote in a blog post.
In addition to that, Alexa users will also be able to search for vaccination centres near other pin codes using Alexa’s Vaccine Info skill. In case of unavailability of the vaccine, Alexa can also set a reminder to check with the skill if the vaccine is available the next day. All users have to do is say, "Alexa, open vaccine info".
Now Alexa with the help of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website will provide the latest updates on the Covid-19 vaccine completion rates in India. All users need to do is say, "Alexa, how many people have been vaccinated in India”.
Lastly, the company said that it has partnered with several NGOs such as Akshaya Patra, Give India and Goonj to make the process of donations easier. All users need to do is say, “Alexa, donate now’’ and Alexa will send an app notification and an SMS containing Amazon.in/donate link, where users can complete the transaction with their preferred NGO partner and the amount of their choice.