The COVID-19 pandemic had disastrous effects on people’s lives, and it became extremely difficult to find reliable information. Despite the efforts of several tech companies to fill these gaps, it has become a difficult situation for everyone.
In the midst of all of this, ecommerce behemoth Amazon has announced a massive update to Alexa, allowing users to get authentic information about the pandemic and the nearest vaccination centres by simply asking Alexa a question.
Amazon released an update to Alexa in India in 2020, which included a smart assistant to share information about COVID-19 symptoms and cases in India.
However, the current update improves on that by allowing users to retrieve information such as vaccination centres, vaccine availability, and COVID-19 helpline numbers, among other things. Amazon also stated that all of this data comes from the Indian government’s CoWIN portal, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website, and MapmyIndia.
So, with Alexa, you can easily find the closest COVID-19 testing centre as well as the travel distance. Users only need to say, “Alexa, where can I get a COVID-19 test?”
Alexa will then assist users in locating the nearest Covid-19 vaccination centre where vaccines are available. Alexa recognises your location based on your device registration and provides a list of all vaccination centres in your area. You can use this information to plan your visit to the CoWIN portal for appointment booking. Simply ask Alexa, “Alexa, where can I get a COVID vaccine?” Amazon explained in a blog post.
In addition, Alexa users will be able to search for nearby vaccination centres as well as pin codes by using Alexa’s Vaccine Info skill. If the vaccine is not available, Alexa will set a reminder to check with the skill the next day to see if it is available. Simply say, “Alexa, open vaccine information.”
Amazon also stated that it has worked with many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Akshaya Patra, Give India, and Goonj to make the donation process easier. Simply say, “Alexa, donate now,” and Alexa will send an app notification and an SMS with a link to Amazon.in/donate, where users can complete the transaction.