Amazon Alexa can now provide you with drug information

Specialized answers about medication information were created specifically for the voice-enabled service.

Amazon Alexa speaker

First Databank (FDB), which is the leading provider of drug and medical device knowledge that helps healthcare professionals make precise decisions, is making some of that information available to Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

This initiative will leverage concise, clinical drug information authored specifically for Alexa by FDB clinicians, based on their review of the most relevant content from the company’s proprietary consumer drug information monographs. Additionally, the project provides custom content that allows consumers to ask about a drug’s effects such as drug interactions, side effects, precautions, and the drug’s class. The custom data file will provide information for Alexa customers in English and Spanish and will be updated on a regular basis.

Some common medication-related queries that Alexa will now answer for consumers by tapping into FDB drug knowledge include:

  • “Alexa, what type of drug is ibuprofen?”
  • “Alexa, what are the side effects of sertraline?”
  • “Alexa, what is aspirin used for?
  • “Alexa, what’s the difference between Tylenol and Advil?
  • “Alexa, does Zoloft interact with Aleve?”
  • “Alexa, is Advil safe for pregnant women?

“We are proud to bring this essential component of our drug databases directly to consumers through Amazon’s now-ubiquitous and helpful voice-activated technology,” Bob Katter, president of FDB, said in a statement. “People lead busy lives and voice provides a simple way to get helpful information about medications including side effects and drug interactions — for themselves and the people they care for — and this information will complement advice from their medical and pharmacy teams. Ultimately, we believe that more informed consumers will lead to improved medication adherence, the reduction of adverse drug events, and better patient outcomes.”

Well into its fourth decade, FDB has been providing drug databases that are used in a variety of applications across the healthcare industry including several other consumer-facing applications.