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CNBC reports that Amazon has struck a deal with Giant Eagle that will allow the retailer's customers with prescriptions can use the Alexa-powered devices for reminders about taking their medications.

According to the story, "Alexa will walk Giant Eagle customers through the process of setting up a profile and personal passcode, which serves as an extra level of authentication so that Alexa won’t deliver a medication list to the wrong person. After linking their accounts, a customer can ask Alexa about their medications and get a description of each. They can say 'Alexa, manage my medication,' to get started on reminders. And once the reminder goes off, a user can ask: 'Alexa, what medication am I supposed to be taking right now?' Alexa will again ask for the passcode before providing an answer.

"Customers can also request prescription refills via Alexa, and Giant Eagle has an existing service to deliver medications to the home."

The program will be available at Giant Eagle's more than 200 locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Indiana.

The story notes that "in the battle for the connected home, Amazon, Google and Apple are building devices to help consumers manage their busy lives. Health is a lucrative but complicated market because of the regulations and privacy rules around managing sensitive health information on behalf of hospitals and pharmacies. Making the technology compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act can take years, and Amazon is already facing a backlash following reports this year that Alexa is listening to its users to improve functionality.

"Amazon announced in April that Alexa is HIPAA compliant, representing a big step for the company into the $3.5 trillion health-care sector. Unlike its rivals, Amazon has a dedicated team working on health and wellness use cases, including medication management, for its voice assistant."
KC's View:
This strikes me as the perfect use of this technology … the only thing that might concern me if I were Giant Eagle is that the program could end up being a feeder for Amazon's PillPack system.