Digital assistant Amazon Alexa can now help users in India with COVID-19-related information, including details of nearest testing centres and vaccination points as well as answer queries about inoculation.
In 2020, Alexa was able to share information about COVID-19 related symptoms and cases in India, a statement said. Amazon Alexa is now updated with the latest COVID-19 related features for users in India.
"Now, Alexa will be able to provide information about testing and vaccination centres, as well as information on vaccination availability, COVID-19 helpline numbers, details to contribute towards COVID-19 relief, and much more. The information is sourced from CoWIN portal, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website as well as MapmyIndia," the statement said.
Amazon has teamed up with MapmyIndia to help users find the nearest COVID-19 testing centre along with the travel distance.
Users can ask questions such as "Alexa, where can I get a COVID-19 test?"
Alexa can also help users identify the closest COVID-19 vaccination centres where vaccines are available. Alexa recognizes the user's location from their device registration and provides a list of all the nearby vaccination centres.
Using the Vaccine Info Alexa skill, users can help friends and family -- who are in other PIN codes -- to book appointments. 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. Skills are like apps for Alexa.
In a separate statement, location technology and digital maps company MapmyIndia said its location APIs will enable real-time data availability on Amazon Alexa.
Application program interface or API is a set of functions and procedures for building software.
"MapmyIndia moves a step ahead in its endeavour to deliver cutting edge, location-based cloud services.
"By making our Location APIs and hyperlocal content available on Amazon Alexa, we are not just offering our services but also assisting the Indian public, by providing hyperlocal search on Alexa, whether they are at home or on the go," Rohan Verma, CEO and Executive Director of MapmyIndia, said.