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Cancer Research UK use Amazon Alexa to fight cancer.

I’ve blogged before about the potential benefits of Smart-Speaker technology when it comes to health care (you can read about that here) and Cancer Research UK are the latest health organisation to realise, and tap into, its massive potential.

So, how is a clever voice in a plastic tube going to help fight cancer? Apparently, by monitoring your drinking habits.

Research shows that drinking alcohol increases the risk of various types of cancer including breast and bowel cancer and the less you drink the lower the risk.

As part of Alcohol Awareness week, CRUK have launched their “Alchohol Tracker” that can yep tabs of what drinks you’re throwing down your neck and warn you when you may want to reconsider that “one last drink” on a Sunday night in front of Netflix. The idea is that they can help people identify why and when they drink you can also help them reduce the amount they drink.

This Alexa Skill can keep tabs on your personal drinking limit goals, give you calorie data for your consumption and even offer hints and tips on how you can cut down. It’s a smart little Skill that taps into the idea that your Smart-Speaker companion is part of your daily routine. The tracker works best for regular, daily use and that’s a real challenge for any Voice-Activated app developer.

For now, its a toe in the water but for Cancer Research UK they are already considering what the future may hold:

“Given that the stage looks set for voice to become a major player in how we use technology to communicate in the future, this technology has the potential to help us overcome some of the challenges we face with written leaflets or websites.”
Katie Edmonds, CRUK Health Information Officer

It’s inevitable that Voice-Activate technology will play a major role in health-care over the next decade. The potential benefits to people with physical disabilities or visual impairments are clear but also its ability to provide information and answer questions without so much as touching a button (or lifting a phone) could be a huge benefit to services that are already seeing budgets reduced and free up funds for frontline services.

Watch a video of CRUK’s Alchohol Tracker being put to the test…

Read CRUK’s original blog post here.

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