Northwell Health on Tuesday said it has launched a user interface on Amazon Alexa that allows patients to find the shortest wait times and locations of Northwell’s emergency rooms and GoHealth Urgent Care centers.
New Hyde Park-based Northwell, the largest health system in the state, said its interface is available for free in the Alexa skills store.
Users can interact with an Alexa-enabled device by saying, “Alexa, ask Northwell,” along with a corresponding question.
For example, an Alexa user can say “Alexa, ask Northwell for the shortest emergency department wait time.”
Responses from Alexa can include the facility, wait time and address. To refine the search to a specific region, include the ZIP code in the question. To find immediate emergency care, users would specify “emergency department” for a hospital or “urgent care” for a GoHealth clinic.
Northwell web developers created the Alexa skill, in part, by integrating the health system’s emergency and urgent care wait times portal, which analyzes check-ins at Northwell facilities and updates them every 15 minutes.
Northwell said enabling the function with Alexa helps patients get care quickly and efficiently, pulling data from more than 50 urgent care centers and emergency rooms throughout the New York region.
Businesses have also started to utilize Alexa. For example, Capital One, which has a big banking presence on Long Island, lets customers track their accounts and make payments via the interface.
Also, Domino’s has a pizza ordering skill on Alexa.
Northwell, with 62,000 employees, is the largest private employer in the state.