Emergency room wait times in Alberta now available on Amazon Echo

By CHAT News Today
February 21, 2018 - 3:41pm

CALGARY, AB — “Alexa, how long is the wait at the emergency room?”

This is now a question that can be answered for owners of an Amazon Echo.

Alberta Health Services announced Wednesday that Albertans can now find out the estimated wait times for hospitals, by asking Alexa, the intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon.

The program can provide estimated emergency department wait times for hospitals in Calgary and Edmonton, urgent care centres in Calgary, the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge. It can also provide up-to-date AHS information and news.

Users must install the AHS Alexa skill on their mobile device and connect it to the Amazon Echo. They can then use simple phrases such as “Alexa, ask AHS for emergency department wait times,” or, “Alexa, ask AHS for latest news.”

AHS is the first public healthcare organization to offer information through this technology, and say they’re working on a similar service for Google Home users and Apple’s HomePod.

Wait times can also be viewed online at ahs.ca/waittimes.

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