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Alexa, comply with HIPAA

In this image, a white Amazon Alexa sits next to a black one and a gray one on a wooden countertop.
Amazon Alexa Plus, on display. Photo: Grant Hindsley/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon's Alexa has now added some new functionalities that comply with HIPAA, the health care privacy law.

Why it matters: These applications themselves aren't particularly earth-shattering, but each new step Amazon takes into the health care system is worth paying attention to, given the company's very clear desire to break into health, and particularly the pharmacy supply chain.

Details: One application, a partnership with Express Scripts, allows users to check the status of prescription refills. Others will let people ask about their last blood-sugar reading, or help them find an urgent care center nearby.

  • Just getting over the hump of HIPAA compliance is a big deal for Alexa.

Go deeper: Amazon's buyout of PillPack is just a start