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UK health service to use Amazon Alexa to give medical advice

LONDON — Alexa will see you now.

Britain’s health care service is teaming up with Amazon’s digital voice assistant to help answer medical queries with advice from the service’s official website.

The British government said Wednesday that the system can help senior citizens, blind people and others who find it hard to access the internet.

Using Amazon’s algorithms, Alexa will answer voice questions from users about common maladies such as the flu or chickenpox with information verified by the National Health Service.

Amazon sought to reassure users that their information will be kept confidential and not shared with third parties, adding that voice recordings can be deleted.

Privacy campaigners, however, said they were concerned about the partnership and its implications because Amazon has a worrying track record on handling user data.

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