Amazon launched Care Hub, a new Alexa feature that allows users to maintain control over family members who live independently, but who may need help from time to time. The resource is particularly useful in the midst of the pandemic, making it easier to contact isolated elderly parents and without the risk of personal visits.
Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Echo smart speakers, are just one aspect of Amazon’s smart assistant – the other part is the mobile app, which can be used to connect with other Alexa users, interact with devices, set up reminders and a lot more.
The new Care Hub feature exists within the Alexa app as an activity feed that provides a view of a loved one’s interactions with the Alexa system, while maintaining their privacy. For example, the Care Hub in the Alexa app will show caregivers when a reminder was given to the recipient, when they played a routine, asked about the weather and that sort of thing.
Care Hub is described as a feature that helps users to remain independent and, at the same time, reassures family members that their relative is safe. Caregivers can set up custom alerts, such as an alert, if no activity is detected. The hub also provides access to shortcuts for things like visiting or calling the relative.
Amazon notes the limitations of its Care Hub, which aims to strike a balance between keeping caregivers informed and protecting the recipient’s privacy. For example, users can see when a family member plays a song, but they cannot see what the song was.
Perhaps the best resource for those who are concerned about their elderly relatives is the ability to call for help using an Alexa voice command. When the user requests help, the caregiver will receive an alert on the app and a call from Alexa. You then have the option to call or visit the family member.
Amazon says Care Hub works when the person in need of monitoring has an Echo device and the caregiver has the Alexa app on their phone. Full details on the new feature are available on Amazon’s website here.