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Amazon and Teladoc have pitched a new feature letting millions of consumers call doctors directly from their smart speakers as a way to get more people to seek health care.

But despite voice-assistant Alexa’s ubiquity, it’s not yet clear if the partnership will meaningfully address long standing social and economic barriers to health that underserved groups face, like lack of insurance, lack of established relationships with providers, or distrust in the health care system, experts tell STAT.


While voice assistants are certainly helpful for patients with mobility and accessibility challenges, the partnership is more likely to deepen Amazon’s foothold in the health care market than it is to draw huge numbers of new patients who had previously been left out, researchers and analysts say. The company has been building its own virtual care business, Amazon Care.

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