From the early days of Alexa, customers have told us how much they love the simplicity of the voice service. Customers of all ages and degrees of tech savvy have loved being able to just ask for their favorite song, to call a friend, get the weather or news, hear a joke, and more. These day-to-day tasks have helped many aging customers feel more confident about living independently, and we’ve heard from many who tell us Alexa has become a companion for them. Customer stories like these inspire us to continue inventing and do more for our customers.
Introducing the Care Hub—a new set of U.S. features designed to help simplify the remote caregiving experience for both the person providing support and their aging loved one. The Care Hub gives customers a new, easy way to check in on their loved one remotely, while maintaining privacy, with features like the high-level activity feed and alerts. It also gives aging customers the comfort of knowing they can just ask Alexa to call for help should they need it.
“I love the peace of mind I get knowing my parents can ask Alexa to call me in an emergency (or anytime) and receiving notifications if there hasn’t been any activity on their device.”
How it works
To get started with the Care Hub, customers first create a connection between their two Alexa accounts. The aging loved one will need an Echo or Alexa-enabled device. The family member providing support just needs the Alexa app on their phone. The Care Hub will work once the loved one sends an invitation and the family member accepts. This simple, one-time setup offers a number of benefits to both individuals.
Care Hub alerts
The family member providing support gets peace of mind through Care Hub alerts and the activity feed in the Alexa app. Family members can set up and receive alerts when their loved one has had their first activity of the day, or get notified if no activity is detected by a certain time, such as 12 p.m. When they’re checking in on the app, they can easily tap to call or Drop In on their loved one.
High-level activity feed
The loved one gets peace of mind knowing that their family member can easily check in with the high-level activity feed—they simply use Alexa as they go about their normal day. As with everything we do, we designed the Care Hub with privacy in mind. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the activity feed, and taken measures to limit what the family member can actually see. For example, when checking the activity feed, the family member would be able to see their loved one was using Alexa for entertainment, but not the song or podcast they were listening to or what they said to Alexa.
Importantly, the aging loved one can also easily get help when they need it. The link between accounts can set the family member as the emergency contact. If help is needed, the loved one can simply say “Alexa, call for help” and Alexa will call, text, and send a push notification to alert the family member.
Feedback from Amazon employees and their loved ones
Many of us have relatives we care about, who live alone, and we cannot check in with them as often as we would like. Over the past few months, Amazon employees and their parents have been using the Care Hub and providing feedback so we can make it even better. Here’s what they’ve shared:
“I live alone and do have some health issues, so this feature would definitively be very useful in case of an emergency. It gives me confidence that I can reach out to my daughter if I need help,” said Rita R., loved one of Amazon employee Suman K. “It gives her peace of mind that I can communicate with her in situations where I might not have my phone near me.”
“Isolation and loneliness are common issues for those of us who are elderly with family living a distance away. Alexa, along with the Care Hub, would create a very necessary connection to the outside world,” said Sylvie R., loved one of Amazon employee Erika S. “Being able to easily reach out is the next best thing to being there. Quarantine or lack of mobility would be more manageable with these available devices. This is a remarkable addition to the already endless list of options for Alexa.”
“I love the Care Hub," said Amazon employee Allyson B. "Every morning, Alexa lets me know that my mom is up and interacting with her. The notification gives me peace of mind that everything is as it should be.”
“I love having a way to stay connected that is not dependent on using our cellphones. Being able to Drop In and video call through Alexa has been such a nice change," said Amazon employee Erika S. “I love the peace of mind I get knowing my parents can ask Alexa to call me in an emergency (or anytime) and receiving notifications if there hasn’t been any activity on their device.”
It’s Day One for the Care Hub—we’ll continue to learn from customer feedback and plan to introduce more features to this service over time. Learn more.