Penn State researchers develop Amazon Alexa skill to help breast cancer patients

Health

HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — A team of experts from the Penn State College of Medicine and the College of Information Sciences and Technology has developed an Amazon Alexa skill that offers care to patients suffering from the effects of breast cancer.

Every day, a patient can open the skill, nick-named AMIE, on an Amazon Alexa Echo Show and answer questions about their current symptoms before presented with short, guided meditation sessions, exercise videos, lessons in cognitive behavioral therapy and more.

Researchers nick-named Nurse AMIE after its intended purpose, “Addressing Metastatic Individuals Everyday”

“There’s a need to create platforms and possibilities for metastatic breast cancer patients to be able to receive appropriate self-care, and to be able to be empowered to do what they can for themselves to address their symptoms,” said Kathryn Schmitz, distinguished professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine.

AMIE offers guidance in four key areas: pain, fatigue, sleep and psychosocial distress.

“Our goal was to lower the burden for breast cancer patients by making sure they can use this supportive platform without worrying about which button to click or getting overwhelmed by the technology,” said Saeed Abdullah, assistant professor of information sciences and technology.

Researchers are currently conducting a trial with hopes that AMIE could serve as a supportive technology for a number of other health issues.

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