Apply to the HIPAA-Eligible Skill Program

Matt Hasten Aug 27, 2020
Build News

We are excited to announce that interested Covered Entities and their Business Associates under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) can now apply to participate in the HIPAA-eligible skills program. HIPAA-eligible skills, previously known as Healthcare skills, are custom Alexa skills that you identify as handling Protected Health Information (PHI) and that follow certain guidelines set out for our program. As part of the application, we ask you to provide information about your company and intended skill use case and consider how you plan to help your users discover and use the skill. When reviewing applications, we are looking for compelling experience for users and will not admit all developers who apply. We will admit new developers on a rolling basis. Learn more.

Why Build HIPAA-Eligible Skills

Over the past year, we have seen that HIPAA-eligible skills are a powerful way to connect Covered Entities and Business Associates with their users in an easy to use, conversational voice experience. HIPAA-eligible skills give users a hands-free way to quickly manage a variety of healthcare needs at home, whether that is asking for their remaining insurance deductible, accessing hospital post-discharge instructions, or as part of an ongoing disease management program. When you launch a HIPAA-eligible skill, Alexa implements measures intended to provide administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for PHI processed by Alexa. For example, we redact utterances directed to your HIPAA-eligible skill in a user’s voice history. A user will also be able to leverage Alexa privacy controls to delete these utterances at any time.

Learn from Early Developers

Talkspace, a digital behavioral technology healthcare company, enables their users to link their Talkspace account with their HIPAA-eligible skill. Once connected and authenticated, customers can listen to their therapist's latest messages, perform meaningful exercises, and take assessments. 

Boston Children's Hospital, a leading children's hospital, gives parents and caregivers of children who have undergone heart surgery the ability use Alexa to support their post-discharge recovery. Parents and caregivers can update the care team on recovery progress and receive information regarding their post-op appointments.

Other skill use cases could include increasing patient satisfaction, reducing call volumes, or providing timely patient education. We encourage you to be creative and apply with new health use cases.

How the Program Works

You can apply for the HIPAA-eligible skill program here. The Alexa Team will review submissions for a compelling experience for users and will admit selected new developers on a rolling basis. 

All developers will receive a reply about any decisions regarding their application.

Prior to applying, we recommend you think through the following:

  • What is the use case you would like to build a HIPAA-eligible skill for?
  • Is there a particular type of user who would benefit from a voice experience? What would you like your skill to do for them?
  • How will you measure the success of this skill?
  • How will you market this skill and educate your target users?

Developers accepted into the program will find a new tab in the developer console where you can learn more about how to build a HIPAA-eligible skill, the unique technical requirements for HIPAA-eligible skills, and then when you are ready, indicate that you intend for your skill to handle PHI and agree to the Alexa Business Associate Agreement. You must also follow the Alexa policies for HIPAA-eligible skills to participate in the program.

Learn More and Get Started Today

Learn more about HIPAA-eligible skills and apply here. We look forward to your application and can’t wait to see what new HIPAA-eligible skills you build!