The use of Alexa voice technology not only offers an alternative service, it provides a potentially easier route for elderly, blind, and those who can not access the Internet through a keyboard, to gain access to health information.
"Encouraging the public to give their private health details to one of the most aggressive corporate data guzzlers is astonishingly misguided", said Big Brother Watch privacy group director Silkie Carlo.
For those concerned about privacy and data security, Amazon says the data will remain confidential and won't be shared with third parties.
Until now, people asking Alexa a health question would be given an answer based on a variety of popular responses. "Healthcare is made inaccessible when trust and privacy is stripped away, and that's what this bad plan would do". Phil Booth, coordinator of medConfidential, told Techworld that the deal could also involve transferring data to the U.S., where there is no overarching data protection regulation equivalent to GDPR and where foreigners don't receive the same protections as United States citizens. Instead, it is pointing them towards the free Alexa app which offers the same Skill.
Moreover, Hancock stated that the recent plan was the latest step of a technological revolution in the NHS.
Sky's health correspondent Paul Kelso reports.
The BBC newsreader said: "Alexa I think I'm pregnant".
"Our medical information is often the most sensitive data there is about us", she added.
Professor Stokes-Lampard also stressed that frail patients with complex healthcare needs should not rely on Alexa as their sole source of health advice.
"This is not an either or".
When someone searches for flu treatments, for example, the information provided comes from the NHS, a publicly funded health care system available in England, Scotland and Wales, along with the affiliated Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland.
Under GDPR, personal information can only be stored for a set amount of time and only for specific uses.
"So Simon I thought you and I should do that research now".