Amazon's Alexa can now walk you through CPR, warnings of heart attack

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Virtual assistants like Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa are becoming more and more popular.

From checking the weather to checking your schedule, there's a lot the devices can do. However, Alexa has learned a new trick that may be a life saver.

The American Heart Association teamed up with Amazon to create a new feature for its Echo device. Now, the virtual helper, Alexa, can tell you the signs and risks for a heart attack or stroke and even walk you through hands-only CPR.

"If there's somebody trained in CPR, a bystander, you increase your odds of survival by two to three times," said Kristin Delahoussaye, director of American Heart Association Heart Walk.

To access this new information, people simply ask Alexa, starting with the phrase, "Alexa, ask American Heart," to ensure they're hearing the science-based information from the American Heart Association.

The first step is to enable the skill in the Alexa app or by saying, "Alexa, enable American Heart Association." Next, you would say:

"Alexa, ask American Heart … how do I perform CPR?"
"Alexa, ask American Heart … what are the warning signs of a heart attack?"
"Alexa, ask American Heart … what are the warning signs for stroke?"

The American Heart Association estimates that more than 350,000 die from a heart attack each year. With Alexa sitting in millions of homes, experts say this partnership could go a long way in teaching people about their risks and maybe save a few lives.

"This is another way of making sure we educate, empower and enlighten individuals about the importance of CPR," said Kathy Victorian with Amerigroup Louisiana. "If you have that skill, you can use that skill when that opportunity comes."

The AHA warns the new Alexa feature is not a replacement for medical care or emergency services. If you believe you're having a heart attack, always call 911.

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