Breast Cancer Care launches Alexa tool to help women spot key signs


Breast Cancer Care (BCC) has launched a virtual tool on Amazon’s Alexa which shares information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

The tool can help guide women through a breast check and highlight the eight most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer to look out for.

Developed by the charity’s clinical tool, BCC hopes the Alexa feature will remind women that there are changes aside from a lump, like a rash or nipple inversion, which can mean breast cancer.

Addie Mitchell, clinical nurse specialist at BCC, told Digital Health News that she hoped the digital tool would help give women more confidence to check for breast cancer.

She said: “It gives them the confidence and assurance of being able to check in their own home.

“Checking for symptoms of breast cancer can cause a lot of anxiety as they don’t know what to look for, but the Alexa tool can help by listing the eight common ones.”

Mitchell added that the Alexa tool will also prompt users who may think they have one or more of the symptoms to get it checked out by their GP.

BCC’s Alexa tool follows on from a £655,000 grant the charity was awarded in February 2018 to further develop its BECCA app.

Launched in May 2017, the technology directs women who are recovering from breast cancer to information on wellbeing, diet and managing the longer-term side effects of treatment.

This includes news articles and blogs which have been verified by clinicians who work for the charity.

BCC is not the only healthcare organisation looking towards using virtual assistants.

In March 2018, Digital Health News reported on the launch of a tool for Alexa to help breastfeeding mums by Public Health England

Through Start4Life’s ‘Breastfeeding Friend’, users can ask the cloud-based platform a variety of questions about breastfeeding and receive answers tailored to the age of the baby.

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