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NHS partners with Amazon to offer health information through Alexa

The NHS is collaborating with e-commerce giant Amazon to provide health information through the voice-activated, ‘virtual assistant’ Alexa.

Patients will be able to ask Alexa questions like “how do I treat a migraine?” In response, Alexa will offer health information from the NHS.

The new partnership is being touted as a means of relieving pressure on GPs and the NHS by offering easy-to-access information for common illnesses to patients in need.

Amazon makes first move into healthcare with online pharmacy acquisition

It’s been thought to have been on the cards for some time, but now, after much speculation, retail giant Amazon has finally made an official move into the healthcare space with the acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack.

Amazon puts selling pharmaceuticals plan on back-burner

IMAGE: Silus Grok - Flickr

Last year buzz about Amazon entering the pharmaceutical distribution market steadily grew after it obtained pharmacy licenses in a small number of US states.

Such was the fear the big drugstores and distributors had of a potential Amazon entry into their marketplace that some rushed to consolidate the market place.

CVS decided to seal a $69 billion deal for Aetna, one of the largest providers of health insurance in the US, while Walmart has been apparently eyeing Humana, another insurer, to keep pace with its rival.

Top Ten most popular articles on Pharmafile.com this week

It's the first Friday of February, and it's time for another recap of the top ten articles most popular with our readers this week.

Amazon makes first steps into healthcare, alongside big partners

IMAGE: Silus Grok - Flickr

Amazon’s move into the healthcare sector has been widely mooted over the last 12 months and it officially announced that it would enter the space as part of a joint venture alongside Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase.

The joint announcement from the three companies offered precious few details as to what the partnership would entail, only that it would provide technology solutions for “simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost”.

Charity launches second cancer research game

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In ‘Reverse The Odds’ you help the ‘Odds’ – colourful creatures whose world is falling into decline

Cancer Research UK has launched its second citizen science game this year called ‘Reverse The Odds’ in an attempt to have the public help analyse data for cancer research.

One of the largest cancer R&D based charities with around £500 million charitable donations last year, CRUK says the game helps players ‘create a magical world’ and to save a race of ‘adorable minions’.

By doing this, CRUK says each player will be helping its scientists analyse real cancer data, all through a puzzle game on a smartphone or tablet.

Pfizer joins Amazon-like R&D network

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Pfizer has become the latest big pharma firm to sign up to Assay Depot, the Amazon-like virtual laboratory.

The US giant has been given a virtual outsourcing platform for Pfizer scientists called the MXIS (Market Exchange for Innovative Services) via Assay Depot. 

MXIS brings together research services from thousands of contract research organisations into one website, enabling Pfizer scientists to communicate with any research vendor.

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