Amazon Launches Its $19.99 per Month ‘Alexa Together’ Elder Care Subscription for Families

Amazon today announced the formal launch of the Alexa Together subscription service, which is intended for families that are caring for older relatives who are still living independently but require additional assistance. 

The functionality, which was initially announced at Amazon’s autumn 2021 event, builds on the company’s current Alexa Care Hub product and bundles it into a $19.99 per month or $199 per year subscription service.

The Alexa Care Hub was Amazon’s initial effort to integrate Alexa devices in the house into a tool for caring for elderly relatives. That service offered a set of features that allowed family members to keep a watch on their elderly parents and other loved ones — with their consent — and that could be customized to certain actions, such as if the family member had requested assistance.

Alexa Together has access to an emergency helpline a detection response feature, a remote support option that allows family members to manage settings on an elderly person’s device, and an activity feed for family members to notify them when their loved one is active – with Alexa or other smart home device. – When lagging behind in that normal activity. The features intended to utilize in an opt-in consented context, which means that both parties must complete the sign-up procedure simultaneously.

If the system is set up correctly, the elderly person may say “Alexa, call for help” whenever they need assistance. A trained agent on the other end will be able to summon the police, fire department, or ambulance to their location, similar to how certain home security systems work. 

The Alexa Together system, on the other hand, may integrate with third-party devices from Assistive Technology Service (ATS) and Vayyar to identify whether a client needs emergency assistance due to a fall and provide proactive aid.

Vayyar Care is a wall-mounted sensor that can detect when a person has fallen, while SkyAngelCare by ATS is a fall-detection necklace worn around the neck by senior citizens. Both can detect a fall, with the latter being able to do so if the consumer clicks the assistance button on their necklace. More device manufacturers will be added to Alexa Together over time, according to Amazon.

A family member can use the Remote Assist set of capabilities to control different settings on the older person’s gadget. Setting reminders, adding contacts for calls and messaging, adding and marking items off a shopping list, and connecting to a music service are all examples of this. Instead of asking the older relative to call Amazon for support, the family member may give IT assistance.

The activity feed will notify family members that their elderly loved one has begun their day and had their first interaction with Alexa or other linked smart home devices via the activity feed. 

This is a flawed technique for determining if a family member is doing all right because it expects that they will interact with Alexa on a regular basis. However, if there has been no activity, the stream will send an alert, reminding a family member to contact their loved one and make sure everything is well.

Customers may try the subscription service free for six months to see if it is a suitable match for them. From today through December 7, 2022, current Alexa Care Hub subscribers will receive a free year of Alexa Together.

Amazon believes that in the future, Alexa Together will be able to support many carers, such as family, friends, and even neighbors, among other functions. Amazon has stepped up its efforts to use Alexa to assist the elderly and infirm. In addition to Care Hub and Alexa Together, the business announced last autumn that Alexa will be coming to hospitals and senior living communities such as Atria and Eskaton, as well as hospitals such as Cedars-Sinai, BayCare, and Houston Methodist. K4Connect, Lifeline Senior Living, Aiva, and Vocera are among the partners that will be able to use Alexa Smart Properties tools and APIs to build specific solutions for the aged care industry, according to the business. Amazon has been striving to make Alexa’s medical abilities HIPAA-compliant and has built up a healthcare team to negotiate additional HIPAA requirements in order to make these solutions practical.

While many of those current elderly care solutions meant to provide in a business-to-business (B2B) setting, Alexa Care Hub and now Alexa Together are subscription-based services that target the consumer market. Alexa Together works with Alexa devices that enable it, including as the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, and offered as an add-on service or as part of a device package.