Amazon’s fitness tracker Halo can now pair with Alexa smart speakers, giving users the ability to ask questions about their health without having to interact with the app, The Verge reported on Thursday (March 4).
The faceless fitness band launched by Amazon in the fall of 2020 is accompanied by an app where users can check their health stats. The new ability to pair with Alexa lets users bypass checking the app and instead just ask about their latest body scan results or another health metric.
The pairing isn’t available automatically. Halo users have to opt in and install the Alexa skill. Amazon maintains that Halo health data won’t be archived as part of a user’s Alexa history. Further, Alexa can only relay health data collected by Halo.
Halo monitors users’ heart rate, sleep patterns, body fat, muscle tone and more, and offers sleep and fitness scores, goal setting and other features. Although it didn’t originally offer a voice assistant, Halo had the ability to analyze a user’s tone of voice. Users will still need the app for that skill, as Alexa will not be able to do the tone analysis, per The Verge.
The Halo fitness band is the eCommerce giant’s first foray into having its own fitness-focused device. Wearable rivals offer Amazon’s voice assistant built in, like some Fitbits, Waze Bands and others.
Amazon first unveiled the Halo wristband in August 2020 to directly compete with Apple Watch, Fitbit and other wearables. Amazon said the accompanying Halo app would provide users with richer health data than its rivals offer.
Halo is just one example of how the digitization of healthcare is being driven by technology. In an interview with Karen Webster, John Talaga, executive vice president and general manager, healthcare at Flywire, said it will take time for hospitals to get fully onboard with digitization. But that hasn’t stopped big tech firms like Apple and Amazon from finding inroads into healthcare.