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Amazon launches Alexa Care Hub for elder and family care

Family members will be able to personalize alerts, check in with relatives and call for help with simple commands.

Amazon Echo's Alexa software is taking on more responsibilities.
Chris Monroe/CNET

This story is part of Tech for a Better World, stories about the diverse teams creating products, apps and services to improve our lives and society.

Amazon launched on Wednesday its Care Hub for Alexa designed to help people care for aging relatives from a distance. The Care Hub is a free service that requires two linked Amazon accounts but only a single Echo smart speaker or display.

Amazon announced the Care Hub during its September product event, framing Care Hub as a practical solution for caregiving from a distance while respecting the privacy and autonomy of those receiving care. Once the aging individual extends an invitation from their Alexa app account to a caregiver's account, the caregiver can use the hub to monitor general activity, set up personalized alerts (if, for instance, there is no activity recorded by a specific time of day) and more.

The Care Hub also enables a Call for Help feature, which allows those receiving care to set personalized emergency contacts who can be reached with a simple voice command.

The tech giant said that privacy is a priority for the Care Hub and that information sharing has been balanced to give caregivers useful insights into their loved ones' activities without creating access to specific voice commands, songs played or movies watched, for example.

For more information on Alexa's recent and upcoming features, read about everything announced alongside the Care Hub at September's event.