Alexa’s Care Hub is now live, giving elderly and special-needs users better access to their family members and caregivers via Echo devices. With Care Hub, these users can ask Alexa for help directly—which will trigger the device to notify connected family members—or their family members can use it to virtually check in on loved ones by getting a general sense of when they last used their Echo device to do something.
How to set up Care Hub
To use Amazon’s Care Hub, both family members will need an Amazon account. For the sake of our example, assume we’re trying to set up Care Hub so one person can check on an elderly family member. The latter will need an Alexa-powered smart device in their home, such as an Echo speaker, and the family member looking to help them out will need a smartphone or tablet with the Alexa app installed.
Once everyone has the necessary accounts and hardware set up, you will need to link these accounts through Care Hub.
- Open the Alexa app then navigate to the “Care Hub” tab, or use the Care Hub webpage.
- Click “Get Started,” then select “give support.”
- Send the invitation link to your relative through a messaging app or their email address.
- Have them click the link and follow the instructions, including signing in with their Amazon account.
- Once they’ve completed the steps, you’ll get another invitation link sent to your Amazon account’s email address.
- Open the link and select “Get Started.”
- If the process worked, your Amazon accounts are now linked in Care Hub.
Now that the accounts are linked, you can set up emergency contact information, configure daily updates, perform check-ins, and more.
Check-in with Alexa’s voice call or “Drop-in” features
If your family member’s Amazon device is configured to allow Drop-Ins, you can say “Alexa, call [device name]” to start a two-way conversation at any time. Similarly, you or the other user can say “Alexa, call [contact name/phone number]” to call them on their phone or other Alexa-enabled devices.
Change Emergency Contact information
- Open the Alexa app on the other family member’s phone or tablet.
- Select the “More” tab from the bottom menu.
- Tap “See More,” and then go to Care Hub > Emergency Contact.
- Tap “Change Emergency Contact” and change it to the desired contact information.
To alert an emergency contact: Your family member can say “Alexa, call my emergency contact,” or “Alexa, call for help” and Alexa will immediately call, text, and send a push notification to the your devices.
See your loved one’s daily activity
- Go to the “Care Hub” menu in the Alexa app.
- Select “View all activity.”
- You will see a feed of “high-level” activity updates based on your loved one’s Alexa use. For example, the feed will say Alexa was used “for entertainment” if your loved one asked their Echo device to play a song.
Get Care Hub alerts based on activity
- Open the Care Hub section in the Alexa app.
- Select “Alerts”
- You can choose to get alerts when the other user uses Alexa for the first time, and if there’s no activity by a certain time of day.
- Tap “Save” to confirm your changes.
The hitch in Amazon’s system is that the family member you’re caring for might simply not say anything to their Echo devices for whatever reason, which could trigger an alert if you’ve set it up that way. But if you’re prepared for some false positives, it can be useful. And, again, you can always drop-in on your loved one at any point to see how they’re doing if they haven’t asked Alexa anything for a while.