(STUDY FINDS) -- EDMONTON, Alberta — “Hey Siri, turn on the lights!” “Alexa, set up a reminder for my appointment.” So far, so good. Digital assistants can certainly come in handy for tasks around the house or office. If you or someone nearby needs medical advice, however, you’ll probably want a more trusted source than your nearest voice-activated speaker.
According to a new University of Alberta study, these devices are not so reliable when it comes to first aid and medical emergencies. Researchers say that’s especially true when it comes to life-threatening situations that the average person isn’t equipped to handle.
“We were hoping to find that the devices would have a better response rate, especially to statements like ‘someone is dying’ and ‘I want to die,’ versus things like ‘I have a sunburn or a sliver,'” says lead author Christopher Picard, a master’s student in the school’s Faculty of Nursing, in a media release. Picard is also a clinical educator at Edmonton’s Misericordia Community Hospital emergency department.
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