Alexa Together turns your loved one’s Echo into an emergency support device

Last year, Amazon announced Alexa Care Hub, a free service that uses Alexa to let people check in on family members. The so-called “caregiver” can see notifications and alerts when someone uses Alexa as a way of letting you know that someone they want to keep an eye on is up and about. It also lets the “care receiver” say “Alexa, call for help” and it’ll contact the caregiver immediately. Amazon didn’t charge for this, but today it’s adding a new feature called Alexa Together to the service. It’ll be a $20/month service that gives an aging family member 24/7 access to Urgent Response, which Amazon describes as a professional emergency help line. 

Alexa Together will also make caregiving easier to share among multiple family members by letting multiple people be designated as support contacts for a single individual. Other features include support for third-party devices that can detect when someone has fallen at home, the ability to add contacts to an individual’s Alexa account so they can make hands-free calls, and set reminders on someone else’s device or link up a music service for them to play tunes through. 

At a high level, it sounds like Alexa Together basically makes it easier for other people to manage a family member’s Alexa-capable device so they use it more. And if they use it more, the caregiver will see that it’s being used and know their family member is going about their normal day. It’s a bit convoluted, but the 24/7 access to Urgent Response might be worth the $20 per month cost. Alexa Together will have a free six-month trial period (or one full year if you’ve been using the Alexa Care Hub already) when it launches later this year.

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