2 min

The Virtual Assistant for the Common Good

St. Pölten UAS Launches Online Challenge to Find New Application Possibilities for Amazon’s Alexa in Healthcare and Social Sectors


Within the framework of its event series build.well.being, the St. Pölten UAS has launched the “Alexa for Wellbeing Online Challenge”. Together with developers and (non-)technicians, the objective is to discover new and innovative ideas for using the smart voice-operated assistant in the digital healthcare and social fields – from the inclusion of the elderly to learning assistance and nursing services. The challenge is supported by Hilfswerk Lower Austria. In terms of technology, the participants will be granted access to the cloud services of Amazon Web Services. Interested persons are welcome to register by the beginning of June. The online challenge takes place from 9 to 19 June 2020.

Wanted: Mentors and (Non-)Technicians“

Alexa, where is the nearest pharmacy?”, “Alexa, find a learning group near me!” These are examples of how the smart voice assistant could offer additional support for all age groups in the future. After all, although digital voice-operated assistants like Alexa can easily help people in their everyday lives, their potential is still far from exhausted.

The “Alexa for Wellbeing Online Challenge” from 9 to 19 June 2020 is an attempt to reduce this gap. For this reason, the organisers are looking for technicians and professionals from the healthcare and social sectors to work on new ideas in interdisciplinary teams with the help of experienced mentors. Daily online sessions with experts provide the necessary professional input and in the end, an international specialist jury selects the best ideas. 

"Bringing together Students, Teachers and Professionals"

“This is the fourth time that our network event build.well.being brings together students, teachers and professionals from the practical field of digital healthcare to explore and further develop innovations. Due to the current situation, the event takes place as an online challenge this year”, explains Jakob Doppler, head of the study programme Digital Healthcare at the St. Pölten UAS and researcher at the Center for Digital Health Innovation which organises the event.

“Together with developers and professionals from the healthcare and social sectors who are passionate about innovation, we will look for new functions for voice-operated assistants in the course of the challenge that all persons can use regardless of their age – from adolescents to seniors”, says UAS lecturer Andreas Jakl who initiated the online challenge. “We give the participants space to look beyond the confines of their respective discipline and to further develop their ideas in interdisciplinary teams with the support of experienced experts and mentors.”

Programme and Registration

Interested mentors and participants from the technical, healthcare and social fields are invited to become actively involved in the challenge. Details regarding the programme and registration for the event can be found at https://buildwellbeing.fhstp.ac.at/. Participation is free of charge.

Closing Event Live on YouTube

The best ideas of the challenge as well as outstanding works by Digital Healthcare students of the St. Pölten UAS will be presented within the framework of a closing event. After that, the winning team will be officially selected. The closing event will be broadcast live on YouTube.