Digital Voice Assistants Unreliable for CPR Info, Research Finds

2 min read

Aug. 29, 2023 -- Siri, Alexa and other digital voice assistants are not the most reliable providers of information about CPR in emergencies, a new report says.

Only 59% of their responses included information directly related to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Just a third gave CPR instructions.

That’s according to the study published in JAMA Network.

Researchers said they asked eight questions related to CPR instructions of Amazon Alexa on Echo Show 5, Apple Siri on iPhone, Google Assistant on Nest Mini, and Microsoft Cortana on a Windows 10 laptop.

The answers were analyzed by two emergency department doctors.

They “really lacked relevance and even came back with inconsistencies,” said lead study author Adam Landman, MD, chief information officer and senior vice president of digital innovation at Mass General Brigham.

He said if you see a medical emergency, do not rely on these kinds of devices.

“Bystanders should prioritize calling emergency services 911 If they see a patient that is suspected of out of hospital cardiac arrest,” he said.

“This is an important study for us as an organization to help us determine how to better work with VA device manufacturers and as we enter into the world of AI to make sure credible organizations like the AHA are the top answers given by these devices,” said Comilla Sasson, MD, vice president for science and innovation at the American Heart Association on CNN. Sasson was not involved in the research.

Some 960 people go into cardiac arrest each day in this country, she said. Knowing CPR “is important information, because the life you save will likely be of someone who you know or love.”