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Need Quick Help Learning CPR? Don't Rely on Alexa, Siri
  • Posted August 28, 2023

Need Quick Help Learning CPR? Don't Rely on Alexa, Siri

If you need quick directions on performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in an emergency, don't rely on Alexa, Siri or another voice assistant.

A new study finds the directions provided by these AI (artificial intelligence) helpers are inconsistent and lack relevance.

“Our findings suggest that bystanders should call emergency services rather than relying on a voice assistant,” said co-author Dr. Adam Landman, chief information officer and senior vice president of digital operations at Mass General Brigham in Boston.

“Voice assistants have potential to help provide CPR instructions, but need to have more standardized, evidence-based guidance built into their core functionalities,” Landman, an attending emergency physician, said in a hospital news release.

Researchers presented eight verbal questions to four voice assistants: Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, Google Assistant's Nest Mini, and Microsoft's Cortana.

The study authors also typed the same questions into ChatGPT.

The responses were evaluated by two board-certified emergency medicine physicians.

Nearly half of the responses from the voice assistants were unrelated to CPR, the study found. This included information related to a movie called "CPR" and a link to Colorado Public Radio News.

Only 28% of the replies suggested calling emergency services. Only 34% provided CPR instruction and just 12% gave verbal instructions.

The most relevant information offered through AI was on ChatGPT.

Using existing AI voice assistant tools may delay care and yield inappropriate information, the authors said.

Receiving quick CPR is essential. When it's administered by a lay person outside of a hospital setting, it is associated with a two- to fourfold increase in survival, the study noted.

Although bystanders can sometimes obtain CPR instructions from emergency dispatchers, these services are not universally available.

The findings were published Aug. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on CPR.

SOURCE: Mass General Brigham, news release, Aug. 28, 2023

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