Amazon has announced that new software for its Alexa virtual assistant will allow healthcare companies to build tools which can safely send private information to patients. The announcement was accompanied by the launch of six voice programs created by health companies including Boston Children’s Hospital and digital health company Livongo.

The news means Alexa is now compliant with HIPAA, the US health privacy law, and should see more health companies transmitting sensitive patient details online in the near future.

Only six companies have so far been invited to use the new “skills kit” to build voice programs, though additional companies will be allowed to access it soon. The voice kits unveiled on Thursday include:

• a voice program from Cigna that lets employees of clients manage their health improvement goals and earn wellness incentives

• a program by Boston Children’s Hospital which lets parents and caregivers provide clinicians with updates on post-surgical progress and receive information on post-operative appointments

• a program from digital health company Livongo which lets users query blood sugar readings and measurement trends