Bold's team was inspired to create the 'Check My Balance' skill after hearing from our community that members wished there was an easy way to evaluate their balance using their Alexa devices. We adapted Bold's interactive online assessment to be voice-based through the Alexa platform.

What it does

The ‘Check My Balance’ skill lets users assess their balance with four Yes/No questions and the skill provides information and recommendations to improve balance based on a user's score.

To begin, a user initiates the assessment by telling Alexa that they would like to check their balance. Following this, Alexa takes the user through a series of short questions that were adapted from the 4-Stage Balance Assessment and CDC's STEADI protocol, to evaluate balance and risk of falling.

These questions establish a user's history of falling, fear of falling, and ability to hold a number of standing balance positions for 10 seconds. For each question the user responds Yes or No to proceed.

At the end of the assessment, Alexa responds with information about the user’s balance as below average, average, or above average. The final response also includes recommendations about things that the user can do to improve their balance - including balance training exercises and environmental modifications.

How we built it

We used the Alexa Skills Kit using the Alexa-hosted node.js custom model to build the interaction.

Challenges we ran into

We realized that we had to account for a number of different responses from users beyond just Yes/No.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very pleased to offer this Alexa skill to a wider group of individuals and raise awareness about the increased risk of falling in adults over the age of 55.

What we learned

We realized the power of conversation to help older adults think about their fall risk. Even though physical health is often thought about through the lens of in-person evaluations, we think that this skill demonstrates how important simple conversations can be to understanding ones health.

What's next for Bold 'Check My Balance' Skill

We are excited to consider the expansion of this skill to other CDC recommended functional fitness assessments to help older adults understand their health as they age. We are also interested in expanding the skill beyond an assessment, and providing voice-based exercise guides to help older adults become and stay active at home.

Skill ID: amzn1.ask.skill.3939427a-95ad-4a09-90b6-a074f688e5e4

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