Belmont Pharmacy Students Become Amazon Alexa Certified Skill Developers

pharmacy students on zoom call

Amazon Alexa is a voice controlled artificial intelligence (A.I.) platform that has the ability to provide information upon request. As part of the Introduction to Healthcare Informatics concentration in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Belmont, April Pepper, Phuong Truong and Karen Le worked as a team to develop different applications, or “skills,” that are now available in the Alexa store.

The skill, “Drug Wizard,” was created to help pharmacy students study the brand and generic names of the top 300 medications currently prescribed in the United States. “Diabetes Goals Quiz” is another skill that was created. Its purpose is to help students study the American Diabetes Association diabetic goals. The “Thyroid information” skill was created to help students grasp introductory lecture material for this topic. This material was based on clinical practice guidelines from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. The information in these skills are provided for informational and educational purposes only. They are not a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.

Dr. Anthony Blash, Pharm.D., BCompSc., CPHIMS, associate professor in the College of Pharmacy’s Healthcare Informatics concentration has created a sequence of five courses and a one-month Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiential (APPE) rotation at various sites in the city to prepare Belmont’s student pharmacists to become future leaders in healthcare informatics.

Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy is the only pharmacy school in the world with a healthcare informatics concentration leading to an internationally recognized certification in healthcare informatics. This certification may be obtained before experiential rotations, residency inquiries and job searches begin.

“We also collaborate with organizations during the school year and take on real world projects from our healthcare informatics community. Our students have the opportunity to develop an impressive project portfolio during their time at Belmont, working with many partner organizations on projects such as machine learning and predictive analytics with Amazon SageMaker, becoming data analysts while exploring big data and analytics with Amazon Relational Database Service by Amazon Web Services, and creating artificial intelligence software for Amazon Alexa.” said Dr. Blash.

The informatics concentration at Belmont is collaborating with interested organizations to provide competent student and graduate healthcare informaticians with clinical expertise and hopes to expand their program to include residents and/or fellows. Collaborating would be of no cost to the partnering organization and could help to advance Healthcare Informatics initiatives currently underway or in the planning phase. To find out more about partnering with the healthcare informatics team at the College of Pharmacy, please contact Dr. Blash at