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Amazon Echo now gives health advice and helps you find a plumber

Amazon's Echo speaker has been steadily making itself more useful since its launch in 2015, adding Spotify support, home automation control, and the ability to book an Uber. Amazon's latest round of updates boost the Alexa-enabled speaker's capabilities once again, adding new skills from Boston Children's Hospital and HomeAdvisor that will help you fix things at home — either your child, or your house itself.

Boston Children's Hospital says its new KidsMD skill "can help parents decide whether symptoms like fever, cough, headache, rash, vomiting, sore throat, diarrhea, fatigue or shortness of breath warrant a call to the doctor." Users who enable KidsMD on their Alexa device will also be able to ask for dosing advice based on their child's weight or age, helping them work out how many pills to provide without needing to focus their attention on a Google search.

Echo owners will also be able to ask their speaker to call them a plumber, a carpenter, or another skilled professional using HomeAdvisor's new app. Users will be asked for their zip code and phone number, allowing the requested tradesperson to call them back to schedule a visit. Both skills can now be enabled on Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot.