A coronavirus screening app by Apple

Original Post By: Cnet.com / Carrie Mihalcik – March 27, 2020

A new screening app and website for Coronavirus is now available.  Thanks to Apple, the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and FEMA.

Apple launched a new COVID-19 website and app that features a screening tool set of resources to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19, based on the latest CDC guidance. Apple said the app and site were developed to “make it easy for people across the country to get trusted information and guidance at a time when the US is feeling the heavy burden of COVID-19.”

 

The screening tool asks users to answer a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms, Apple said in a release. Based on their responses, they’ll receive CDC recommendations on next steps, including “guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider.”

Apple said the screening tool doesn’t replace instructions from doctors and health care providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in a tweet Friday: “To help you stay informed, understand symptoms and take proper steps to protect your health, Apple has created a COVID-19 website and a US app in partnership with the CDC. As always, the data is yours and your privacy is protected. Stay safe and healthy.”

COVID-19, the disease caused by a newly identified coronavirus, has rapidly spread across the globe. The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the outbreak a pandemic, saying it expected to see the number of cases and deaths continue climbing. The US now has more reported coronavirus cases than any other country in the world, with more than 165,000 people infected with the virus as of Tuesday 3.32.20.

The Apple website will offer answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus as well as up-to-date information from the CDC, including best practices for washing hands and how to monitor symptoms.

“The White House commends companies like Apple Inc. for answering President Trump’s call for a public-private alliance against this invisible enemy,” said a senior White House official in a statement Friday. The CDC plans to encourage other companies to build additional COVID-19 tools by open sourcing its underlying recommendations and algorithms, the official said.

Earlier this week, Apple updated its digital assistant Siri to help guide those worried about coronavirus symptoms. Summoned by asking Siri “do I have coronavirus,” the assistant will respond with the survey that uses yes and no answers to try to guide people on potential next steps.

images by: Apple.com