In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, Apple has seen fit to launch a brand new dedicated app and website for coverage.
On Friday, Apple launched not only a new app, but also a website dedicated to coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes. The new tools are based on the latest information and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The company’s included efforts here include a screening tool, which is all meant to help keep people safe and healthy during the global pandemic.
The COVID-19 app and website allow users to answer a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms for themselves or a loved one. In turn, they will 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. This new screening tool is designed to be a resource for individuals and does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.
The app and website will provide answers via a frequently asked questions area, along with information on best practices for washing hands, monitoring symptoms, and disinfecting surfaces. Apple also adds that individuals can ask Siri “How do I know if I have coronavirus?” which will prompt the digital assistant to access guidance and resources from the CDC. Siri will also show telehealth apps the user can take advantage of. (This goes along with the queries Siri can already respond to.)
Consistent with Apple’s strong dedication to user privacy, the COVID-19 app and website were built to keep all user data private and secure. The tools do not require a sign-in or association with a user’s Apple ID, and users’ individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.Anyone in the US who is 18 years or older can access the screening tool and resources today by downloading the COVID-19 app on the App Store or visiting apple.com/covid19.