A new Stanford app connects first responders to drive-through COVID-19 tests

Stanford Medicine and Apple have joined forces on a new iPhone app which was designed to help connect first responders to drive-through COVID-19 testing if they are showing symptoms of a coronavirus infection or COVID-19, a disease it causes.

Called The First Responder COVID-19 Guide, the free iPhone software focuses on first responders like firefighters, police officers and paramedics. It might be made available to other key workers at a later stage. Stanford Health Care is now offering priority drive-through COVID-19 testing to police, firefighters and paramedics in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

CNBC has the story:

Users take a survey with questions about their symptoms. If they have symptoms suggesting COVID-19 infection, the app recommends testing. First responders can take that result to the contact at their workplace in charge of health, referred to as a ‘department infection control officer’ inside the app, and get scheduled for priority testing at a Stanford Health Care site.

The app is currently only available in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in California, but they’re evaluating making it available in additional counties and states. Moreover, the helpful software might soon expand to grocery store workers and government employees.

It was created with input and help from Apple:

Apple helped Stanford Medicine with some of the development, said Dr. Bob Harrington, chairman of the Stanford Department of Medicine. It uses Apple’s ResearchKit and CareKit frameworks that help developers handle sensitive medical data. All data from the app stays on the patient’s device unless they share it with a health provider.

According to the official announcement, key features include:

  • Screening questionnaire. Use a screening questionnaire to determine whether testing is recommended for you, based on your symptoms, medical history and exposure. Results are saved for your future reference and all answers are securely stored on your device. No data is shared with Stanford, Apple or anyone else unless you grant permission.
  • Coronavirus resources. View the latest COVID-19 resources from Stanford Medicine physicians and scientists, including a comprehensive list of frequently-asked questions, an easy-to-understand guide for protecting yourself and videos of weekly virtual town hall meetings, in which Stanford Medicine leaders update the community on the pandemic and its implications.
  • Educate yourself. Learn about the unique risks that COVID-19 presents first responders and how to protect yourself. Stanford Medicine emergency medicine experts answer your questions about potential exposure, safety and best practices. Local agencies and national organizations offer detailed guidance and recommendations for avoiding infection and containing the outbreak.

Even if you’re note a first responder, you’re wholeheartedly recommended to check out the Stanford app to get fact-checked expert answers about your coronavirus questions.

Apple recently released a COVID-19 app for iPhone of its own, along with a website, featuring a screening survey and other resources. It, however, does not direct users to test sites.

Download The First Responder COVID-19 Guide from the App Store.