Apple Launches New COVID-19 Screening App and Website
Apple has launched new COVID-19 screening app and website for the United States, in partnership with CDC, the Coronavirus Task Force, and FEMA. The app and website provide tools and resources to guide people in protecting their health.
The app and website feature a screening tool, which lets users answer a series of questions to understand if they have any symptoms of coronavirus. The questions range from medical symptoms to who they have been in contact with. It also asks about existing medical conditions. According to the answers, the user is provided a suggestion, based on CDC recommendations. The recommendations can either be social distancing and self-isolation, if the symptoms are not severe, or to contact a health professional. If the symptoms are not severe, the suggestions guide on how to monitor symptoms, and take care of oneself. The app also has helpful tips from the CDC such as how to wash hands, keep surroundings clean and monitor symptoms.
The company had recently released a questionnaire for Siri, which allows users to find out if they have coronavirus symptoms. Apple has also set up a page in the App Store with a suggested list of telehealth apps. The company will also be sending out push notifications to iPhone users who land at select airports in the United States, to inform them to stay at home, self-isolate and monitor their health. This might be the first time that Apple would be sending out such health-emergency related notifications automatically to iPhone users.
Apple has also emphasized in its press release that it neither does it ask for, nor does it store any user information in the app. There is no login required, and the app is not linked to the user's Apple ID in any way. The results of screenings will not be read by Apple, or shared with any government department.
The app and website are only available for users in the United States. The website can be accessed at apple.com/covid19, while the app can be downloaded for iPhone from here. An iPad version of the app is not available yet.
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