- Apple has developed a new website and app that will provide a screening tool for COVID-19 symptoms as well as up-to-date information from trusted sources about the coronavirus outbreak.
- The software announced Friday was developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House-led coronavirus task force and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Apple is not providing any tests.
The software announced Friday was developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, the White House-led coronavirus task force and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The COVID-19 app is available on Apple's App Store. There's also a website that can be accessed from Mac, Windows or Android phones and computers.
The software developed by Apple's health team is designed to help people protect themselves by accessing reliable resources from home. The website comprises a series of questions about risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms related to the coronavirus. It provides a recommendation on what to do next, including whether a test is recommended at this time or if one should self-isolate at home.
Those who are experiencing severe symptoms are told to call 911. But those with milder symptoms are taken through a process, which might ultimately suggest they monitor symptoms, rest up, and "talk to someone" about testing, whether it's a local health department or doctor's office. The challenge, however, is that testing is still limited across the U.S.
Apple is not providing any tests.
The app and website do not require users to sign in with an Apple ID, and Apple will not collect individual responses or share them with governments, the company said.
Apple updated Siri last week to provide users with a step-by-step questionnaire and CDC information if they ask the voice assistant if they have the coronavirus. Apple is also closely scrutinizing coronavirus-related apps on its App Store to make sure they're using reliable information and are published by recognized institutions.
Apple isn't the only Silicon Valley giant building software and systems to help governments manage the coronavirus outbreak. Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet, said this week that it is focusing on COVID-19 screening and testing, and it has more than 1,000 Google volunteers working on the project.