The global tech giant company Apple has recently launched an app and website which allows users to self- screen themselves for coronavirus symptoms. This newly launched screening tool can be accessed by everyone as the tool does not require a user to have an Apple account, thus available to everyone.
The app and website have been developed by the tech giant Apple in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the White Houses’ Coronavirus Task Force and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Therefore, users get the most authentic information across the web. The aim behind the development of this tool is to aware of the large numbers of users about the Coronavirus outbreak and to make them aware of the steps they can take to curb the spread of Coronavirus. People in the U.S (18 years or older) can access the screening tool and resources by downloading the COVID-19 app from Apple’s App Store or can go to the website.
The COVID-19 app of Apple and the website as well ask the users to answer a series of questions related to risk factors, recent exposures, and symptoms for themselves or for someone else. After filling up all the responses, the app or website takes the user to next step where they will get the CDC recommendations, including some guidance related to social distancing and self-isolation, how to monitor the symptoms closely, whether the user is recommended a test at that time and when the user can contact a medical provider.
Raising the curtains over the issue of ‘Storage of Information’, Apple said that they would not collect users’ answers. However the company has also stated that it will collect some information about the usage of app by the users, i.e. information based on how the users use the app or website to help them to improve the website and app, and further, they added that users don’t have to sign-in to any account to get started and the responses won’t be sent to Apple or any other government organization.
The company has also updated its digital voice assistant Siri with more information about Coronavirus. Now users can ask Siri about Coronavirus by dictating “How do I know if I have coronavirus?”. The voice assistant will then provide the users’ access to resources from the CDC and some suggestions of Telehealth Apps available on the Apple App Store for download. Apple has also begun sending notifications to its iPhone users who are arriving at selected international airports in the U.S to remind them of current CDC guidance to stay home and to monitor their health.
Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the tech giant Apple has also been hurt economically. The company has even closed its retail Apple Stores located everywhere outside of China and its manufacturing of the iPhones’ was delayed as well because of the virus. Meanwhile, Apple is also donating 10 million protective masks to the healthcare workers in the U.S and Europe.
Apple has launched the app and website a week after another tech company Google. Google has already launched a site (google.com/covid19) to provide updates and information about the Coronavirus outbreak. Facebook has also stepped up and pinned a dedicated COVID-19 module in users’ News Feed in various countries with the updates and info from the national and local resources.
Apple’s app and website also provide FAQs about COVID 19, including who is most at risk and how someone can recognize the symptoms, up-to-date information from the CDC like practices for washing hands, how to disinfect the surfaces and monitoring symptoms.
Now, how users can use it;
Users can download the COVID-19 app from the App Store and can use the website as well (www.apple.com/covid19/). After opening its users will see the option to start the screening process. Then a new page opens up that asks the users further questions related to the symptoms. After answering all the questions, the last users can see the results.