This morning Apple became the next tech giant to jump into the coronavirus resource space, with the launch of its COVID-19 website and corresponding app.
The new site, which serves as both a screening tool and information platform, was born out of a collaboration with Apple, the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA.
Users are able to go onto the site and answer a list of questions including symptoms, risk factors and exposure. At the end of the survey users are given a directive about possible next steps. For example, "self-isolate" or "contact your work's occupational health provider."
Folks are also able to tap into resources about how to socially isolate, when to get a test, and how to monitor symptoms.
Users are also able to ask Siri about coronavirus symptoms and get a guidance resources from the CDC and directions to telehealth apps.
WHY IT MATTERS
The World Health Organization reports 462,684 coronavirus cases worldwide as of yesterday. The number of cases in the US has jumped considerably, to 63,570, according to WHO. As the virus spreads across the world, government and healthcare workers are looking for ways to not only treat the disease, but stop the spread of the virus.
THE LARGER TREND
Scores of public and private efforts have evolved to help individuals check their symptoms and find resources about the virus. Healthcare symptom checker Buoy Health, added a new coronavirus function in February, after teaming up with the team at digital epidemiology tool HealthMap and the CDC. As part of this collaboration, Buoy Health can report to HealthMap what symptoms patients are reporting at home – in an effort to detect clusters of the disease early.
Additionally, direct-to-consumer virtual health company Ro is offering free COVID-19 triage telehealth assessment. After a user has completed the online assessment, Ro will connect them with a provider if it’s deemed appropriate. The follow-up may be done through phone, or by text or video chat.