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Apple just launched a coronavirus app and screening tool

Published Mar 27th, 2020 12:53PM EDT
Apple Coronavirus App
Image: Alba Vigaray/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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  • Apple released a COVID-19 information website in cooperation with the CDC, the White House, and FEMA that provides details about the novel coronavirus infection.
  • The site also offers a quick COVID-19 screening tool that offers advice on how to proceed in case you suspect a coronavirus infection, suggesting a test or urgent medical care where applicable.
  • An Apple COVID-19 app for iPhone and iPad has also been released, providing quick access from a mobile device to the same COVID-19 website.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Joining other tech companies that have released resources for dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic, Apple on Friday released a COVID-19 Screening Tool and an accompanying iPhone and iPad app. The tool was created in partnership with the CDC, the White House, and FEMA to help users understand what COVID-19 is, and what to do about it. Also, the Apple COVID-19 service lets users perform a quick screening procedure if they think they may have been exposed to the virus.

The Apple COVID-19 page is relatively simple, featuring three sections that provide additional information about COVID-19 symptoms, the things you can do to reduce the transmission risk, and testing for the novel coronavirus. Featured prominently on the page is the screening tool that lets you start a quick questionnaire:

Image source: Apple Inc.

The test begins with a question meant to separate the mild from severe cases. Apple will instruct you to call 911 if you experience at least one of the following symptoms: constant chest pain or pressure, extreme difficulty breathing, severe, constant dizziness or lightheadedness, slurred speech, or difficulty waking up.

Otherwise, the screening tool will ask you a series of questions covering symptoms, age group, preexisting medical conditions, international travel history, proximity to a known hot zone, and exposure to COVID-19 patients. The site returns recommendations for behavior and testing. 

Here’s a simulation that advises you to contact a healthcare professional based on the answers we provided:

Image source: Apple Inc.

And here’s one that encourages social distancing based on the answers:

Image source: Apple Inc.

You can perform the screening for anyone else in your family, not just yourself, and you’ll get different results depending on the answers. The exact same screener and coronavirus details are available inside the brand new Apple COVID-19 app that is available to download now on iPhone and iPad.

Image source: Apple Inc.

Whether you’ve used the site or the app to input personal data and get recommendations, Apple makes it clear that none of the answers will be collected and stored by its servers.

A few days ago, Google released its own COVID-19 website, which pulls information about the novel coronavirus outbreak from various sources, including the CDC and WHO. Like Apple’s tool, Google’s coronavirus website provides quick information about the disease, including symptoms, treatment, and prevention. Google doesn’t have a screening tool like Apple, but does let users get more help relevant to their location.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.