Bringing its resources to bear, Apple announced a partnership with the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a COVID-19 app.
The company also unveiled a website with the same functions. Windows PC, Android and other non-Apple device users can access the website.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL) said it will not collect answers given by users to the app or website. Users also don’t have to sign in with an Apple ID.
“The new COVID-19 website, and COVID-19 app available on the App Store, were created in partnership with the CDC, the Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA to make it easy for people across the country to get trusted information and guidance at a time when the U.S. is feeling the heavy burden of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.
What’s on The COVID-19 App
The app and the website — developed by Apple’s health team — start with a series of questions about risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms.
Once users answer those questions, they will receive recommendations from the CDC on what they should do next.
The company cautioned that they were not substitutes for guidance from health care professionals.
“This new screening tool is designed to be a resource for individuals and does not replace instructions from health care providers or guidance from state and local health authorities,” the company said.
The tool includes frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and best practices for washing hands and disinfecting surfaces.
Using Siri For COVID-19 Answers
Apple said its customers can use the built-in voice assistant known as Siri to get information on COVID-19.
Users can ask Siri, “How do I know I have the coronavirus?” They receive guidance and resources from the CDC along with telehealth apps available in the App Store.
Travelers landing at certain airports receive alerts on their iPhones reminding them to stay home and monitor their health.
Evaluating Health and Safety Information
In addition to the COVID-19 app and website, Apple earlier said it was placing more scrutiny on coronavirus-related apps on its App Store.
“To help fulfill these expectations, we’re evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions,” the company said.
Apple said entertainment or game apps with COVID-19 as their theme won’t be approved.
Tech Companies Working on the Outbreak
Along with Apple, Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) subsidiary Verily said it was working to ramp up COVID-19 screening and testing. The company said it is using more than 1,000 Google volunteers to help with the effort.
On Monday, Verily said it helped open two testing sites in California — in Riverside and Sacramento counties. The company is now working in four California counties to assist with screening and testing.