The spread of the coronavirus has intensified over the last few weeks. Hospital is overcrowding with people waiting to get tested. To aid the first level of self-diagnosis, Apple has launched an app and website. They will provide the necessary information so that an individual can decide if they should visit the hospital or not.
The App and website were designed in collaboration with the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the White House.
The screening tools will pose a question about symptoms, recent travel, and contact you may have had with potential carriers. Once the individual completes the screening, the app will lead to a page. The page will recommend the next steps the individual should follow. It will also suggest whether the individual needs to visit a medical facility for screening. The app doesn’t give any instruction about where and how to get tested if the individual’s self-report is symptomatic. The site asks the individual to seek medial as soon as possible.
The app is just the first level self-diagnostic tool. Apple has stated that the screening tool “does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.”
On the issue of privacy, the Apple website notes “Apple is not collecting your answers from the screening tool. To help improve the site, Apple collects some information about how you use it. The information collected will not personally identify you.”
The app is currently available only in the US, it will be available in India soon.
Google too has launched a similar screening tool - Project Baseline.