Apple Launches COVID-19 Screening Tool

The tool was created in collaboration with CDC, WH, and FEMA

Why This Matters

Apple made its COVID-19 screening tool available to everyone, via iOS app and web site. Knowing when to get medical attention and what to do if you have symptoms is a major step in protecting us all from the viral pandemic.

Apple's COVID-19 screening tool on iPhone
 Original Image by Unsplash

Apple just released a COVID-19 screening tool as both an iOS app and a website, making sure that everyone can access the tool. Turns out, Apple is the company that came up with the tool that President Trump told everyone was being made by Google.

Developed in collaboration with the CDC, the White House, and FEMA, the screening tool asks you questions about your symptoms, and then can recommend the next steps if you have any.

How does it work: The app advises you to call 911 if you have constant chest pain or pressure, extreme difficulty breathing, severe and constant dizziness or lightheadedness, slurred speech, or difficulty waking up.

It you don't have any of those symptoms, the questionnaire asks your age, sorting you into under 18, between 18 and 64, or over 64. Then, the tool asks if you have any of six symptoms: fever, chills, or sweating, non-severe difficulty breathing, new or worsening cough, sore throat, body aches, or vomiting or diarrhea. It also asks if you have any health conditions, like asthma, diabetes with complications, kidney failure, or other issues like a weakened immune system.

Finally, the questionnaire asks if you've traveled internationally, if you live in an area where COVID-19 is widespread, if you have had contact with someone who has COVID-19, and if you work in a care facility.

Then what? The tool will tell you what to do based on your answers, and it will not share these with the CDC or Apple itself. If you're not experiencing any symptoms, the tool recommends social distancing and taking the questionnaire again if anything changes.

The bottom line: If you're worried about COVID-19, this is a great way to know when and if you should seek a test or medical attention. It could help stop people who don't need to go from overloading the system, and those who might balk at seeking help to go get some care.

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