By Chand Bellur
March 27, 2020 at 3:05 p.m. PDT
- Apple released a website and app providing veritable information about COVID-19.
- The website and app feature a screening tool to diagnose COVID-19 and provide treatment recommendations.
- Telehealth app recommendations ensure that those with mild symptoms or diagnostic questions stay home.
Apple Launches COVID-19 Website and App
The novel coronavirus pandemic concerns and frightens billions of people throughout the world. Supermarkets, stripped of essentials, are evidence of widespread fear caused by misinformation. Twenty-four hour news stations transmit fear for the sake of viewership. Primary sources, such as the CDC and World Health Organization, are largely ignored.
Most people will not perish from COVID-19. Stay at home orders aim to slow spread of the disease so that healthcare systems won’t be overwhelmed. The vast majority of infected individuals experience mild symptoms. None of these facts should result in empty store shelves, however, the truth is often scarce at times like these.
Apple, with 1.4 billion active devices, has a massive reach. Their new COVID-19 app and website are crucial at this juncture. The Cupertino company can use their large user base to promote facts over fears and help triage the public. The screening tool intends to isolate individuals with mild symptoms, referring them to telehealth apps instead of in-person medical services.
COVID-19 Screening Tool Helps Triage Patients
As COVID-19 infections grow rapidly, healthcare systems are overwhelmed with patients and healthy, yet concerned, individuals. The latter take up precious resources and should remain home, in order to prevent infection. Unfortunately, between the White House and the twenty-four hour news media, a lack of clear communication instills fear and panic.
Apple’s new COVID-19 app and website feature an innovative screening tool. Users select answers to a series of questions, resulting in treatment recommendations. In addition to symptoms, the app asks questions about employment, travel and residency within high-infection areas.
If you’re a healthcare worker, you will get different advice than a software engineer or teacher. The screening tool may recommend healthcare workers and other essential labor get tested for the virus.
Without a doubt, Apple’s COVID-19 app and website are sophisticated and accurate. Beyond the screening tool, the app answers common questions and recommends select telehealth apps. The latter feature is designed to steer people away from overwhelmed hospitals and clinics.
Anyone with a modern Apple device can download the COVID-19 app from the App Store. If you don’t own an Apple device, you can still benefit from the information and screening tool. Just point your browser to Apple’s COVID-19 website and you’ll have access to the screening tool, information and app recommendations, which may be available on other platforms.