Apple Releases new 'COVID-19' App, Screening Tool and Website based on CDC Guidance & Apple's Legendary Privacy
Last Saturday Patently Apple posted a report titled "Google's new COVID-19 website that launched Friday will eventually link to a questionnaire on COVID-19 regarding 'Drive Thru' Testing." Today Apple issued a press release to officially announce their new COVID-19 app and website that's available immediately.
:Apple today released a new screening tool and set of resources to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19, based on the latest CDC guidance.
The new COVID-19 website, and COVID-19 app available on the App Store, were created in partnership with the CDC,1 the White House 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 US is feeling the heavy burden of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 app and website allow users to answer a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms for themselves or a loved one. In turn, they will receive CDC recommendations on next steps, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider.
This new screening tool is designed to be a resource for individuals and does not replace instructions from healthcare providers or guidance from state and local health authorities.
The app and website also offer access to resources to help people stay informed and get the support they need. Users will receive answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19, including who is most at risk and how to recognize symptoms. In addition, they will learn the most up-to-date information from the CDC like best practices for washing hands, disinfecting surfaces and monitoring symptoms.
Along with the new COVID-19 app and website, customers across the US may also ask Siri, "How do I know if I have coronavirus?" to access guidance and resources from the CDC and a curated collection of telehealth apps available on the App Store. This week, travelers landing at select international airports throughout the US started receiving notifications on their iPhone to remind them of current CDC guidance to stay home and monitor their health.
Consistent with Apple’s strong dedication to user privacy, the COVID-19 app and website were built to keep all user data private and secure. The tools do not require a sign-in or association with a user’s Apple ID, and users’ individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.
Anyone in the US who is 18 years or older can access the screening tool and resources today by downloading the COVID-19 app on the App Store or visiting apple.com/covid19.
Update, 11 a.m.: After Apple's announcement, Google announced that they're pledging $800 million in relief funds to customers and health-care workers, joining a list of corporations providing money and materials to address the coronavirus pandemic.
Bloomberg further reported that "The contributions include $250 million in advertising credits for the World Health Organization and $340 million to small businesses to run promotions with Google, Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google and parent Alphabet Inc., announced Friday. The economic fallout from the pandemic has dried up marketing spending. Another $20 million gives researchers working on the novel virus credits to use the company’s cloud-computing services."