Siri can do preliminary screening for coronavirus (not for India)
As coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc around the world, Apple is doing its bit to help those in need. The Cupertino giant has silently updated Siri, its digital voice assistant, with the ability to do preliminary screening for people worrying if they have contracted the deadly virus. Here's all you need to know about it.
Triage tool bundled with Siri
With the new functionality, when you ask Siri 'Do I have coronavirus', it walks you through a series of questions designed to assess your condition. Depending on the answers provided, it checks whether you are exhibiting coronavirus-specific symptoms - like high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath - and recommends getting tested at the nearest testing location in your state, if needed.
Plus, it can also detect critical cases
If Siri determines your situation to be life-threatening, it recommends calling 911 for emergency help. However, in case everything seems normal, it simply suggests to stay home and avoid close contact with people. Now, this would be critical to stop people from panicking over coronavirus contraction and rushing into testing locations, keeping those who actually need the test from getting it.
Suggestion to download telehealth apps
Among other things, Siri will also suggest downloading telehealth apps from the App Store, which would let you get in touch with a doctor (if needed) without leaving your home.
Questionnaire sourced from CDC, but only for Americans
Notably, all questions asked by Siri are sourced from reliable data provided by the US Public Health Service and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, as of now, the tool only works for those in the US. If you are in any other country, the assistant will simply redirect you to the national health website and provide necessary resources on COVID-19 for help.
This comes as Apple's latest effort to fight COVID-19
The Siri update comes as the latest effort from Apple to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 in the US. Prior to this, the company had given $15 million in donation as well as several face masks to aid the relief work going on for the disease. So far, COVID-19 has killed over 13,000 people around the world, with most being in Italy.
Here's how it works
Pretty good move of Apple. Also note how at some point it didn’t understand me and and I started a new Hey Siri my answer was no and continued from where we left. pic.twitter.com/yGXtzLDtYc— Marisniulkis (@mlescaille) March 22, 2020