Apple is doubling down on its collaboration with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve the organization’s COVID-19 screening protocol.
The Silicon Valley tech giant has updated its website and COVID-19 app, TechCrunch reported.
Its new features allow users to share their location, age, health, any symptoms they might be experiencing and potential exposure to anyone who tested positive for the virus.
This aggregated data, provided anonymously, is not connected to their personal data, according to the company. It is designed to assist state public health agencies to provide the latest information about coronavirus risk factors, the report said.
Collecting and studying data and details about people who have been impacted by the pandemic is a way for health care providers to learn more about the disease and defeat it, Apple said.
In March, Apple launched the screening tool and other resources to help the public protect their health during the spread of COVID-19.
The website and app, available from the App Store, were created with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Their mission on the project is to make it easy for the public to get accurate information and guidance amid the pandemic.
These tools allow users to answer 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 monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended and when to contact a doctor.
“The app and website also offer access to resources to help people stay informed and get the support they need,” Apple said in the announcement on its blog. “Users will receive answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19, including who is most at risk and how to recognize symptoms.”
Apple reminds users the screening tool is a resource but is not intended to replace instructions from family physicians or guidance from health authorities.
The tools are different from the recent Apple and Google’s partnership on COVID-19 contact tracing technology to help contain its spread.