If you are an Apple user who is feeling under the weather and worried that you have Covid-19, the disease caused by the new corona virus, you now have a new resource at your disposal: Siri.
Apple has updated Siri with a questionnaire that helps people identify disease symptoms and determine the best course of action. To access it, users can ask Siri, “Hey Siri, do i have corona virus?” According to CNBC, users noticed the update and new features of Siri this weekend.
Before starting the questionnaire, Apple suggests the answers to provide to be from the United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The short survey, which can be answered with the answers “Yes”, “No” or “Not sure”, starts by asking if you have a fever, dry cough or shortness of breath, all of which are common symptoms of covid-19. Then you will be asked if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the disease.
When we tested and replied “Nnot sure, “to both questions, Siri told us to remain vigilant for the above symptoms, adding that they can occur up to 14 days after exposure. When that happens, Siri said, “separate yourself from others.”
But the voice assistant said that people over 65 should respond differently if they do develop symptoms. The CDC states that older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of more serious complications from covid-19.
“Contact a healthcare provider if you are 65 or older, or if you have a serious medical condition, such as lung or heart disease or diabetes,” said Siri.
On the other hand, if users indicate that their symptoms are extreme or life threatening, Siri will ask them if they need emergency services and give them the option to call 911.
Siri also recommends that users consider downloading telehealth apps if they are unable to contact a healthcare provider. The voice assistant provides a link tO Apple App Store to learn more about this options. Apple states that the apps, including Amwell, Teladoc, Sydney Care and Doctor On Demand, help users get care similar to what they would get with a traditional doctor office visit.
At this point, it appears that the new Siri update is only available to users in the United States. We tried it out from Spain and did not receive the questionnaire. Instead, we were directed to the website of the Spanish Ministry of Health. CNBC reports that it is unknown if and when the questionnaire would be available to an international audience.