People are understandably upset and worried about catching the coronavirus that’s causing a worldwide pandemic. There are many reports of people showing symptoms but being denied a test to find out if they have COVID-19, and others are unsure of what the symptoms are. Apple is doing its part and has updated Siri, giving its AI the ability to help answer if your signs line up to COVID-19.
Apple has updated its voice assistant to help people sort out if their symptoms line up to those of the coronavirus. If your symptoms do line up, Siri will let you know the next best plan for you. The update appears to have happened on the weekend when people on Twitter started to notice what happened when you ask, “Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus?”
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
Siri follows up the question asking the user if they’re showing signs like fever, shortness of breath, or if they have a dry cough. Siri will then advise people who say they have life-threatening symptoms to consider calling 911 or instructs people to stay home and avoid being around other people if their symptoms are not extreme and or suggests you contact your medical provider.
Apple released a COVID-19 symptom triage tool within Siri. Ask “how do I know if I have coronavirus?” and it’ll walk you through a CDC-approved flow.
This is what voice assistants should be for.
— Alexis Córdova (@acordova) March 21, 2020
This new update also gives users a link to the App Store to download the telehealth apps where they could schedule a virtual appointment with a health care professional.
This service only rolled out to users in the United States. For Canadian users who ask, “Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus” they are directed to the official health website for Canada. It’s not known when, or if, this service will be rolled out internationally.
While this may just seem silly or fun, it’s a smart move to help give reliable information to everyone and to help direct worried people to the best resources.