Apple has updated Siri to provide information to people who are concerned that they have COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, reports CNBC. Users can ask questions to the voice assistant such as “How do I know if I have coronavirus” or “Do I have coronavirus?” and offer advice based on your symptoms. Users started noticing the new functionality on Saturday.
When you first ask Siri about the virus, the voice assistant will ask if you are experiencing related symptoms, including fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath. People with extreme or life-threatening illnesses are encouraged to call 911, while anyone who is unsure is informed of the symptoms of the disease and told to isolate themselves if they occur. Links to telehealth apps on the App Store are provided for anyone who is currently unable to communicate with a healthcare provider.
Siri’s responses are provided by the US Public Health Service. USA And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), notes CNBC.
For the time being, responses appear to be focused on US users. USA We tried to ask Siri for advice in the UK, and the voice assistant simply provided us with a link to an information page on a UK government website. There was no questionnaire about symptoms or links to the App Store.
Siri’s new functionality reflects similar efforts by other tech companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft that have launched information resources about the virus. Facebook has added a coronavirus information center to the top of its News Feed in the United States that transmits information from the World Health Organization and the CDC, while Google has also launched an informational site. Meanwhile, Microsoft released an interactive map and also worked with CDC to produce a “self-test” chatbot.