Apple has updated Siri to provide new responses to questions about COVID-19. As first reported by CNBC, the virtual assistant now includes answers from the CDC and other sources when asked about the virus.
For instance, if you ask Siri something like, “Do I have coronavirus?,” the assistant will walk you through a series of questions. Siri will ask users if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and if those symptoms are deemed life-threading, Siri recommends calling 911. Otherwise, the questionnaire recommends to stay home and avoid contact with other people.
Siri will ask users if they’re exhibiting symptoms of the disease, such as fever, dry cough or shortness of breath. Siri will advise people who say they have extreme or life-threatening symptoms to consider calling 911.
If users say their symptoms are not extreme or life threatening, Siri instructs people to stay home and avoid contact with other people. It advises them to contact a medical provider if their condition becomes more severe.
Apple is also promoting telehealth applications in the App Store when a user asks Siri about coronavirus. As we reported last week, the App Store is expediting COVID-19 applications from reputable sources to ensure the credibility of health and safety information.
According to Apple, the answers are sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Public Health Service. The questionnaire flow is currently available in the United States and it’s unclear if it will expand elsewhere.
On Thursday, we noted that Apple was also promoting a video from the White House Coronavirus Task Force in iTunes and Apple Music. Since then, the video has also been featured prominently in the App Store and Apple’s website.
Finally, Apple is also donating millions of N95 industrial masks to healthcare professionals in the United States and Europe, Tim Cook announced yesterday.