Apple's Siri helps Americans wondering if they have COVID-19

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Wachiwit via Getty Images

It's not just Alphabet's Verily offering a COVID-19 screening tool. Apple has quietly updated Siri in the US to provide a questionnaire (using US Public Health Service and CDC data) when they ask if they have the coronavirus. The voice assistant will ask if you're exhibiting symptoms like a fever or respiratory problems, and advises you to avoid contact with others if you appear infected. Siri also urges you to call 911 if your symptoms are extreme, and will point you to the App Store to download telehealth apps for remote consultations.

The company didn't elaborate on the questionnaire when asked by CNBC. In other countries, you'll typically be directed toward national health resources instead.

Apple has launched multiple efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including over $15 million in donations and contributing face masks. This, however, may be the most conspicuous -- anyone with an Apple device can quickly determine if they should be concerned or just have an ordinary illness.