With Apple’s help, Stanford Medicine is building an app to prioritize testing for paramedics, policemen, and firefighters in California, United States. Called the ‘First Responder COVID-19 Guide‘ the app will suggest the next step, after analyzing the user’s symptoms, through a series of questions. If the person has COVID-19 symptoms, they will be recommended testing which could be scheduled at the Stanford Health Care site by sharing the result with the ‘department infection control officer’ in the app.
The app is designed to give preference to first responders who are at a high risk of catching the virus because of their exposure to infected individuals. In this critical time, the well being of frontline workers is imperative for the continuation of care and protection of people. Taking an example of New York, more than a thousand police officers tested positive of COVID-19 on 1st April. Doctors, nurses and other health care providers have already sacrificed their lives for the well being of others around the world.
Therefore, Stanford Medical team wants to increase testing. It is behind other states like Washington and New York, in conducting daily tests. Stanford states that it has the ability to test 2500 people daily, but it requires more testing kits.
User data is protected when using the app, as it is only saved on the user’s device, unless they share it with a health provider. Stanford’s screening app uses Apple’s CareKit and ResearchKit APIs to assist developers in handling confidential medical data. The functionality of this app is similar to Apple’s native COVID-19 app, which allows American citizens to screen their symptoms at home.
At the moment, the app is only available in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties in California. However, Stanford’s medical team wants to extend the service to other frontline workers like government employees and grocery store workers, and make the app available in other counties and states in the country.