Apple, Stanford University Develop COVID-19 Screening App for First Responders

Stanford University and Apple have partnered on a new iPhone app that provides police officers, firefighters, and paramedics in the Bay Area with info and safety measures regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The iOS app, called First Responder COVID-19 Guide, offers a screening tool that can help determine if a coronavirus test is recommended, as well as information from Stanford physicians and scientists on protecting yourself from the virus and other updates on the pandemic.

“First responders are the individuals who continue to be out in the field serving our community and continue to be exposed to individuals with the virus,” said Stanford Health Care’s Catherine Krna in a release on Wednesday. “Our communities look to them to provide stability and order, and we as a health care system have an obligation to keep them safe as they work to protect us all.”

To serve frontline providers, Stanford Medicine say its First Responder COVID-19 Guide app was built with the “support of Apple to help these first responders screen their symptoms and, if needed, schedule a testing appointment.” The app uses Apple’s ResearchKit and CareKit frameworks.

Stanford also said it had begun to offer priority drive-through coronavirus testing to police, firefighters and paramedics in the Santa Clara and San Mateo areas of Northern California. Data collected by the first responder app won’t be shared with Stanford or Apple without permission.

“Our outpatient testing has connected thousands of patients in our community with the medical care they need, while also helping to contain this dangerous pandemic,” said Megan Mahoney, a physician who is Stanford’s chief of general primary care.

“By extending high-priority testing to our local first responders, we’re ensuring that this important population knows they have our unwavering support.”

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, has rapidly spread across the globe. The World Health Organization on March 11 declared the outbreak a pandemic. There are now over 1.5 million confirmed cases globally as of Thursday.