The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly taking the help of Microsoft's healthcare bot for developing a chatbot for coronoavrius assessment. The chatbot will offer relevant information to Americans unsure of their medical condition. The chatbot, dubbed Coronavirus Self Checker tool, will ask a set of questions about coronavirus infection related symptoms and come up with associated guidelines.

The questions will be based on the CDC guidelines regarding the common symptoms and risk factors to figure out the necessary action, including self-isolation, consulting a telehealth professional or calling 911 for a medical emergency. The chatbot also offers all relevant links and contacts of local health departments. However, it lacks any information about coronavirus testing sites. The chatbot will run on Microsoft Azure but will ensure to keep all personal information private.

Apple's initiative

Apple has also reportedly announced offering real-time help via its AI assistant Siri. According to the report, the new Siri will answer most of your queries related to coronavirus. For instance, if you turn Siri on your Apple device and ask "Her Siri, Do I have Coronavirus?" Siri will ask you a set of questions related to COVID-19 symptoms and tell you the best possible course of action you should follow. The instruction could include asking you to dial 911 or asking you to isolate yourself from your family members or the neighbourhood.

The updated Siri could also offer you a link of the telehealth application in the App Store to provide experts with opinion via virtual conversation. Apple has reportedly confirmed that the telehealth app could let you connect with the experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Public Health Service, which is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

What Google is doing

Besides Apple, Google has also launched a highly-awaited website to offer all precise information, news and related data about the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media giant Facebook has also announced launch of an information centre related to coronavirus to spread more awareness.

Ironically, the biggest two competitors of Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant are yet to come up with comprehensive support for their users. But both the AI-based assistants are capable of answering some basic COVID-19 related questions.

Apple has also announced donating millions of industrial-level N95 masks for healthcare professionals working in the US and Europe. Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the donation following an announcement by US Vice President Mike Pence.

"The president and I literally heard directly from Apple that they're donating 2 million industrial masks to this effort around the country and working with our administration to distribute those," Pence told a press briefing at the White House.

According to a New York Times report, healthcare workers in the US and Europe are currently facing a shortage of personal protective equipment, including face masks. They are compelled to attend to patients with less effective protective gear or even without any.

Face Masks
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