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Amazon’s Alexa can help spot the signs of COVID-19 – here’s how

Worried about that cough or tickle in your throat? Well, getting a test for COVID-19 isn’t very easy. Typically, you need to show symptoms to qualify for one — and even then, some locations won’t see you unless your symptoms are severe.

There’s a good reason for all this red tape, though. By urging people with mild symptoms to self-isolate, we can help prevent our hospitals from overflowing in hot-spot areas. Tap or click here to see an updated map of the outbreak.

But if you want peace of mind about the way you’re feeling, Alexa can help. Amazon has updated Alexa to triage your symptoms and it can help you determine your risk factors just by talking with you. Seriously!

Paging Dr. Alexa…

Companies across the board are changing their policies and practices in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Amazon is taking it a step further. In a recent blog post, the company outlined a new update for Alexa based on CDC guidelines that can answer all of your burning coronavirus questions.

In addition to answering questions about symptoms, case rates and other data, Alexa can also triage your personal symptoms and help you decide whether medical attention is needed.

If you ask Alexa, “Do I have the coronavirus” or “Do I have COVID-19?” the voice assistant will ask you a series of questions about where you’ve traveled, what symptoms you’re feeling and times where you may have been exposed.

Based on your answers, Alexa will harness the CDC’s data to provide your risk level. If your symptoms are serious enough, Alexa will also recommend the next steps you need to take to get help.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. In another helpful feature, Alexa can sing you a 20-second song while you wash your hands.

20 seconds with soap and warm water is all it takes to kill the virus. Just say, “Alexa, sing me a song while I wash my hands” to get it started. Tap or click here to see 5 other ways to keep yourself safe from the virus.

Not just Amazon

Apple is also throwing its hat into the COVID-19 wellness ring with a company-branded screening app and a Siri update that lets Apple’s assistant answer your coronavirus questions as well.

It may not be as in-depth as Alexa’s diagnostic tool, but the combination of the app and Siri put the two companies on more equal footing during the crisis.

Still, it’s a positive sign that tech companies are making their moves to help people during these trying times. As we move indoors and pay close attention to our health, it’s all the more necessary. Tap or click here to see some of the free tools offered by Microsoft and others during COVID-19.

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