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Stanford and Apple Team Up on First-Responder Health App

Credit: CNBC

First-responders need quick testing.

Firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and other important first-responder workers are out in the thick of this pandemic. They don’t have the option of social distancing like the rest of us, and we thank them for every minute of their service. In the event that a first-responder gets sick, however, they need to know as quickly as possible, lest they put others at risk. To that end, Apple has teamed up with Stanford Medicine to create a special medical advisory app for first-responders.

First-responders can visit the Stanford Medicine website to use the app. Basically, it’s a survey that requests current symptoms and recent behaviors. If the entered symptoms line up with COVID-19, the app will recommend immediate testing. After that, the first-responder can take the app’s report to whoever’s in charge of health at their workplace and get themselves scheduled for a priority-level COVID-19 test at the nearest Stanford Medicine facility.

Credit: Steve Fisch/Stanford

The app is currently undergoing a live-fire test in the Santa Clarita and San Mateo counties of California. This app has the potential to be very helpful for California, as they have been lacking in COVID-19 tests. Stanford developed their own tests last month, and have currently administered around 3,000 of them. They realized that the process becomes faster and more efficient if they have a symptom profile of the patient beforehand, which this app will provide.

Apple lent their aid to Stanford by providing their ResearchKit and CareKit software to use as a framework. ResearchKit and CareKit were designed with the express purpose of handling potentially sensitive medical data in a private, expedited fashion. As such, the data entered into the app is not actually shared with anyone unless the person who entered it gives express permission.