Stanford Medicine creates COVID-19 guide app for first responders

The app is designed to provide first responders with expert information and allow them to screen their symptoms


By Laura French

STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford Medicine, which is offering high-priority COVID-19 testing for firefighters, EMS providers and police officers, has created an app that allows first responders to screen their symptoms and determine if they should be tested. 

The First Responder COVID-19 Guide app, available for free on the Apple app store, provides up-to-date information about the pandemic from experts at the university, according to a Stanford Medicine news release.

The First Responder COVID-19 Guide app, developed by Stanford Medicine, seeks to provide up-to-date, reliable COVID-19 information for first responders and allow them to screen their symptoms to determine if they should be tested.
The First Responder COVID-19 Guide app, developed by Stanford Medicine, seeks to provide up-to-date, reliable COVID-19 information for first responders and allow them to screen their symptoms to determine if they should be tested. (Photo/Stanford Medicine)

The screening portion of the app allows first responders to complete a questionnaire about their symptoms, medical history and exposure to the virus. The app will then tell the user if testing is recommended based on their responses. 

Responses to the questions are stored securely on the user's device but can be shared with a healthcare provider if the first responder chooses to do so, according to the university. 

"With these apps ... we're expanding the reach of our expertise to provide answers for people who are busy serving others during the crisis. It's our hope that this technology will ease some of the burden for people on the front lines, and will help inform those who seek a reliable source on COVID-19," said Priya Singh, chief strategy officer and senior associate dean at Stanford Medicine.

First responders in the Stanford area who are recommended to be tested can schedule high-priority drive-thru testing at Stanford Health Care through their agency. The university has seven testing sites throughout the Bay Area and hopes to connect more California first responders in different counties to high-priority testing in the future. 

"Our researchers were among the first in the nation to develop and deploy our own COVID-19 test, a rapid response that has equipped Stanford Medicine with a crucial tool for protecting and caring for patients during this pandemic," said Dr. Robert Harrington, professor and chair of medicine at Stanford. "We are pleased to have the support from Apple to further bolster our shared community by offering testing and a new app. We want to reinforce our support for frontline workers whose tireless efforts benefit us all during this challenging time."

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