Coronavirus screening with Alexa: how your Amazon Echo can help identify symptoms

If you're worried you might have COVID-19, ask Alexa – it can help you spot the symptoms and offer official advice

Alexa coronavirus screening
(Image credit: Amazon)

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon has given Alexa the ability to answer questions about the virus, including helping you identify whether symptoms you're worried about might indicate whether you have it.

If you ask Alexa a question like "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus", the smart assistant will ask you questions relating to the symptoms you're feeling, your potential exposure and travel, and will offer advice for your answers based on guidelines from the CDC. 

Obviously, this shouldn't be considered a replacement for a real medical test if you're able to get one, but there's a lot of confusing information about what symptoms you should be wary of and under what circumstances you'll have been in danger of catching it, and Alexa may be able to assuage your concerns, or help you take a sensible next action.

These abilities are live in countries all over the world, and are possible not only on Amazon Echo devices with Alexa built in, but other devices too – that means other smart speakers, soundbars, TVs and on phones.

Echo devices with screens, such as the Echo Show 5, can also show news updates to make sure you have the latest information about policies and government programs, though at these times of isolation, we don't recommend following the news all day – it won't be great for your mental health. Just check in for updates a couple of times per day.

Apple has also added a similar coronavirus screen ability to Siri, which can now ask you questions based on US government guidelines if you think you have COVID-19.

Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.