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
Matthew Bolton

Matthew runs T3's magazine side putting the best gadgets in ink every month, having worked across on many tech mags over the last decade. He's also our resident Apple expert, and you absolutely should not get him started about Lego or board games unless you have a free afternoon and endless patience.