ORLANDO, Fla. – Apple is working to update its GPS app to help people find coronavirus testing sites in their area.
The tech company launched a portal on its website for medical facilities to register as screening locations. Healthcare providers, labs or other businesses offering testing will have to download a template and e-mail Apple their testing location information.
This information includes site code, provider, testing hours, requirements to get tested. Medical facilities also have to clarify its testing location type which can range from a drive-thru, parking lot or converted lab facility.
Apple will then work to verify those testing sites and include them as destination options on its Apple Maps app that comes with each Apple device.
Apple posted an image of what they expect the feature to look like.
It’s unclear at this time when this Apple Maps update will be available.
This initiative adds another layer to the company’s COVID-19 response. Apple has also launched a site connecting users with resources in their state. The site includes guidance on coronavirus testing, mental health resources and includes a screening tool. It was developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Apple has also teamed up with fellow tech giant Google to utilize contact tracing technology. The two will use a broad Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform meant to track a user’s locations and support the development of such an interface.
In the meantime, the two companies have agreed to turn in user mobility data to public health officials and governments to help track the volume of people heading to a location. This can give officials insight on if social distancing is working and help trace hot zones as more cases of coronavirus are confirmed. Apple notes that this information comes from Apple Maps search data and does not utilize personal user information.