A popular smartphone app that uses a bot to assess health problems has been updated to include symptoms for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Ada is a “doc-in-a-bot” app developed a few years ago by doctors who seek to get medical advice and health assessments to people with no easy access to doctors and hospitals.
Using artificial intelligence, Ada uses your symptoms to figure out what you might have. Like your doctor or nurse practitioner would do, the app’s bot begins with a series of questions about any symptoms you have. If you respond that you feel you might have a cold, it wants to know if you have a sore throat, are you sneezing, do you have a headache and if so, what part of your head is feeling pain. After asking a series of questions, Ada uses artificial intelligence to show the most probable ailment, in other words, what most people have when they show all of the same symptoms.
It then makes a recommendation of whether you should schedule an appointment with your doctor or just take over-the-counter medications and get some rest.
The more you use Ada, the more it learns about your health and how that impacts your susceptibility for catching other diseases that are going around each year. The app is highly reviewed and updated regularly with security and privacy improvements. In the latest update in February, Ada now includes symptoms for COVID-19.
It isn’t a replacement for a doctor, but it might keep you from making an appointment you don’t need.