The Virginia Department of Health has rolled out a new AI-assisted online system to let people check their symptoms and determine if they need to get tested for COVID-19.
Called COVIDCheck, the page functions as a risk assessment tool that enables Virginia residents to check their symptoms and, tapping into an AI-driven data base, the system will determine the appropriate next step and offer resources, including the closest testing sites for COVID-19 if symptoms merit testing.
“This online symptom-checking tool can help Virginians understand their personal risk for COVID-19 and get recommendations about what to do next from the safety of their homes,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in a press conference. “ As we work to flatten the curve in our Commonwealth, telehealth services like this will be vital to relieving some of the strains on providers and health systems and making health care more convenient and accessible.”
COVIDCheck is free and designed to help users figure out the best course of action, such as self-isolation, seeing a doctor, or seeking emergency care. Virginia authorities caution, however, that it should not be used in place of emergency medical care. The site will screen users for occupational and medical risk factors and give them one of five care levels in accordance with the Virginia Department of Health’s categories.
“Because COVID-19 can affect people differently and cause illness ranging from mild to severe, this personalized assessment tool can help people sort through symptoms and decide if they need to seek medical care,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “While COVIDCheck is not a substitute for medical advice, it can help people decide what steps to take next to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the community.”
The recommendations, based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, include advice on when to contact a medical professional or seek emergency care, next steps for care based on zip code, and permission to follow up with the individual in three days to see how the person is doing.