On the new screening tools, people answer a series of questions about their age, symptoms and underlying medical conditions. Based on those responses, the systems assess the person’s risk of having coronavirus and advise whether they should self isolate at home or immediately seek medical attention.
Some medical providers warn that these online tools may misclassify some severely ill patients and cause them to delay getting care.
“You could get a false reassurance because what you put in would indicate you’re OK and you may not be,” said Deborah Burger, a registered nurse in California and president of National Nurses United, a union representing about 150,000 nurses across the country.
Isakov said the Emory-backed site doesn’t offer a diagnosis and always advises people to consult with their physician. “There is no replacement for the doctor-patient relationship. But these are extenuating circumstances in a pandemic,” he said.