The coronavirus outbreak has brought almost the entire world to a halt and now tech companies are starting to produce tools to help spread awareness and counter the epidemic. Microsoft has now released a live dashboard on bing that tracks the COVID-19 outbreak.
The live tracker collects data from reliable sources including the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Although plenty of similar trackers already exist, most of them are meant for desktops only. Unlike most that are currently available, Bing’s dashboard makes it incredibly easy to stay up to date on mobile devices as well.
The dashboard includes a full list of countries with reported cases and aggregated numbers at the top. Clicking on individual countries shows the number of active cases, recovered cases, and fatalities for each country. Additionally, it also shows new stories and videos from each country to help stay up to date with government responses.
One of Alphabet’s subsidiaries, Verily Life Sciences, is collaborating with the California Governer’s Office to help people in America receive free COVID-19 screening.
Their new website is part of a bigger project called Project Baseline which aims at providing people in California with COVID-19 screening completely free of cost. Currently, it is only available to people living in Santa Clara and San Mateo, but it will be expanding to more regions soon.
Requirements for Project Baseline include signing in through a Google account for participation, sharing some information about the current state of health and any symptoms, and filling out a COVID-19 authorization form. Once a patient qualifies for COVID-19 screening, they will be tested immediately and results will be sent via email.
The website also ensures everyone that patient data will be kept in an encrypted format and will not be shared with third parties.
President Donald Trump announced this development in a tweet last week where he said that Google (Verily Life Sciences) was building a website to help people get diagnosed for COVID-19. Google itself, however, is also making a website to help avoid the coronavirus but this will be an informative one, spreading awareness on the virus regarding symptoms and prevention.
Instagram will become one of the first social media platforms to provide direct help against the virus, a move that was unexpected since Instagram usually tends to avoid topics relating to current events and politics.
As reported by TechChrunch, the social media platform will be using its popularity to provide advice and safety tips against the coronavirus in an upcoming update.
The Instagram app and website will place a link at the top of its feed to helpful information against the virus from The World Health Organization (WHO) and local health ministries. These prompts with regular updates will appear in countries that are suffering the most from the outbreak.
Additionally, Instagram is also preventing the spread of misinformation and insensitive jokes about the pandemic with a continuous crackdown on such content.
It is unclear when the update will start rolling out, but once it does, it is likely to appear in countries like China and Italy first.