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The CEO of search engine giant Google; Thomas Kurian, has given out details of how their cloud-based collaboration and artificial intelligence tools are beginning to support all public sector agencies – as well as retailers, healthcare providers and various other businesses. This is in response to the pandemic COVID-19 outbreak, and seeks to explain how the tech giant are doing their bit to try and help businesses in this difficult time.

Kurian detailed in a recent blog post published; the various different details in which the variety of projects the Google Cloud team are now becoming more and more involved in, as well as the ways that Google’s technology platforms are being used to support the responses of all workplaces including educational institutions, any medical facilities and also specific government agencies across the world; all fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the different platforms that is included in this project is an artificial intelligence based live chat bot which can be used by agencies, specifically governmental; to response in a quicker way than they would have previously. This is specifically helping agencies to alleviate the massive surge in communications (mostly and more frequently inbound understandably). The knock on effect for this is that it can help to balance the wait times for people trying to get in touch for certain services; which could then help to reduce hysteria and panic; especially in people’s time of need.

Google are also looking to start offering a free content delivery network service as well as loan-balancing services which will allow government websites to secure themselves and balance under the heavy amount of traffic that they are undoubtedly experiencing at the moment. This is down to a number of different reasons as people are looking for as much information as possible from government websites including around the virus itself, benefits and payment services plus also information around what business grants and loans are available to help keep them afloat.

“In the US, we are working with the White House and supporting institutions to develop new text and data mining techniques to examine the Covid-19 Open Research Dataset (Cord-19), the most extensive machine-readable coronavirus literature collection to-date,” said Thomas Kurian in his recent blog post.

Google’s cloud technology platform is also working with the local government in Madrid; one of the worst hit cities outside of China, to help them provide tools to understand the extent and spread of the virus within the local area; and indeed across Spain.

“In Spain, we’ve set up an app for the regional government in Madrid to help citizens perform self-assessments of coronavirus symptoms and offer guidance, easing the demands on the healthcare system,” he continued. “The Spanish national government is also planning to deploy this app across other regions in the country in the coming days.”


Helping businesses in healthcare

One of the hardest hit industries through this pandemic has been; understandably, the healthcare industry and Google are trying to do what they can to help healthcare industries across the world. A major example of this is the way in which 70,000 employees in the healthcare system of the Veneto region in Northern Italy are using G-Suite to help coordinate their patient care systems.

In the United States, specifically the Oklahoma state department of health; Google’s cloud technologies have played an important role in allowing the creation of specialised apps which allow healthcare staff to remotely speak to and assess people with higher risk of contracting Coronavirus.

“We worked with our partner MTX Group to create the app and are now deploying it with governments in Florida, New York, and many other states so they can use our tools for insights into how the virus’s spread is affecting citizens and state healthcare systems,” said Kurian.

In Australia, the government’s Department of Health is also looking into hosting an application on Google’s cloud platform which will allow Australian citizens to check how the pandemic is progressing across the country in real-time. There has also been an exploration of use of Google’s cloud technology suite in the NHS as a means to provide staff with access to real time information on the different levels of occupation of hospitals, especially within A&E departments.

“Healthcare is the most impacted industry during the pandemic, and technology can be a critical tool to help,” said Google’s CEO. “We’re providing solutions for the health research community to identify new therapies and treatments, and assist hospital systems with tracking the pandemic and providing telehealth and remote-patient monitoring solutions.”

Google has also revealed that they have activated their usual “Black Friday/Cyber Monday” protocol in which their servers are braced for the increased numbers of traffic hitting specific websites such as online retailers. This means that especially, professional services, technical account managers and customer reliability resources are being brought together in order to help plan and react to user demand during unprecedented peak times.

“We’ll continue to work tirelessly on these and other initiatives to support our users, customers, and communities in this time of need. I’m so grateful to the many extraordinary Cloud Googlers that have worked so hard to provide so many capabilities for our customers.”

The cloud is definitely something that can help all businesses at this moment in time from allowing remote working, communications and data sharing. This collaborative effort for businesses, their employees and their customers alike; are coming together in this incredible difficult and unique time; in order to help fight this global pandemic. Cloud tech is becoming the enabler.

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