Google offers advanced features, tools to tackle Covid-19 crisis

Google offers advanced features, tools to tackle Covid-19 crisis
Photo Credit: Pixabay
1 Apr, 2020

Mountain View, California headquartered search engine giant Google has rolled out features and resources to help streamline work amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Among other things, Google has waived off fee for its video conferencing platform Google Meet’s advanced features, Google cloud learning resources and education platforms until April 30, Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google cloud, said in a blog post.

For Google Meet, the advanced features will be made free to all G suite and G suite customers globally, along with hardware specifically needed for Meet being made available in South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and South Africa to better their online conferences.

Also read: Google commits over $800 mn in ad credits, funds in fight against Covid 19

In terms of upskilling employees from home, Google has offered its portfolio of Google Cloud learning resources to its users. This includes courses from cloud- training portal Qwiklabs and interactive cloud webinars that will be hosted until April 30. Google also said it will have courses on learning platforms Pluralsight and Coursera.  Teams can also build their skills through our on-demand courses on Pluralsight and Coursera.

Also read: Will WFH be the new normal for the IT services outsourcing industry post Covid-19?

In the US public sector, Google said it has been working with the White House to develop new text and data mining techniques to examine the Covid-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), a machine-readable literature collection on coronavirus.

Internationally, Google has set up an app for the regional government in Madrid, Spain, for citizens to self-assess Covid-19 status. The healthcare unit in Italy’s Veneto region also uses G Suite for its 70,000 employees. The Australian Government Department of Health launched the Coronavirus Australia App with the help of Google,  Kurian wrote in the blog.

For educational institutions, Google has rolled out educational tools to support distance-learning initiatives. Google Classroom has been deployed to 1.3 million students in New York City while daily webinars are being conducted for teachers from Malaysia to help them use Google tools. Kurien also said that Google has helped the Italian Ministry of Education to rapidly move towards remote learning methods.

For the healthcare domain, Google has made several Covid-19 public datasets free for researchers.

“Last week, we joined the Covid-19 Healthcare Coalition, a group of healthcare, technology, and research organisations who have come together to share resources in order to fight the virus,” wrote Kurian.

The National Health Service in the UK is also using G suite to collect critical data related to Covid-19, such as hospital occupancy levels and accident and emergency capacity.