Microsoft works with govt organisations, healthcare firms to fight Covid-19

Microsoft works with govt organisations, healthcare firms to fight Covid-19
Photo Credit: Reuters
17 Apr, 2020

In the fight against Covid-19, technology giant Microsoft said it supports government organisations and companies in the healthcare sectors with technology, and provides verified information on the pandemic to individuals.

The Redmond, Washington-based company said in a blog post that its data tracking and information sharing Power BI toolkit helps governments publish updated Covid-19 data on their websites. 

Additionally, the Punjab government rolled out a citizen app called Cova, which was built on Microsoft Azure, the blog post said. The platform provides verified information on Covid-19, including advisories on preventive measures and statistical updates from credible sources, it said. 

“Cova has two bots integrated into it. (One is an) an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered questions and answer bot that resolves people’s queries quickly and provides them (with) personalised information. The second one enables citizens to conduct a self-assessment, the framework for which has been developed on the basis of guidelines from the World Health Organization and the ministry of health and family welfare,” Manish Prakash, country general manager for public sector, health and education at Microsoft India, said.

Read: Coronavirus India LIVE updates

The company has also ventured into the healthcare solutions segment, the blog post said.

Microsoft Teams powered a virtual consultation service that hospital chain Fortis Healthcare recently piloted for its group hospitals, the post said. The service helps doctors schedule, manage and consult with patients, it added.

Cancer care specialist Healthcare Global Enterprises (HCG) also used Teams to launch a virtual outpatient department (OPD) for 23 centres across its network in India, the post added.

Mumbai-based startup Gaia Smart Cities built a platform on Azure, which helps authorities monitor Covid-19 trends in their respective cities, it said. Currently deployed in Agra, the app allows citizens to add their health status on the platform if they are unwell. City administrators, in turn, use that data to track responses by pin code and take preventive measures. The collated data also provides real-time reports on the daily situation, it added.

Last month, the company launched the Bing Covid-19 tracker to provide verified Covid-19 information to citizens. The platform, as per the post, embeds news stories and live feeds from national and regional media houses. “It allows users to not just track coronavirus infections across India and the globe, but also get up-to-date statistics on infection, recoveries and fatalities in their own states and districts,” Prakash added.

Currently, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases have crossed 13,000 in India, with the death toll at 437 across the country.