Google Cloud Unveils New AI and Machine Learning Tools in Fight Against COVID-19

Google recently announced a slew of new artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to assist in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the United States. Based in the cloud, these tools will be able to provide key information, conduct eligibility screening, scheduling appointments, distribution and analytics, to forecasting and modelling COVID-19 cases.

Known as the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution, the technology can also study consumer sentiment around the COVID-19 vaccine. By pinpointing how local communities perceive the risks and benefits of the vaccines, the authorities will be able to address these concerns through their media campaigns and increasing overall confidence in the vaccine.

In a blog post discussing the company’s latest initiative, Mike Daniels, Vice President of the global public sector at Google Cloud, noted that the new solution ‘helps increase vaccine availability and equitable access to those who need it and assists governments in building awareness, confidence and acceptance of vaccines.’

“We designed our solution to easily integrate with existing technologies, knowing that governments will administer their vaccine distributions in unique ways,” he said.

Daniels also announced that Google Cloud researchers had also built a machine learning approach that pairs AI with an epidemiology base to assist in COVID-19 forecasting. This is addition to an AI-driven “what-if” model to be used for COVID-19 response and other infectious disease policy intervention decision-making.

The data generated will be able to assist authorities to determine if and how predictions change as a result of policy changes, such as mask mandates, modified reopening plans or vaccination programs.

Google Cloud’s solution also includes a vaccine information portal to help overwhelmed local governments address questions and concerns from the public.

According to the tech giant, the solution utilizes Google Cloud Healthcare API to transfer data using common formats such as HL7 or FHIR—which are able to work with existing healthcare and immunization systems.

By collaborating with companies such as SpringML, MTX and Deloitte, Google Cloud has developed multiple vaccine information portals to enable people to find out more about vaccine availability, check if they qualify, sign up for vaccination, and share their details so that when they are eligible they can be receive the vaccination as quickly as possible.

The solution also offers consumers online registration and prescreening, location searches and appointment setting as well as automated reminders. The solution relies on Google Cloud Healthcare API to transmit data using common formats such as HL7 or FHIR—which interoperate with existing healthcare and immunization systems, the tech giant said.

Several states such as North Carolina and New York are already utilizing Google Cloud’s vaccine management solution.

Given the immense scope and challenges associated with the COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts in the country, tech companies are doing their part to overcome the logistical hurdles.

Microsoft has collaborated with a number of companies on vaccine management efforts for both government and healthcare customers. These include business partners such as Accenture, Avanade, EY and Mazik Global to roll out vaccine management solutions. Similarly, IBM introduced supply chain management software with a blockchain-based approach to verify and track vaccines, confirm that patients have had the vaccine and take note of which patients received which vaccine.

With the above efforts, it goes to show that technology can indeed do its part for the greater good.

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