Google, Microsoft partner with England's health service to track COVID-19 spread 

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England's National Health Service is teaming up with Google, Microsoft and other tech firms to develop a dashboard to track the spread of COVID-19.

According to a March 28 U.K. government blog post, NHS England and NHSX, the health service’s digital transformation and technology unit, are creating a data storage system that will combine data sources from NHS and social care organizations at one location.

The data also will include information from NHS Digital’s online call centers and COVID-19 test results, all to be used in support of the country’s COVID-19 response.  

NHS and Google will collect critical, real-time information on hospital responses to COVID-19. Data collected by Google will be aggregated operational data such as hospital occupancy levels and won't include any form of identifiable patient information.

Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure will host the COVID-19 dashboard. 

Other tech companies involved in the project include Palantir Technologies UK, which is providing the software for the front end of the data platform, and Faculty, an artificial intelligence company that will lead the development of dashboards and digital models for the project. 

With the dashboard, NHS aims to streamline such data as current hospital occupancy levels, statistics about COVID-19 patient lengths of stay and emergency department capacities during the pandemic. 

By offering this information, NHS said it hopes decision-makers will be able to see how the virus spreads at a local level and increase healthcare resources in emerging COVID-19 hot spots. 


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