Google developing a tool to help triage individuals for Covid-19 testing
President Trump & executives announced that Google has been tapped to build a website to help determine if and where people should get tested for the virus & retailers would set up drive-through testing in parking lots.
“I want to thank Google. Google is helping to develop a website,” the president said. Then, in an apparent swipe at the disastrous launch of healthcare.gov under former President Barack Obama, Trump said.
“It’s gonna be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past.” He said the website would serve to “determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location.”
“Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now. They’ve made tremendous progress,” Trump said.
“Our overriding goal is to stop the spread of the virus.” The White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, Deborah Birx, held up a flowchart showing how users would be screened for risk factors.
In response to President Donald Trump’s announcement the CEO of Google and its parent company, Alphabet Sundar Pichai said in a blog post that Google is working with the US government on the informational site. The website will contain educational material and “best practices for prevention,” and will launch late Monday.
An administration presentation showed a potential user would be asked several questions on the website and then given a recommendation as to whether they should get a coronavirus test.
Those requiring a test would be referred to a store that can provide assistance, potentially including a drive-through test, as per the administration’s presentation. Results would be available online in 24 to 36 hours.
Verily, a healthcare tech company also owned by Alphabet, acknowledged that it is set to launch a website that will allow users to plug in their symptoms and be directed to testing sites if necessary.
Verily said it was leading the effort to develop the web tool, with the help of an undisclosed number of Google employees. But the company also made clear that the website, known as Project Baseline, will be restricted to California residents for now and is not ready for nationwide service.
Alphabet also confirmed this & said it intended to launch a small-scale website next week to begin to triage California-based patients. The website will aim to serve a broader population only “overtime”.