Sunday, October 2, 2022

Tech companies and their response to COVID-19

Tech Companies and their response to COVID-19

Major tech companies are donating millions of masks from their stockpile, as well as teaming up with hospitals for sharing and analyzing data and offering their computing abilities to help researchers.

Tech companies – small and large scale – are acting as crucial respondents during the pandemic. After getting a lot of shade over the past few years due to a series of privacy scandals, the industry is receiving praise for stepping up their act. However, as the pandemic continues, tech companies are facing serious questions about where they are putting their resources. Are tech companies prioritizing the needs of frontline workers and clinicians? 

The recent weeks have seen more tech companies join the fight against coronavirus. Earlier, the Big Three Cloud Vendors – Microsoft, Amazon, and Google – announced plans to unite with the Trump administration’s new COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. Meanwhile Amazon, Salesforce and Microsoft also said they will join the new data-pooling COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition. These efforts combined can help address the crisis nationwide and hopefully across the globe.

Amazon’s department that provides medical care to its employees is picking up and delivering at-home testing kits as part of their new research, however, this is only happening in Seattle’s King County.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is the philanthropic vehicle created and launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan has been working to increase COVID-19 testing in the Bay area.

As for Google, the Alphabet life science unit Verily has launched a website to triage suspected COVID-19 cases and push them in the direction of testing sites.

Even Elon Musk has contributed with a grand gesture that may be relatively local in his scope. Elon ordered 1200 ventilators from China and had them shipped to Los Angeles where he lives and where his space exploration company SpaceX is based.

Undoubtedly, Tech companies have provided support amid the pandemic, but it remains to be seen whether they will intensify and sustain efforts beyond the local initiative.