Facebook introduced a new initiative that will offer free Portal smart speakers with displays to help patients to connect with their families during the coronavirus pandemic. This initiative is being run in the UK.
The social networking giant also partnered up with the UK’s National Health Service. Reports say that the company has shipped 2,050 Portal devices to hospitals, care homes and other facilities, free of charge. Another large company that is a part of this initiative is Accenture and their role is to offer logistical rollout.
The MD, Head of Health Technology at Facebook, Freddy Abnousi said, “We designed Portal to give people an easy way to connect and be more present with their loved ones; that’s why we are piloting a program with NHSX to provide Portal devices in hospitals and other care settings to support patients and help reduce social isolation.”
“Technology companies big and small continue to pledge their resources and expertise to support our NHS and social care system in these unprecedented times. We are working hard to find and develop services that meet people’s equally unprecedented needs. Technology has never been so important to providing one of life’s most essential things — the ability to communicate with the people we love regardless of where they are,” the NHSX Digital Transformation Director, Iain O’Neil, said.
Many such initiatives have been started by Facebook to help people deal with the crisis. They have also expanded Community Help for the coronavirus. This allows users of the app to help each to request and offer their neighbours for necessary/essential items.
The spreading of misinformation about COVID-19 is another issue the company is looking to put a stop to. They also already gave the World Health Organisation unlimited ad credit. The tech giant also revealed that it will be investing $100 million into journalism, a month ago. It also contains a chatbot that allows users of Messenger to receive the most updated information about the COVID-19 pandemic.
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