Alphabet Inc’s research organisation, Verily has collaborated with the California Governor’s office and the public health authorities in charge to come up with an online portal they are calling ‘Project Baseline’ that will help people register for a free COVID-19 diagnosis test.
The website, which requires you to be at least 18 years of age is only available to the residents of the Santa Clara and the San Mateo Counties as of now. It allows interested parties to follow a simple procedure where they must create an account, complete a COVID permission form, and share information about their symptoms and the health issues they’ve been having. The system then tells you whether a test is required for you. If your symptoms match those of a diagnosed COVID-19 patient, a free testing appointment is arranged for you and you are told where and when to go. Once the test is carried out, the results are emailed to you.
This was the website that the President of the US, Mr Donald Trump wrongfully associated with Google last week. In a public appearance, he announced that Google was working on a site that would help diagnose more and more COVID-19 patients.
Google, as it turns out, is working on a site related to the Novel Coronavirus; the site is, however, more about awareness and prevention rather than diagnosis.
The new website does seem to be in its initial stages for now. Reports of bugs have already started rolling in and people are reporting issues like a misdiagnosis and an inconsistent number of questions being offered. Needless to say, Verily and the state of California will have to come up with solutions to these glitches in their website design if they want their initiative to be take seriously. It is, however, a big step in the right direction if the spread of this virus is to be contained in the near future.