Google's parent company Alphabet has launched a nationwide website to help the citizens around Coronavirus screening and awareness.
Verily, Alphabet’s healthcare tech company, along with the United States Government, has taken the wraps off Project Baseline, which is currently offering test facilities in two different counties, Santa Clara and San Mateo in the state of California.
The site takes patients through multiple level screenings to determine if they actually need to undergo the coronavirus tests.
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Google's plans to set up a testing website were revealed by US President Donal Trump earlier last week. Trump stated that over 1700 engineers are working on the project, which looks to help people determine if they need a test or not.
Free COVID-19 screening
According to the Project Baseline website, patients need to be a US resident with over 18 years of age and have a valid Gmail account to be eligible for a screening.
They must also be willing to sign a COVID-19 Public Health authorization form.
Since the testing kits are short in supply, the site advises people with Flu-like symptoms to seek regular medical treatment and not to avail the test. People who meet the eligibility criteria will be directed to the mobile testing sites where they need to undergo a nasal and a swab test. The results, as per the website, will take a few days and will be shared with the person directly.
Since California has the highest number of cases reports, the pilot program has been first launched in the Bay area. A blog post on the website suggests, “As more testing kits and sites become available, we plan to scale the capacity.”
The tests conducted through Project Baseline are free, however, people are slightly concerned about the requirement of a Google account to sign up for the tests. The website also asks personal details like name, address, email, phone number and health information during the screening process.
While Verily says that the information will be used by various government and health authorities and for “public health purposes”, its website contradicts with a statement that the “Information may also be shared with certain service providers engaged to perform services on behalf of Verily, including Google, which Verily leverages for certain technology and services, including cloud services, security services, data storage, website hosting, and other support functions.”
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