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The global pandemic has affected virtually everyone on the planet and shows no signs of fading away anytime soon. As the world struggles to cope with the deadly virus and its impact on society, cloud providers are stepping up with innovative ways to use their technological resources to assist in a variety of ways. Here’s a sampling of how the cloud is being used to address the many problems being caused by the coronavirus.

Google Cloud

Google is using its vast cloud computing capabilities to help organizations and individuals handle the strains of the pandemic. These are some of the specific offerings that are meant to deal with the problem. 

  • Supporting the remote workforce - Google’s cloud-based video conferencing platform know as Google Meet has seen an upsurge in usage that has seen up to a 60% day-to-day growth. Demand for the service has increased 25 times from January to March. The company is offering Google Meet free to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers and has dedicated hardware resources to certain locations to ensure reliable operation of the communication platform. 
  • Supporting the public and academic sectors - In the U.S., Google is working to develop new text and data mining techniques to help institutions efficiently examine the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). On the international front, the company is providing multiple European governments with the ability to build apps to help track the spread of the virus. An example is the Coronavirus Australia App developed by the Australian Government Department of Health. 

Huawei Cloud

Cloud provider Huawei recently announced a global action plan to help customers around the world battle COVID-19. Huawei is providing free cloud and AI services  as well as recruiting partners to conduct a team to fight coronavirus. They are sharing knowledge gained by China’s attempts to stem the virus with the international community with AI-assisted CT scan analysis, drug discovery, online education, and telecommuting technologies. 

Huawei Cloud has also initiated the Anti-COVID-19 Partner Program which will allow participating organizations to obtain $30,000 of free cloud resources. The program focuses on providing remote office capabilities, AI support, enterprise assistance, smart healthcare, and online education to participating partners.

Alibaba Cloud

Another large global cloud provider that is throwing its weight behind the fight to defeat the virus is Alibaba. Some of their offerings include: 

  • Free access to their AI-powered computing platform and supercomputing cluster for global research such as gene sequencing to help treat or prevent the spread of the virus. 
  • COVID-19 CT image analytics help streamline the work of medical professionals to treat patients with the disease. It is 60 times faster than human detection and scans with 96% accuracy. 
  • The Alibaba Cloud Epidemic Prediction Solution helps decision-makers formulate plans to control and prevent further outbreaks of the virus. It has a 98% rate of accuracy based on data in China. The company offers it for free to public research institutions. 

These are just some of the ways that cloud technology companies are doing what they can to help the world in the face of the pandemic. Hopefully, some of these technical solutions will be the key to finding treatments and a cure for COVID-19.

Last modified on Monday, 27 April 2020
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 Robert Agar

I am a freelance writer who graduated from Pace University in New York with a Computer Science degree in 1992. Over the course of a long IT career I have worked for a number of large service providers in a variety of roles revolving around data storage and protection. I currently reside in northeastern Pennsylvania where I write from my home office.

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