New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) As India continues to struggle with the second and more brutal wave of Covid-19, technology companies Lenovo, IBM and Acer on Monday pledged support to strengthen the country's fight against coronavirus.Lenovo committed Rs 8 crore towards Covid-19 relief to meet India's short-term and long-term requirements, via the Lenovo Foundation.Of this funding, Rs 5 crore will be donated in the form of medical equipment consisting of oxygen concentrators, refillable oxygen cylinders, invasive ventilators and oximeters are being donated to hospitals where the need is high. The remaining Rs 3 crore will be dedicated to hospital extensions and supporting medical frontline workers, the company said in a statement.Lenovo has also invited its employees, partners, customers to contribute and donate medical equipment to those in need, through its America India Foundation page."At challenging times such as these it helps to remember that we all want the same thing: for the people we care about to stay healthy, the virus' impact to diminish, for treatments to be developed and for life to return to normal. That shared sense of hope and purpose can encourage each of us during this difficult time and help us rally to meet the challenges we face," Lenova India, said in the statement on Monday.Tech giant IBM has created a comprehensive support plan for its employees and their families to tide through this pandemic. These include care for those impacted, like a dedicated 24x7 medical helpline, emergency transport for medical needs, medically supervised quarantine facilities in hotels and preventive and enhanced care like vaccination for all employees and family members, additional IBM-funded insurance coverage and oxygen concentrators for employees across India.The company has also leveraged technology to develop AI powered, IBM Watson Assistant that will assist employees in need for critical resources."We are amidst an unprecedented crisis, one that does not have a playbook. Our unilateral focus is ensuring health and safety of our employees, their families and communities at large. We have put together a comprehensive support plan for our employees and their families to tide through this pandemic," said Sandip Patel, MD, IBM India, in a statement.IBM is also a part of the Global Task Force on Pandemic Response launched by the US Chamber of Commerce to send aid to India.Global technology brand Acer has also announced to donate oxygen concentrators to India. The first batch of concentrators has arrived in the country for immediate distribution, it said.In addition, Acer has also contributed oxygen cylinders to NGOs who run Covid healthcare centres, including all the expenses for continuous re-filling of the cylinders which has enabled them to save lives.--IANSrvt/vd
San Francisco, New York has just become the first state in the US to launch a "vaccine passport" app and this platform is based on IBM's Digital Health Pass solution which is designed to provide organisations with a smart way to bring people back to a physical location, such as a workplace, school, stadium or airline flight.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the app called Excelsior Pass, a free, voluntary platform, last week.
The technology is flexible and built to scale, allowing other states to join.
The app uses technology to confirm an individual's recent Covid-19 negative test result or proof of vaccination.
Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app.
Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of Covid-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination.
As part of this initial launch, participating New Yorkers may choose to use Excelsior Pass to verify their Covid-19 vaccination or negative test results as needed to gain entry to major stadiums and arenas, wedding receptions, or catered and other events above the social gathering limit.
Major venues have already announced they will begin utilising this technology in the coming weeks, including Madison Square Garden in New York City beginning this week and the Times Union Center in Albany.
Beginning April 2, Excelsior Pass is set to expand to smaller arts, entertainment and event venues.
"New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back Covid, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure," Cuomo said in a statement.
Secure technologies, like blockchain and encryption, are woven throughout Excelsior Pass to help protect the data, making it verifiable and trusted, the Governor's press office said in a statement, adding that no private health data is stored or tracked within the apps.
"IBM is proud to support the State of New York with its efforts to apply innovative technologies to help residents and communities respond to Covid-19," said Steve LaFleche, General Manager, IBM Public and Federal Markets.
"In choosing a flexible and accessible tool that places security and privacy at its core, the state is modeling for the rest of the country how new, technology-enabled approaches can help safely reinvigorate economies while also striving to protect public health." (IANS)
New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has collaborated with tech giant IBM to bring its Artificial intelligence-powered Watson virtual assistant on its portal to respond to queries from front-line staff and data entry operators across the country on COVID-19.The virtual agent has been deployed on protected pages of the ICMR website that can be accessed only by authorized personnel who are involved with sample collection and testing in hospitals and diagnostic labs, IBM said in a statement on Monday. The queries could be related to nature and process of data to be captured by test labs, how to record inventory of test kits and reagents, process of reporting to various Government agencies and references to the latest guidance, in addition to responding to queries on COVID-19 in general."It is critical to remain focused on testing, diagnosis and treatment in order to lower the growth curve. This collaboration with IBM will help automate responses from the field and facilitate access to accurate and updated data on COVID-19 diagnostics and reporting," said Professor Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR."This will help augment our teams' response time and allow them to concentrate on priorities like developing, updating testing and treatment protocols and guidance for COVID-19," he added.The Watson virtual agent is able to understand and respond to common queries in English and Hindi from approved testing facilities for COVID-19 across India at scale, around the clock in a uniform and timely manner. The virtual agent is also expected to help in on-boarding new data entry operators and staff of diagnostic centres, as the COVID-19 test network expands across the country."The deployment of IBM's chatbot AI platform is aimed to help ICMR effectively manage the process of capturing data relating to COVID-19," said Gopalakrishnan Senior Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.IBM last month said it has trained virtual agent 'Watson Assistant for Citizens' to answer common queries about COVID-19.'Watson Assistant for Citizens' leverages currently available data from external sources which include the Union Health Ministry and other government sources for prevention and treatment related guidance, citizen welfare schemes in India, as well as global resources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). "As India rises to meet the challenge of COVID-19, it is crucial to enable government bodies such as ICMR to utilize data and capabilities effectively for rapid detection and treatment," said Sandip Patel, General Manager, IBM India/South Asia.--IANSna/