As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, a number of firms have taken measures in order to help out those being affected. Minecraft developer Mojang collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to raise awareness in regards to COVID-19. Earlier this week, meanwhile, Microsoft teamed up with UNICEF to expand the Learning Passport initiative in order to help out more educators and students continue their online learning.
Today, Microsoft has announced that through the help of a bot created by its partner Medxnote, its Teams service is being used by doctors in the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to get coronavirus test results in a matter of minutes.
The Redmond giant states that, previously, healthcare staff was required to check computers in wards and offices to check if any test results had arrived. This method was understandably drawn out over a few hours, leading to the conveyance of test results being delayed. Now, however, staff at NHS trustees including the University Hospital Southampton, Liverpool University Hospitals, the Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust, and more, are utilizing Microsoft Teams to get these results much quicker, and directly to their mobile phones.
Not only is Teams being used for the aforementioned purpose, the medical staff also employs its services to collaborate on information or alert their colleagues when they are needed in specific areas of the hospitals. The University Hospital Southampton has also created a notification channel to immediately alert others if a staff member tests positive for the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Ashwin Pinto, a neurologist at the hospital, described the way in which this addition to Teams had been helping out him and his colleagues as follows:
"We can now give doctors and nurses real-time data. I can get COVID-19 results, which come up on my phone instantly as soon as they are released by the lab. We can know where that patient is, so we can make sure they go to the right care environment and that staff are safe as well. That's been transformational.
Teams is the only product we've been able to use that surfaces data in a really simple format for the junior doctors and allows them to share it so they can work as a team to prioritise patients."
Microsoft has ensured that all NHS staff is given free access to Teams. It remains to be seen whether other hospitals in the country and beyond will look to take advantage of the enhanced service as well.