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Using technology to help take on the COVID-19 pandemic

We are maintaining a sharp focus during this rapidly evolving time of uncertainty on providing authoritative information and resources to help keep people safe, informed, and connected. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, teams across Google have launched 200 new products, features, and initiatives to assist clinicians and the general public. Our major COVID response efforts are focused around keeping people informed with trusted information, supporting people as they adapt to a changing world, and contributing to recovery efforts across the globe. At Google Health, we are contributing tools and resources to the broader scientific community of epidemiologists, analysts and researchers working to address the impacts of the virus.

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Making data useful for public health

COVID-19 Open-Data is an effort to build the world’s most comprehensive epidemiological dataset armed with powerful covariates. This dataset merges multiple global sources of licensed, open, and publicly sourced data for over 20,000 distinct locations around the world into one space, to make it easy for researchers, data scientists, and policymakers to gain insight about COVID-19. With fine spatial resolutions at the state/province level for most regions and county/municipality for many countries, these datasets include outcome data, such as cases, tests, hospitalizations, deaths and recoveries; static covariate data, such as population size, health statistics, economic indicators, geographic boundaries; and dynamic covariate data, such as mobility, search trends, weather, and government interventions. Learn more

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COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports

We launched COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports using aggregated, anonymized sets of data from users who have turned on the Location History setting, which is off by default, to provide insights into what has changed in response to shelter in place, and other policies aimed at flattening the curve. Public officials and researchers in the U.S. and around the world are using these reports to guide their response strategies.

The public reports chart movement trends over time by geography and travel to and from places like retail and recreation facilities, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential areas.

These reports are now updated three times a week in 64 languages, with localized insights covering 13,000 regions, cities, and counties for 135 countries. There are over 1,600 published papers citing the Community Mobility Reports.

Community Mobility Reports have been recognized by the Future of Privacy Forum Award for Research Data Stewardship.

Learn more

Learn how some specific organizations are using these reports.

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Exposure Notification System

One of the most challenging aspects of the pandemic’s spread has been determining and tracing the contacts of those who have possibly been exposed to infected people. That’s why, in collaboration with Apple, we are helping to provide privacy-centered mobile technology to support public health authorities’ contact tracing efforts, specifically around exposure notification.

Through our partnership, mobile devices can be used in an automated and scalable way to alert those who may have been exposed to someone who later reports a positive COVID-19 diagnosis — enabling public health authorities to provide instructions on what to do if exposed. Designed to help break the chain of infections, this initiative has led to the launch of exposure notification apps in more than 40 countries and territories. Learn more

Google’s information hub for COVID‑19

Working closely with leading health experts, we launched a centralized hub that includes authoritative information and insights about COVID-19, as well as support resources and tips for preventing the spread of the virus.

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Using symptoms search trends to inform COVID‑19 research

We have published COVID-19 Search Trends symptoms dataset, an anonymized dataset for researchers to study the link between symptom-related searches and the spread of COVID-19. As countries take steps towards reopening their economies, the reports can be used in addition to other datasets to detect early outbreaks, which may help communities stop the spread faster, and better understand secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the post

Resources for mental health support during COVID‑19

To help address the emerging mental health crisis during COVID-19 we’ve shared “Be Kind to Your Mind," which includes resources on mental wellbeing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).