Facebook offers free Portal devices to help patients stay in touch during Covid-19

Facebook has partnered with the UK’s National Health Service to give 2,050 Portal devices to help patients stay in touch with their friends and families.

| Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 20:19 IST
Facebook launches new initiative during Covid-19
Facebook launches new initiative during Covid-19 (REUTERS)
Facebook launches new initiative during Covid-19
Facebook launches new initiative during Covid-19 (REUTERS)

Facebook has started a new initiative under which it is providing free Portal smart speakers with display to help patients connect them with their families in the times of Covid-19 crisis. The company is running the initiative in the UK.

Facebook has partnered with the UK's National Health Service. According to reports, the social networking company has shipped 2,050 Portal devices for free to hospitals and care homes among others. Accenture is also a part of the initiative and is providing logistical rollout, reports TechCrunch.

"We designed Portal to give people an easy way to connect and be more present with their loved ones…That's why we are piloting a program with NHSX to provide Portal devices in hospitals and other care settings to support patients and help reduce social isolation," said Freddy Abnousi, MD, Head of Health Technology, Facebook.

"Technology companies big and small continue to pledge their resources and expertise to support our NHS and social care system in these unprecedented times. We are working hard to find and develop services that meet people's equally unprecedented needs. Technology has never been so important to providing one of life's most essential things — the ability to communicate with the people we love regardless of where they are," Iain O'Neil, NHSX Digital Transformation Director, said.

Facebook has been running multiple initiatives to help people cope with the Covid-19 crisis. The social networking company recently expanded Community Help for the Covid-19. The section will allow Facebook users to request and offer neighbours for essential items.

It's also making efforts to tackle the spread of misinformation related to the Covid-19. It has already provided unlimited ad credit to the World Health Organisation. Last month, the company announced investing $100 million in journalism. There's also a chatbot on Messenger to help users get the latest information on the coronavirus.

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First Published Date: 10 Apr, 12:43 IST