Technology sector is gaining strong momentum across the multi-trillion healthcare industry amid this coronavirus (COVID-19)-induced crisis on the back of its advanced technologies.
This is evident from the growing initiatives of tech giants including Alphabet ( GOOGL Quick Quote GOOGL - Free Report) , Microsoft ( MSFT Quick Quote MSFT - Free Report) , Apple ( AAPL Quick Quote AAPL - Free Report) , Amazon ( AMZN Quick Quote AMZN - Free Report) and Facebook ( FB Quick Quote FB - Free Report) , which are making every effort to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Machine Learning (ML) and Data Science for the management of COVID-19. Notably, healthcare providers and professionals, governments, and patients globally are facing an unprecedented challenge in the form of COVID-19. Consequently, this pandemic has increased the dependency of the healthcare industry on tech companies further. The need for smart and efficient ways of managing the spread and treatment of extremely contagious virus via advanced datasets, cloud computing techniques and analytics has become the utmost need of the hour. Further, the social-distancing protocols and shelter-in-place restrictions that have been enforced worldwide to curb the spread of coronavirus underscore the significance of telehealth and telemedicine. Notably, telehealth and telemedicine enable long-distance patient and clinician contact, and offer care, advice, reminders, monitoring, remote admissions and other healthcare services via the Internet. We believe strong push by tech behemoths toward personal health monitoring, medical supplies, medical records maintenance and pharmacy advancement will continue to intensify the competition in healthcare industry. Year-to-Date Price Performance AMZN & GOOGL Efforts to Manage COVID-19 Telehealth in Focus: Both Amazon and Google are ramping up their initiatives to bolster their strength in telehealth. Amazon’s telehealth service, Amazon Care, which offers virtual medical consultations, rapid prescription delivery and the ability to schedule a follow-up visit from a medical professional in a patient’s home or office, remains noteworthy. In fact, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company rolled out the service for its employees in Seattle area since the beginning of 2020. Further, the company’s cloud division Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers telemedicine via a healthcare technology company — Change Healthcare — which is available on AWS Marketplace. Notably, Change Healthcare offers a telemedicine utilization dataset that is fulfilled by AWS Data Exchange. Meanwhile, Google has launched COVID-19 and telehealth links on its Google My Business (GMB) dashboard in a bid to make the healthcare information accessible to the medical professionals and healthcare institutions seamlessly.Further, the company has added new features on Search and Maps to connect people with the healthcare options virtually, thus bolstering telehealth initiatives. Other Initiatives: Apart from telehealth efforts, Amazon and Google have also taken other noteworthy efforts to combat COVID-19. AWS’ collaboration with Conduent remains a major positive. Per the deal, Conduent’s Maven, which is a disease surveillance and outbreak management platform, has been made available on AWS in a bid to manage the pandemic in an efficient way. Notably, Maven helps in automating the integration of reports from patients and test results from labs. Further, AWS has announced a new program namely AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative. Notably, the company is investing $20 million in the program, and aims to accelerate the development of a faster COVID-19 testing. Meanwhile, Alphabet, which carries a Zacks Rank #3, is gaining further traction on the back of its healthcare unit — Verily. The recently launched COVID-19 screening and testing website under Project Baseline remains a major positive. Further, Verily has joined forces with Rite Aid to expand testing across multiple states of the United States. Additionally, Google’s collaboration with researchers from the University of Southampton in the U.K. to help people track the spread of coronavirus using anonymized and aggregated location data via Google Maps is a noteworthy effort. MSFT, FB & AAPL in Fray Microsoft, which carries a Zacks Rank #3, strengthened its COVID-19 management efforts byteaming up with UnitedHealth Group. Both the companies have rolled out ProtectWell Protocol and App. Notably, the app is based on Azure, AI and analytics solutions. The app also leverages Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service. The ProtectWell framework, integrated with COVID-19 symptom screening capabilities, will aid employers in bringing employees back to workplace in a secure setting. Further, the company’s recent partnership with Adaptive Biotechnologies to release ImmuneCODE database is noteworthy. The database will aid researchers and public health officials worldwide with updated data on immune response to the COVID-19 virus on a real-time basis. Additionally, the roll out of the company’s first industry-specific cloud offering —Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare — remains a major positive amid this pandemic scenario. Also, Microsoft Bing recently launched an interactive map that provides information on the spread of coronavirus. The Zacks Rank #3 holder Facebook is expanding its Data for Good program that grants researchers access to data about user movement patterns in an effort to understand the spread of coronavirus. The program now provides access to three new maps for predicting the COVID-19 spread and revealing whether residents of a given region are practicing quarantine. Further, Apple has teamed up with Google to fight the coronavirus. The iPhone maker, which carries a Zacks Rank #3, announced a new set of tools that will allow mobile devices to trade information via Bluetooth connections to alert people when they are in close proximity with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. 5 Stocks to Soar Past the Pandemic: In addition to the companies you learned about above, we invite you to learn about 5 cutting-edge stocks that could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of the decade. See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>