Google is rolling out a new update for its Search app in India, which will now be able to show its users information related to the COVID-19 vaccine and its registration. Apart from this, the company is also testing new features on Google Maps to help users locate critical resources like hospital beds and oxygen concentrators, using crowdsourced information.
The Google Search app will now showcase different information panels with updates on vaccine safety, efficacy, side-effects and information about vaccine registration, on searching information on COVID-19. The company has also added a link to the Indian government’s CoWIN portal in the vaccine information tab.
Apart from the information on the vaccines, the app also shows its users information about prevention, self-care, and treatment under the Prevention and Treatment tab when searching for COVID-19. It states that all the information is sourced from authorised medical sources and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
To recall, last year, the company provided a similar experience for users to locate nearby test centres.
Apart from this, the company has enabled its Search and Maps products to share locations of over 23,000 vaccination centres nationwide sourced from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
It has also started testing a new feature using the Q&A function in Google Maps. This feature allows users to ask about and share local information on the availability of beds and medical oxygen in select locations. Take note, this information will be user-generated, which will not be verified.
The company recently started showing important safety messages as a part of its Get the Facts around COVID-19 vaccines campaign. These messages will appear on the Search homepage, doodles and as reminders in the company’s apps and services.
“As India battles this devastating wave, we’ll keep doing all we can to support the selfless individuals and committed organisations on the front lines of the response,” the company said in a blog post.