March 26, 2020
Over 440 medical institutions from 104 countries and regions have applied to learn and share experiences in battling COVID-19 through the International Medical Expert Communication Platform. The Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment is now available in seven languages with more to come.
The platform, a centerpiece of the Global MediXchange for Combating COVID-19 (GMCC) program, was jointly established by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation. It is designed for medical experts around the world to communicate seamlessly with each other to share their invaluable experience of fighting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to ask and answer each other’s questions. To date, the most applications have come in thus far from medical institutions in the U.S, Turkey, the U.K., Pakistan, Spain and Germany.
Medical staff need to apply and be approved to join the platform. Once they’re accepted, they’re free to participate in individual or group discussions and sessions.
“Knowledge is power! We launched an online platform for doctors and nurses around the world to exchange ideas, lessons and know-how to fight the virus. We welcome all hospitals to join Chinese hospitals on this open platform https://covid-19.alibabacloud.com. One world, one fight!" Jack Ma wrote in a tweet Wednesday.
Tapping Alibaba Group’s DingTalk messaging and communications functions, the digital platform provides free audio and video conference functionality, along with live broadcast functions for more-complex scenarios. Medical workers from different countries can choose to communicate with their fellow doctors individually, or they can participate in live-sharing group sessions to interact with multiple participants, using real-time artificial intelligence translation to overcome communication barriers. The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine (FAHZU), for example, has been using the platform to share their valuable experience with 92 medical institutions from 44 countries and regions.
A playback function allows further sharing or posting on official websites for consumption anytime – and for those who can’t join the live broadcasts due to the time difference or if they are occupied by their duties.
To date, the International Medical Expert Communication Platform has attracted numerous Chinese medical institutions, including Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University (Wuhan Leishenshan Hospital), The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine(FAHZU), and others.
Through video conferencing and AI translation from and into 11 languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese), the platform aims to build a virtual community.
DingTalk, which powers this platform, has also been tabbed by UNESCO as facilitating distance learning during the coronavirus outbreak.
Also as part of the GMCC programme, the Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment, authored by The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine and compiled according to clinical experience, is now available at no cost in Chinese, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Turkish and Spanish. This handbook provides comprehensive guidelines and best practices by China's top experts for coping with COVID-19. More languages will be added soon, as the GMCC programme continues to launch more anti-epidemic resources and provide more practical suggestions and references for medical staff worldwide.