Facebook’s Zoom rival: Messenger Rooms rolls out with video chat for 50 people

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the availability of Messenger Rooms, its video-calling service for social interactions. 

Facebook’s social take on Zoom has rolled out to the US, Canada, and Mexico and will expand across the globe next week. 

Zuckerberg announced the video-calling product last month, saying video had been especially important during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

SEE: Working from home: Success tips for telecommuters (free PDF)    

Messenger Rooms is built around the idea of rooms, letting users share a link with friends to create a private room that supports up to 50 people. 

Alternatively, users can create a room for a group or for an event. It also lets users start a room for all friends at the top of a News Feed, allowing contacts to join if and when they want.  

A key social or non-work part of Messenger Rooms is that users don’t need to

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How NSW Health used tech to respond to COVID-19

With the largest population in Australia, New South Wales also has the biggest healthcare scope: 150,000 staff looking after 8 million geographically dispersed people. When COVID-19 concerns hit Australia, NSW Health CIO Dr Zoran Bolevich said the state department found itself at the very centre of the country’s response.

Speaking with media virtually on a panel session run by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Bolevich said in such circumstances, the state’s health system was designed to switch to a different mode of operation, mirroring an emergency response model.

Vastly different from business as usual, Bolevich said in the first few days of its pandemic response, NSW Health had to ensure “emergency response was IT-enabled”.

That meant all the tools and information decision-makers needed was on hand. eHealth NSW was behind the transition and was stood up to provide guidance on IT-led healthcare to state-run health organisations.

Around 80 Health staff moved

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Vodafone aids Covid-19 fight with added capacity for NHS Scotland, and introduces IoT thermal camera

UK telco Vodafone has announced two initiatives – one to help front-line medical workers gain required critical connectivity, and the other to provide businesses with a heat detection tool to aid their preparations for a return of workers as lockdown conditions are eased.

At the temporary Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC), which opened in April to treat Covid-19 coronavirus patients, Vodafone has significantly boosted the capacity of its internal network for both patients and staff.

In just five days, Vodafone installed an enhanced in-building network that will allow up to 1,000 patients to carry out video and voice calls with family and friends, while at the same time it provided a secure, dedicated data connection to give access to central NHS systems, so that staff can access the same information as if they were working in a permanent hospital.

Jill Young, chief executive of NHS Louisa

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