The technology industry is shedding significant resources to help get vaccines to millions of Americans amid an alarming upward spiral in COVID-19 cases.
From Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
in Seattle to International Business Machines Corp. IBM,
in Armonk, New York, technology companies across the country offer experience in tackling a logistics task that some compare to landing on the moon.
“This is the biggest data puzzle of our lives, requiring collaboration between technology companies and federal and state authorities,”
For technology, the spread of vaccines is an opportunity and a challenge. The industry sees a chance to sign its credentials while fulfilling urgent public needs, amid criticism that it has failed to pursue major projects that profoundly improve people’s lives. But the ambitious deployment is fraught with risks, as illustrated by potential security breaches in open access systems, seamless scheduling and some fraudulent accounts.
In Florida, which reported nearly 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, Eventbrite Inc.’s online ticketing system. EB is working with counties to help plan immunizations for Florida residents aged 65 and over as the state struggles with snake lines, confusion and frustration. However, some fake Eventbrite accounts have emerged, worried about the future use of such vaccine distribution services.
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“Our team has investigated and found no evidence of malicious vaccine registration events,” an Eventbrite spokesman told MarketWatch. “The unofficial lists of events we found, some of which charge a fee, are probably the result of a user error in which people mistakenly create new lists of events instead of registering for a time interval.”
What technology is doing is no small feat. US Digital Response, an organization that pairs technically savvy volunteers with state and local governments in need of technical assistance, has outlined eight key areas for COVID-19 vaccine providers, which include patient eligibility confirmation, state immunization information reporting. vaccine inventory system and management.
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“A state or county technical inspection takes time. It takes an engineer’s eye to figure out which provider to use for a project, “Rafael Lee, director of USDR’s health program, told MarketWatch. His organization helped Seattle and King County find a Solv supplier to set up test sites.
In recent days, a wide range of companies have outlined their vaccine plans.
IBM offers governments and private companies supply chain management software and open blockchain technology to record and certify the temperature and processing of each dose of vaccine. The computing giant is also expanding the availability of IBM Digital Health Pass, the company’s new health passport app, with the help of Salesforce.com Inc. CRM,
to help organizations check a person’s vaccination status and any other important health information.
In addition to its partnership with IBM, Salesforce has partnered with global vaccine agency Gavi on its project to spread the vaccine evenly across 190 countries. Salesforce is also part of a project with an MTX consultant for Chicago to manage the spread of vaccines.
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Google GOOGL by Alphabet Inc.,
says its cloud unit has expanded its pandemic response to facilitate vaccine intelligence and dissemination and is working with partners to implement vaccine management solutions with state and local governments.
“Google Cloud has expanded our pandemic response to help with vaccine intelligence, and we’re working with partners to implement vaccine management solutions with state and local governments,” a Google spokesman said. “Google helps connect people with quality information and resources about COVID-19, including vaccines, and we’re working on additional products and features to help people get the right information at the right time.”
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Oracle Corp. ORCL,
donate to the federal government a national electronic database of health records and public health management applications that can be used to track who has been vaccinated and who may have potential side effects. Oracle intends to import similar systems in Africa by joining the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
works with Ernst & Young and others on efforts to manage vaccines powered by Microsoft’s cloud and business services. The end-to-end solution helps to manage the vaccine production and distribution process in real time. The EY vaccine management solution is based on Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, Power BI and Power Platform, according to Microsoft.
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Uber Technologies Inc. UBER,
and Lyft Inc. LYFT,
offer to help more Americans get vaccinated, and Uber has paired its welcome service with vaccine maker Moderna Inc. MRNA,
to work with public health agencies to schedule trips for those who qualify for doses, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Lyft executives have partnered with the upcoming Biden administration to allocate federal funds for vaccine-related transportation.
In December, DoorDash Inc. DASH,
sent a letter to Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and governors across the country, urging them to consider prioritizing delivery workers in their vaccine distribution plans.
“Dashers have been at the forefront every day, providing basic services to support communities and small businesses across the country throughout the pandemic,” Max Retig, global head of public policy at DoorDash, said in a December 7 letter. “We are actively working with public and state health workers at the federal and state level to help these vital providers have access to vaccines at the earliest opportunity.”