Google Cloud launches vaccine distribution tool for local governments

The Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution promises to increase the “availability and equitable access” of vaccines while assisting governments in the distribution process.
By Mallory Hackett
12:00 pm
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Google Cloud has joined the growing list of tech companies creating tools to support the national COVID-19 vaccination effort with the launch of its Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution.

The tool is designed to help regional and local governments vaccinate their populations by supplying them with a central location to share vaccine information, schedule inoculation appointments, track vaccine distribution data, forecast COVID-19 cases and more.

“The Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution helps increase vaccine availability and equitable access to those who need it, and assists governments in building awareness, confidence, and acceptance of vaccines,” said Mike Daniels, vice president of the global public sector at Google Cloud, in a blog post. “We designed our solution to easily integrate with existing technologies, knowing that governments will administer their vaccine distributions in unique ways.”

Using the vaccine tool, government public health leaders can base policy decisions on machine learning and artificial intelligence “what if” analyses. The tool aggregates population data to help stakeholders visualize how effective infection-control measures could be in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

To help ease the burden that local governments feel in attempting to respond to public questions and concerns about vaccines, Google Cloud added an information portal to its solution. Through the portal, people can learn about vaccine availability, determine if they qualify, sign up for an appointment and submit their information to be notified when they become eligible.

Because the Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution is built on Google Cloud, these portals can be scaled to support thousands of simultaneous registrations, according to Daniels.

Once registered, the solution guides individuals through scheduling either online or over the phone with Google Cloud’s Dialogflow and Contact Center AI intelligent virtual agents. After the appointment is booked, the tool follows up with text messages to remind people of their appointment and to share any additional vaccine information.

The tool features a Sentiment Analysis component that creates a central location for constituent feedback. Taking public opinions shared through call centers, websites, apps, chatbots or advertising campaigns, the sentiment tool tracks the public’s changes in beliefs and behaviors, as well as the success of the vaccination initiative.

“With Google’s sentiment analysis tool, government organizations can direct communications efforts that provide clear and accurate information to specific audiences, addressing specific concerns as they arise,” Daniels said. “Understanding changing beliefs and behaviors throughout the vaccination life cycle allows agencies to enable a more tailored and informed vaccination campaign.”

WHY THIS MATTERS

The Intelligent Vaccine Impact solution promises to increase the “availability and equitable access” to vaccines while assisting governments in the distribution process.

This is a critical promise, since the initial vaccine rollout was criticized for being too slow after Operation Warp Speed failed to meet its goal of having 20 million doses administered by the start of the new year.

The national vaccine effort has accelerated since then, and as of February 2, approximately 32.8 million doses have been administered, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.

Of the people who received at least one dose during the first month of the vaccination effort, 63% were women, 55% were over 50 years old and 60.4% were white non-Hispanic, according to a recent CDC report.

THE LARGER TREND

Similar to the efforts to ramp up COVID-19 testing, tech companies are offering up their expertise to help vaccinate the public.

Notable Health leveraged its automated healthcare platform to support COVID-19 vaccine administration workflows. It identifies patients who are eligible for the vaccine, helps them schedule an appointment and sends reminders for their second dose, all while sharing data to the provider’s EHR to help them keep track of their vaccinated patients.

The medical-booking platform Zocdoc also released a healthcare tool for COVID-19 vaccine administration called the Zocdoc Vaccine Scheduler. Within the scheduler organizations can screen individuals for eligibility. Once confirmed, patients gain access to the appointment-booking page. From there they can select their preferred vaccine appointment site, date and time.

Google also added vaccine-support tools to its search and maps that help users find COVID-19 vaccination locations.

 

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