As a society, we continue through the journey of this global pandemic, but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. There are currently two COVID-19 vaccines under accelerated review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European regulatory authorities that have reported safety and efficacy data in phase three clinical trials.¹ Unlike the common flu vaccine, each of these COVID-19 vaccines poses similar and unique challenges in terms of procurement, distribution, administration and management. At Microsoft, we have been working with public- and private-sector organizations around the world to help support this monumental task of delivering vaccines as quickly as possible, but also in a secure and equitable manner. Technology plays an essential role in the secure, safe and equitable distribution of the vaccine and strategic partnerships will enable us to achieve our goals and meet the challenges ahead. In this blog, we will go into more detail on some strategic partnerships that are enabling the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Partnering towards better outcomes
With COVID-19 vaccines soon to be available, Microsoft and its partners are actively working with customers to deploy vaccine management solutions that enable registration capabilities for patients and providers, phased scheduling for vaccinations, streamlined reporting, and management dashboarding with analytics and forecasting. These offerings are helping public health agencies and healthcare providers to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals in an efficient, equitable and safe manner. The underlying technologies and approach have been tested and deployed with prior COVID-19 use cases, including contact tracing, COVID-19 testing, and return to work and return to school programs.
Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) has deployed over 230 emergency COVID-19 response missions globally since the pandemic began in March, including recent engagements to ensure the equitable, secure and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. MCS has developed an offering, the Vaccination Registration and Administration Solution (VRAS), which advances the capabilities of their COVID-19 solution portfolio and enables compliant administration of resident assessment, registration and phased scheduling for vaccine distribution. It enables the tracking and reporting of immunization progress through secure data exchange that utilizes industry standards, such as Health Level Seven (HL7), Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and open APIs. Health providers and pharmacies can monitor and report on the effectiveness of specific vaccine batches, and health administrators can easily summarize the achievement of vaccine deployment goals in large population groups.
Additionally, several of our partners have leveraged the Microsoft cloud to provide customers with additional offerings to support vaccine management. These offerings also apply APIs, HL7 and FHIR to enable interoperability and integration with existing systems of record, artificial intelligence to generate accurate and geo-specific predictive analytics, and secure communications using Microsoft Teams.
Meeting the needs of a global population for fair and equitable vaccine distribution, administration and monitoring calls upon the very best that the Accenture, Avanade and Microsoft partnership has to offer. Using Accenture’s strategic consulting, industry and implementation expertise, coupled with Microsoft’s cutting-edge data, cloud and technology capabilities, means Accenture is building robust, scalable and dependable solutions for vaccination authorities around the world.
EY has partnered with Microsoft to provide a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that helps manage the manufacture and distribution process of the vaccine. The EY Vaccine Management Solution is built on multiple Microsoft technologies: Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, Power BI and Power Platform to enable patient-provider engagement, supply chain visibility, and Internet of Things (IoT) real-time monitoring of the vaccines. Additionally, the EY Vaccine Analytics Solution is an integrated COVID-19 data and analytics tool supporting stakeholders in understanding population and geography-specific vaccine uptake.
Mazik Global has leveraged its expertise in the healthcare industry and technology solutions to create MazikCare Vaccine Flow. Vaccine Flow is built on Power Apps and utilizes pre-built templates to implement scalable solutions to accelerate the mass distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Providers will be able to seek out specific populations based on at-risk criteria to prioritize distribution. Patients can self-monitor and have peace of mind to head-off adverse reactions. Most importantly, the ability to monitor inventory levels as well as the temperature of the vials will enable providers to help get the vaccine to patients quickly. MazikCare Vaccine Flow is available in Microsoft AppSource.
Microsoft and its partners utilize robust capabilities of Microsoft’s highly secure cloud-based technologies to deliver solutions that address the most urgent challenges the healthcare industry is facing today. Learn more about Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and the breadth of our partner capabilities.
Collaborating toward a successful outcome
To achieve the goal of an efficient, equitable and safe delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine, close collaboration across agencies and partners will be the key to success. It is imperative that implementations be delivered on time and customized to meet the needs of every government and healthcare customer. As much as possible, newly introduced technologies should integrate with existing systems of record to keep workflow changes and costs to a minimum.
Microsoft and its partners are committed to doing our part to help the global community address this historic challenge. Together, we look forward to helping our customers embrace the power of digital, and the power of human innovation to deliver a safe and effective vaccine in a prioritized manner.
¹ Vaccine candidates produced by (1) Pfizer and BioNTech, and (2) Moderna are currently in regulatory review for Emergency Use Authorization (as of Dec. 2, 2020).